From Handbook to Scripture, Day 300
READING: PHILIPPIANS 3
Turning to the problem of legalistic influences, Paul refutes the attempt to attain righteousness through keeping the law, using his own life as an example of the futility of works-based righteousness (3:1–9). Having found true righteousness through faith in Christ, he presses on toward the goal of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (3:10–16). He warns about those who set their mind on earthly things and contrasts this with his passion for heavenly things (3:17–21).
Because of its informality, Philippians does not follow an outline, but quickly moves through a variety of topics. The words “joy” and “rejoice” appear 16 times, and these words capture the spirit of this epistle; Paul learned the secret of being content in any and every situation (4:12), and his single-minded pursuit of the personal knowledge of Christ (3:10) and understanding that to live is Christ and to die is gain (1:21) were at the core of his being.
Prayer: Lord, I lay hold of the righteousness which comes through faith in Christ Jesus. May I know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings.
Meditation passage: verses 3, 8–14, 20–21
The God of the Unexpected
O Lord, You are the God of the unexpected. Often when I think I have a clear idea where my life is heading, You intervene in surprising and creative ways. When this happens, I am reminded again that my field of vision is so bounded that I can only see as far as the first bend in the road ahead. You have said that my faith in You is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. When I hope in You, I hope in what I do not yet see, and I pray that I will persevere in waiting eagerly for the realization of all that You have promised. To trust in what You call me to do and to obey Your direction often does not make sense in the eyes of the world. Nevertheless, having come to faith in Christ Jesus, I know that I have no other viable option than to echo Mary’s words: Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to Your word.
From Handbook to Renewal
Focus: The Character I Want to Cultivate—Godliness and Reverence
The righteousness of the blameless makes a straight way for them, but the wicked will fall by their own wickedness. (Proverbs 11:5)
He who trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf. (Proverbs 11:28)
In the way of righteousness there is life, and in that pathway there is no death. (Proverbs 12:28)
Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people. (Proverbs 14:34)
The Lord is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayer of the righteous. (Proverbs 15:29)
All a man’s ways are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the motives. (Proverbs 16:2)