God’s Strength and Provision

 

Paul’s letter to the Philippians is about living the Christian life. In Chapter 4:10-20 specifically, Paul speaks of God’s provision. He thanks the Philippians for their concern, but expresses that it was not needed. Paul has everything he needs when he has Christ. He is content no matter his situation, through Christ who strengthens him.

 

Do not take the verse out of context. Paul is not saying that God will empower all believers to accomplish anything they desire. God’s strength enables us to endure hardship and persecution, as Paul himself was experiencing at the time. Trust in the Lord’s timing and provision in everything we go through, so we can be content and not be consumed by greed and materialism.

 

That is Paul’s secret to contentment and the key takeaway from this part of his letter. Trust God, so much so that you can say: “Through Him, I can endure all difficulties no matter how seemingly insurmountable they may seem.”

Love One Another

 

In this letter, Peter writes to 5 regions in the Roman empire, and he addresses his audience as exiles who have been dispersed. 1 Peter 1:1 “To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.”

 

It can be surmised that he is writing to groups of Christians facing persecution and or trials. Peter goes on to remind them of the truth of who they are: children of God who have been born again through Christ’s resurrection from the dead. As such they should rejoice, for whatever trials they are currently facing, God has kept an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, in heaven for them.

 

Therefore, his audience is also reminded of their call to be holy and leave their ignorant ways behind, 1 Peter 1:14-15 “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct.”

 

Part of this call to obedience is to love wholeheartedly, sacrificially and selflessly.

United in Christ

Design: Joshua Wong

 

The first 10 verses of Ephesians 4 describe the concept of Christian unity and the importance of working together for God’s glory. All of us are uniquely created and gifted by God to serve him and each other to the best of our abilities.

Even though we may know this, we may sometimes find it difficult to put our knowledge into practice. Believers can come from any culture, any background, all walks of life. Regardless of our differences, we are called to love each and every believer as family.

Ephesians 4:2 is Paul’s instruction on overcoming these differences. We are to approach one another with humility, gentleness and patience. Pride and impatience have no place in the body of Christ and will only cause disharmony and chaos. As 1 Thessalonians 5:11 says “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

A Cheerful Giver

Design by Joshua Wong

 

Paul is writing to the Corinthians to remind them about their previous commitment. Earlier in 2 Corinthians 9:3-4, Paul mentions that he has told the Macedonians about a gift to be received.

Paul’s point in verse 6 is this: The one who sows less seed can expect to have less grain. The one who plants more seed will have a more bountiful harvest. It is true both in a physical and spiritual sense, the more we can “plant” or give out of a willing heart of love for our spiritual siblings, the more that love will bear crops.

However, those results may not necessarily be in the physical wealth and prosperity that we expect. It is instead in a much greater form;  the spiritual lives of the givers and those who receive their gifts. In that sense, money becomes evidence of love given in the name of Christ.

In essence, money and the giving of money becomes evidence of the love the Church has for one another and a testament of Christ’s love on Earth. In this season, do consider giving cheerfully to EAST.

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Eyes on Heaven

In Colossians chapter 3, Paul gives clear instructions to his readers on Christian living. Since believers have been saved by Christ, we should overhaul ourselves to be more like him and less like the world. This verse is the summary of the chapter, telling us focus and think about things above rather than things on Earth.

 

Paul goes on to explain what things above and things on Earth encompass. Colossians 3:5 “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness” speak of things of the Earth. Things which we as believers should put to death. Instead, we should do as Colossians 3:12 instructs “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience”.

 

Above all, we should put on love, for it is how we can stand united as God’s people. Keep our eyes on the things above by doing everything in the name of Christ, and let the word dwell richly in us.

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