Wednesday, December 6
My number one concern
Scripture: Philippians 1-4
Philippians 2: 21 All the others are concerned only with their own affairs, not with the cause of Jesus Christ.
Paul commends Timothy to the Philippians and includes this beautiful but challenging statement: everyone else is concerned only with themselves and their own affairs, not with the cause of Jesus. Oh my! I wonder what Paul would say about me? Am I more like Timothy—Jesus first—or am I me-first?
Here is another example of JOY—Jesus, Others, You. Paul lived this way. He put the cause of Christ ahead of his own interests. This is reflected in:
Philippians 1:12 I want you to know, my brothers and sisters, that the things that have happened to me have really helped the progress of the gospel.
“The things that have happened to me” are Paul’s arrest and imprisonment! He was ok with those because they served the “progress of the gospel.” In other words, Paul was willing to sacrifice his own comfort, freedom and life if it advanced the cause of the gospel.
Could I say the same? Is the cause of Jesus so important to me that I’m willing to sacrifice my own interests?
I’d answer that with an unqualified…maybe. There are times—many times—when I sacrifice to serve Jesus. For example, there are times when I sacrifice my time to serve others—time I’d rather spend on myself. Or I sacrifice money that I’d rather spend on myself to advance the cause of Christ. But there are also times—many times—when my own comfort takes priority.
I’m not sure how to apply this today. I’ll start by praying and asking the Lord to show me where I care more about my own affairs than the cause of Christ. Then I’ll try to put Jesus and His cause first.
Prayer: Lord, I’m deeply challenged, and aware that I have lots of room to grow. Please help me!