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Daily Devotional Guide

THE POWER OF HIS RESURRECTION

 Philippians 3:2-10, Luke 24:2-3

But if the Spirit of him that raised Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwells in you. Romans 8:11

Death denotes finality. It closes the door of life and its expectations. However, knowing that death respects and responds to the ultimate power of God is liberating. Death cannot refuse its creator. Research shows that at death, the internal organs of a body decompose between 24-72 hours. However, Lazarus who was dead for more than 72 hours was brought back to life by the voice of  Him who is the resurrection and life. Jesus Christ experienced the same but the difference was that in His case, no one called Him forth from death. The power of resurrection was at work in Him and He came back to life according to God’s word! Hallelujah!

Paul was not just desirous of knowing Jesus but wanted to identify with the Spirit of God that breathes life, defies death and introduces new beginnings. When we have an understanding of the power of His resurrection, we will see the Holy Spirit bringing God’s word to fulfilment irrespective of the magnitude of the challenge before us. If He lives in you, He will awaken your mortal body and give it the capacity to do things beyond the ordinary. The weak person who appreciates and appropriates the resurrection power can do mighty things for God.

Have you identified with the power of Jesus’ resurrection?

PRAYER: Lord, may I know and appropriate the power of your resurrection in my life. Amen.

KNOWING HIM

Philippians 3:2-10

That I may know Him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death Philippians 3:10

There is a huge difference between knowing about someone and actually knowing someone.  Knowing someone has to do with personal encounters and experiences flowing from an intimate relationship between you and the person. Here, the person shares a mutual feeling with you. Many persons claim to know about a celebrity based on what they have heard or gathered from social media but this does not amount to a personal knowledge or relationship with such persons as the celebrity does not even know them. This can be seen as hero worship. Some persons have heard about Jesus from the messages of others but have little or no personal knowledge of God for themselves. Despite Paul’s experiences, visions, and inspirations from the Lord, Paul was not satisfied with the level of knowledge he had of God. There was this persistent, insatiable hunger that kept pushing him to know God more. A songwriter aptly said: ”The more I know you, the more I want to know you Jesus, more of you’.

We should never get to the point where we feel we have attained considerable and satisfactory knowledge of God. Even when people are fed spiritually by you and you are seen as a spiritual ‘giant,’ you should yearn for more of God.

Do you truly know God? How much hunger for God drives you daily?

PRAYER: Lord, fill me with an intense and insatiable hunger for You. Amen.

FELLOWSHIP OF HIS SUFFERING

 Philippians 3:2-10

Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 2 Timothy 3:12

Nobody wants fair-weather friends who only love and are around when things are good but jump ship when you face hard times. There are many such people today and none of us would want to be associated with this kind of people. Inasmuch as we will want to criticize people who act this way, we should check our hearts to be sure that we do not do the same thing as regards our relationship with the Lord. Paul was totally committed to the Lord Jesus and desired to share in the sufferings of the Lord. He did not just stop at knowing the Lord and His resurrection power, he was eager to partake in His sufferings too.

Some of us will threaten to abandon the faith when our expectations are not met. We are only eager to identify with the blessings with no interest in the sufferings that may come our way because of the cross. This was the case of the Israelites when they faced lack in the wilderness. Most times, we are quick to judge the Israelites but fail to see the same trait in us when we are faced with opposition or troubles. Paul wanted to experience all of the Lord; His knowledge, His power, and the sufferings. His heart was loyal to the Saviour.

Is your heart loyal to the Lord in good and bad times?

PRAYER: Lord, may my heart be loyal to you. Amen.

KEEP PRESSING ON

 Philippians 3:7-14

 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me Philippians 3:12

Our priorities determine our desires and predict our goals. Despite the heights and recognitions that Paul had attained by his lineage, education, and religious standing, he was willing to give them all up in his bid to gain Christ. He strove daily to attain the mark of the high calling in Christ. He did not let them become an obstacle to him. To Paul, the goal was to be all that God has ordained him to be and do all that God has assigned to him.

