Truth For Today

HEAVENLY PEACE

The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding.
[PHILIPPIANS 4:7]

Today’s verse promises inner calm or tranquility to the believer who prays with a thankful attitude. Notice it doesn’t promise what the answer to our prayers will be.

This peace “surpasses all understanding,” which refers to its divine origin. It transcends human intellect, analysis, and insight. No human counselor can give it to you because it’s a gift from God.

The real challenge of Christian living is not to eliminate every uncomfortable circumstance from your life, but to trust the infinite, holy, sovereign, and powerful God in the midst of every situation.

Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you May have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). So begin to live on the supernatural plane, accept that you live in a fallen world, and allow God to do His perfect work in you. And God will give you His peace as you confidently entrust yourself to His care.

Truth For Today

HUMILITY AND GRACE

Let your forbearing spirit be known to all men.
[PHILIPPIANS 4:5, NASB]

It is difficult to find one English word that captures the diverse meaning of the word translated as “forbearing” in today’s verse. Some say it speaks of contentment, gentleness, generosity, or goodwill toward others. Others believe it refers to mercy or leniency toward the faults or failures of others. Still others claim it describes patience, referring to someone who submits to injustice or mistreatment but doesn’t retaliate with hatred or bitterness. I believe the best translation is “graciousness,” because in the Christian sense that word embodies all the other meanings.

Forbearance also includes another important element: humility. The humble Christian doesn’t hold a grudge but trusts God whenever he is mistreated, misjudged, or misrepresented. A person like that doesn’t demand his rights. God manifested His grace to us in the same way—mankind abused and maligned Jesus Christ though He deserved none of it, yet He still reached out to us in love (cf. Rom. 5:10). Humility and graciousness will help you be stable in spite of the circumstances.

Truth For Today

DEALING WITH DISUNITY

Stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.

[PHILIPPIANS 1:27]

Spiritual stability depends on mutual love, harmony, and peace between believers. Our lives are to be intertwined that we might support and sustain one other.

In today’s verse, we read that Paul wanted that kind of harmony in the Philippian church, but instead there was an intense disagreement between two women threatening the church’s life. Paul sought to keep sins such as partiality, criticism, bitterness, unforgiveness, and pride from spreading throughout the church.

To avoid such problems, it is necessary for believers to care and pray for each other. Mutual love produces the harmony that’s conducive to spiritual stability and reflects what the church is all about: supporting the weak, lifting the fallen, and restoring the broken.

Truth For Today

PAUL’S CARE FOR THE CHURCH                 

For God is my witness, how greatly I long for you all with the affection of Jesus Christ. [PHILIPPIANS 1:8]

The apostle Paul treated believers with a gracious and tender spirit—he often tempered commands with genuine expressions of love for the people. He had a special place in his heart for the Philippian church. He addressed those believers as his “beloved and longed-for brethren” (Phil. 4:1).

He manifested his love in his desire to remain with them for their “progress and joy in the faith”(1:25). Indeed Paul was willing to be offered “on the sacrifice and service of [their] faith” (2:17). And only the Philippian believers had “shared with [him] concerning giving and receiving” (4:15), which also reveals his special bond with them.

Paul was a logician and theologian without equal—his intellectual capacity was staggering—but he was also endowed with a tremendous capacity to love people. Your ministry can be effective only when you love people.

Truth For Today

THE JOY THAT AWAITS

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials.
[JAMES 1:2]

The joy we experience from our trials can be some of the greatest joy we know. Since one of the major reasons God sends trials into our lives is to test the genuineness of our faith, what more fitting occasion to have joy than in and after an experience of suffering that has proved the reality of our salvation? A strengthened assurance of our salvation and confidence that God cares for us, as manifest in the reality that our suffering could neither break our faith nor sever us from His love, is cause for the highest happiness.

True joy does not come cheaply or as a fleeting, superficial emotion. Real joy is produced by much deeper factors than the circumstances that produce superficial happiness. If you are struggling through the negative circumstances of life, floundering in doubt and disMay, you have forgotten that genuine joy resides in the confidence that your life is hidden with Christ in God. In God’s providence, that joy and assurance can be most strong during a trial.

Truth For Today

OBEYING OUT OF LOVE

The purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart.
[1 TIMOTHY 1:5]

The keeping of a commandment should flow from a heart of love. It’s possible to obey the law out of fear and to be afraid of God’s punishment. But when you do that, you don’t really obey the law in the fullest sense because fear is not the biblical motive for obedience. Fear will restrain you from some evil and its effect can be somewhat productive, but its result is incomplete.

Some keep the law out of self-interest. They believe that if they live a moral life, God will repay them. But that is not a pure motive for obedience—it’s a selfish one. Although you May restrain yourself from evil and do good things outwardly, you won’t have an obedience that comes from an attitude of love. The true intention of the law is to cultivate love from the heart. That’s how the law is fulfilled.

Truth For Today

MINISTERS TO ONE ANOTHER

Let us consider one another

in order to stir up love and good works.

[HEBREWS 10 : 24]

God wants His children to minister His good to one another. Paul the apostle, as he opened his letter to the Roman believers, assured them that he was eager to visit them not only to minister to them, but to be ministered to by them: “. . . that I May be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me” (Rom. 1:12). Before that, he had described Timothy and himself to the Corinthians as “fellow workers for your joy” (2 Cor. 1:24).

If you’re truly a follower of Christ, it should be both an obligation and a joy for you to encourage other believers toward love and good works, as today’s verse instructs.