Day 11 – January 16
Philippians 2:16-18(NLT) Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless. 17 But I will rejoice even if I lose my life, pouring it out like a liquid offering to God, just like your faithful service is an offering to God. And I want all of you to share that joy. 18 Yes, you should rejoice, and I will share your joy.
What are you counting on? What are you trusting in? Whatever you trust in, whatever you are counting on, that will determine whether you run your race in vain or with purpose. We live in a world where there are not many things we can count on except death and taxes. But as Christ followers we must hold onto the one thing that will keep us, and that is the Word of Life!
When Paul wrote this letter to the Philippians they did not have a Bible like we have today. They had the letter Paul wrote and the messages he preached. For Paul to travel and preach the gospel it literally cost him his life. He talks about the fact that his life is being poured out like a drink offering before God on the sacrifice and service of their faith, and that as they faithfully serve God it is an offering that should produce great joy! How can sacrifice and joy be used in the same sentence? Because sacrifice is always for a purpose for something better. The reality for all believers is that there is no reward without sacrifice.
What enables us to give up something to gain something else, is because we see something better. Why are we giving up certain foods and dedicate ourselves to fast and pray during this Daniel Fast? For fun? We can have lots more fun doing something else. The reality is that we are holding onto the Word of life that propels us through the sacrifice to the very thing God has promised. We want what He promised, but we can only receive it through sacrifice. The sacrifices you are making right now by reading this devotional, by spending time in prayer and reading through the Book of Philippians, are small sacrifices compared to what Paul and others paid for us so that we can have the Word.
It is easy for us to forget how many people were martyred and killed so that we could hold a Bible in our hands. Yet we struggle to even make a small sacrifice of reading and studying the Word on a daily basis. Many people today are being persecute and prosecuted for having a Bible or even speaking and preaching the Word. As our culture continues to shift and move, let’s hold firmly to the Word of life! But let’s not do it with legalism and judgment, but with joy and grace.
How firm is your grip on the Word of Life?
- Ask the Lord to give you a continued hunger for His Word.
- Thank the Lord for all those who have paid a price so that we can have a Bible in our hands.
- Pray for open doors in countries where the Word of God is being limited and our fellow believers are being prosecuted and jailed for preaching the Word.