The goal is to keep pressing on for more in our walk with Christ. We must be willing to make sacrifices. Some Christians desire to operate in the power of God but have refused to lose anything for Christ (achievements, position, reputation, etc.). Paul did not count his achievements as a believer. He did not see himself to have apprehended or attained any height. His daily focus was to forget the things that were behind and reach for the things which were ahead. It is a trap to live in the glories and praises of yesterday. As long as you are alive, keep pressing on.  

Are you daily striving to attain the mark of the high calling? What are the things that deviate your focus from making this a priority?  

PRAYER: Lord, thank you for laying hold of me at salvation, help me to lay hold of that for which you laid hold of me.

REJOICE IN THE LORD

 Philippians 3:1-6

Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.” Philippians 4:4

To rejoice is to feel joy or great delight about something. It is an intentional act. We are enjoined to rejoice in the Lord. Many times, we may see no need to rejoice because we are overwhelmed with sadness, disappointment or anger. However, against all odds, our position in God should elicit wells of joy. The power of joy in a believer’s life cannot be overemphasized. The joy of the Lord brings strength, chases away depression, energizes us to do exploits for God and reminds us of the blessings of God that sadness would not let us see.

First, we are to rejoice in the wonderful experience of knowing our Lord Jesus Christ. This is the joy of the Holy Spirit that fills our hearts right from the first instance of salvation. We are also to be joyful amid difficult situations. The charge is that we rejoice always; not only when things are rosy. Even in difficult times, we are to rejoice. Anyone can rejoice at the sound of good news but how many persons can retain their joy and consciously rejoice in the Lord when the going gets tough? It takes the joy that emanates from the Spirit of God to do this.

What are the situations that get you sad easily? How can you overcome with the joy of the Lord?

PRAYER: Lord, with Your joy I draw out of the wells of salvation.

 

BEWARE!

 Philippians 3:2, John 10:12-13, Matthew 7:15

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Galatians 5:1

Caution signs at the entrance of some properties make us careful. To beware means to be careful; to be on guard because of the possibility of danger or harm. Paul warned the church to be careful of dogs (religious legalists), evil workers who say that you must be circumcised to be saved. These people believe justification is by the law (focus on circumcision as the basis of salvation) and downplay the grace of God. They emphasized works rather than grace. They are cloaked with nice actions but their chief aim is to bound believers under heavy yokes which they won’t lift a finger to help. They have their confidence rooted in the flesh. The Apostle referred to them as dogs with evil deeds. Their deeds are evil because they were “trampling the Son of God underfoot and insulting the Spirit of grace.”

There are contemporary dogs whose evil works are misleading believers to place their faith in works and items. They turn people’s gaze from the Lord of glory and project self, items of worship, ceremonies, legalistic duties.  The warning is still valid today as it was many years ago. Do not be enticed by men of flowery words and high-sounding empty words whose hidden agenda is to keep people under bondage and rob them of their money. Beware of dogs!  

PRAYER: Lord, help Your people to grow in knowledge so they won’t be enticed by deceitful wolves in sheep’s clothing.

 

WORSHIP GOD IN THE SPIRIT

 Philippians 3:3-10

For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. Philippians 3:3

Our service to God should not be borne out of fleshy strength, head knowledge or by our earthly achievements. The flesh cannot please God. It is foolhardy to start the Christian race in the Spirit and seek to accomplish service to God or become perfect by the flesh (Galatians 3:1-3). Many still depend on the flesh to worship God. True worship is inspired by the Spirit and expressed within the context of the truth of God’s word (John 4:23-24). These days what is described as worship is mostly flesh-generated. This generation understands worship in terms of slow-paced songs, lights and sounds, a good voice, a great stage, and performance by a celebrity (ought to be servants) gospel musician. Some understand worship as fun. It is always about how they “Enjoyed the service or the sermon.”

New Testament worship is about the entirety of our lives (Romans 12:1-2). It is about living to please the Master. It is the yielding of the faculties to the influence of the Spirit in service to God. It is depending on the Spirit’s help and lead in rendering worship to God. It is obedience and loyalty to God and His instructions. In worship, the heart leads and the acts follow. We were created to worship God and to give Him pleasure. True worshippers are living sacrifices whose lives are a sweet-smelling savour to the Lord.

Are you worshipping God in the spirit or in the flesh?

PRAYER: Lord, cause me to seek and follow the Spirit’s lead as I offer my worship to

You. Amen.

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