This year, I have chosen to explore the Apostle Paul’s letters to the Philippians in a series of four Celebration Services. In the first service, we’ll navigate our journey of living for Jesus Christ. Paul testified to the transformative effect of Jesus on his life and the contrast between before and after was nothing short of miraculous. Paul experienced many adversities in his life, yet he had peace and contentment: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds…”. (James 1:2)
What joy did Paul experience? How was he thankful when life was so challenging? We know what it is to experience both joy and sadness throughout life’s journey. Life is certainly far from predictable and often presents us with challenges for which we may be unprepared. What is the key to the lasting contentment Paul found through his relationship with Jesus? Let the journey begin as we explore the book of Philippians together.
- Day 1
- Day 2
- Day 3
- Day 4
- Day 5
Beginning the journey together?
“Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6 NIV
Thought: The Bible tells us that we’re God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works and we are to walk in them (Ephesians 2:10). This renewal process of becoming more like Christ begins the moment we repent of our sin and accept Christ as our Saviour – this is the will of God to sanctify us until Christ returns.
Paul’s letter to the Philippians encourages us to see Christ as our end goal and to grow in godliness until Christ returns. He encourages us to be transformed by the renewing of our mind so we may discern God’s will and what is good, acceptable and perfect (Romans 12:2). God will be with us throughout this journey, so are you ready to embark on this journey together?
Prayer: Dear Lord, I believe in you and I want to commit my ways into your hands today. I pray that you will guide me to be more like Jesus Christ in every way. Amen.
Why is it important to be thankful?
Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:19-20 NIV
Thought: Being thankful helps us to be more mindful of other people’s feelings; it helps us to see things from another person’s perspective. When we’re thankful, we get through life’s tough times because we are reminded of God’s love and blessings through all the good things in our lives.
The Apostle Paul learned the meaning of true thanksgiving. He is thankful to God even in the midst of great adversity. Thanksgiving for Paul was not a once-a-year celebration, but a daily reality that changed his life and made him a joyful person in every situation.
“Nothing turns us into bitter, selfish, dissatisfied people more quickly than an ungrateful heart. And nothing will do more to restore contentment and the joy of our salvation than a true spirit of thankfulness.” – Billy Graham.
Prayer: God, I don’t want to stop thanking you – I know you have done a lot for me. Not that I deserve all of these but your love made it possible. Thank you, God. Amen.
How can we be thankful when life is hard?
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV
Thought: Life is often unpredictable and, during storms and challenges, it’s hard for us to be thankful. The Apostle Paul showed us we can give thanks to God in the midst of trials because He has promised to be with us and that He will help us. We know that God can use times
of suffering to draw us closer to him: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance,…” (James 1:2-3, NIV).
We should never forget all the good things God has done for us in tough times (Psalm 103:2). Our circumstances may change, but God doesn’t. Despite the circumstances, let’s give thanks to God and trust His plan for our lives.
Prayer: God, life can be difficult at times when that happened please help me to remember to still be thankful. Please create a thanksgiving heart in me so that I am thankful to you in all circumstances. I ask this in Jesus Name, Amen.
You are not alone
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV
Thought: Being a Christian may not be easy, but we’re not alone in this journey. God promises never to leave nor forsake us – (Deuteronomy 31:6). He wants to pour out His favour and blessings upon us. The Bible tells us that God will guide us, provide our needs and strengthen us – (Isaiah 58:11). There is nothing that God doesn’t know and can’t do for us. He walks with us every moment of every day.
Time and time again God reminded the Apostle Paul of His presence. He knew what and when Paul needed his help and assurance. When Paul was held in the barracks in Jerusalem, the Lord appeared to him and told him to be courageous (Acts 23:11). When life seems tough as though it’s falling apart, you must remember the Lord is there with you. You’re not alone.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for your promise to strengthen and guide me. Thank you for letting me know that you will never leave nor forsake me and I can depend on you through all circumstances. Amen.
The journey has begun
For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain. Philippians 1:21 NIV
Thought: The Apostle Paul considered Christ as the ultimate goal of Christianity and nothing else can compare. His passion in life was to honour and magnify Christ. He was utterly devoted to the calling that the risen Christ had given him, although it cost him incomparable sufferings.
We too are called to embark on this journey and to share the good news of God’s love. True faith is shown through our actions. When we rely on God, we too can step forward and take hold of the life He has planned for us. We’re already on this journey and it’s up to us to follow God’s calling for our lives.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I know I’m on a journey, so help me to make the right turns as I navigate life’s challenges. Amen.