(Note: Pastor Ben’s sermon series runs all the way through Easter. We are on a 60 Day Journey with Jesus as he appeared in the letters of the New Testament. Through seeing Jesus in the letters of the New Testament we are learning how the way of Jesus was lived out in the early church which in turn will help us better live out the way of Jesus as his people today. This week’s Devotionals are borrowed from a Devotional set from a few years ago. It should serve us well as we see how the way of Jesus as he made it known when he was here manifests itself in the Prison Epistles.)

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now. Philippians 1:3-5

You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything. 1 Thessalonians 1:6-8

Today’s thoughts from today’s verses:

There is a poem that goes something like this: “Only one life, will soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.” It is a tremendous thing when a person comes to the spot where they want the message of this poem to be true for their life. However, if we could somehow search out the truth, I think we would find that almost everyone that gets to this spot gets to another spot, a spot of frustration and weariness. Living life “for” Christ becomes a real burden at first until there is a transformation of our understanding of the word “for” that God brings about. The problem lies in limiting our thoughts about living “for” Christ to simply the “mission” He has for us. It is absolutely essential that in our understanding of “for” we include the “means” as well as the “mission” we seek to pursue. When we try to fulfill the “mission” God has for us without using the “means” He has for us, frustration and weariness are inevitable. We need the poem as it is to remind us of our “mission” in life, but the following rendering of the poem brings the “means” of our mission more clearly into view: “Only one life, will soon be past. Only what’s done “by” Christ will last.” Our “mission” is a redemptive one whereby people come to Christ but Christ must be the one and only “means” of our mission. This is the focus of this week’s Devotionals.

Today’s prayer response from today’s thoughts:

Lord, I do want to become the redemptive vessel you have in mind for me to become. Please, show me what this is really all about. Keep me going further and further in this journey of living fully for you. It is all about you, through you, and for you. Thank you for redemption and the awesome adventure of you in sharing it with the world. Amen!