Monday, Dec. 16 – Martha Flowers

16 Dec

Monday, Dec. 16 – Joy

Today’s Scripture:
Psalm 19:7-10; Philippians 2:1-11

Psalm 19:8 – The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.

Phil 2:1-5 – Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being likeminded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.

And that is our witness: that we are living our faith, not just preaching it. That is what draws people to ask why we act the way we do.

Perhaps that was Paul’s intent – not just to strengthen the community of faith but also to make it a community of “missionaries.”

It was Christ’s mindset to draw all people to his saving grace, not by rules but by tenderness and compassion, with humility.

In a world where there are Haiyan typhoons and constant disasters, I remind myself that John reports Jesus telling his disciples, “In this world you will have troubles.”

But you and I have experienced what Jesus meant when he added, “But I have overcome the world.” We know what joy an unexpected, or undeserved, or desperately needed act of kindness or compassion can bring.

The hardships of life can lead to bitterness, isolation, and selfishness or to compassion, unity, and sharing. To see the latter in the community of faith, as they followed Christ’s example, gave Paul joy.

In the midst of disaster, pain, and death, we find joy because, as Paul reminds us (Phil 2:11),
Christ sacrificed his equality with God as
He came in our likeness, living, suffering, dying as one of us.
He comes, as he promised, as our savior, guide, and comforter.
He will come again as our Lord and King.

My prayer for you and me today is that He will show us how He desires for us to celebrate His coming.

Ephesians 2 – God’s saving grace in Christ created us to do good works.

-Martha Flowers

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