WEEK 5, DAY 5
Silence and stillness before God (2 Min)
Read Philippians 2:19-30
Gospel Friendship, Step 5
Have you ever run a marathon?….ok, maybe a 10k…5k? So, let’s pretend you have run a race. You will discover something incredible. No, not the urge to stop and eat a pizza, but the surge of energy you get as you approach the finish line. Usually it’s lined with scores of people cheering you on to the finish. It’s exhilarating. That’s what Paul is calling the church in Philippi to do with Epaphroditus: encourage him with a grand welcome, and the best they could give.
Listen to the words of Martin Luther.
Others might tell me I am a failure, an idiot, a clown, evil, incompetent, vicious, dangerous, pathetic etc., and these words are not just descriptive: they have a certain power to make me these things, in the eyes of others and even in my own eyes, as self-doubt creeps in and the Devil whispers in my ear.
But God’s speaks louder, and his word is more powerful. You may call me a liar, and you speak truth, for I have lied; but if God declares me righteous, then my lies and your insult are not the final word, nor the most powerful word. I have peace in my soul because God’s word is real reality. That’s why I need to read the Bible each day, to hear the word preached each week, to come to God in prayer, and to hear words of grace from other brothers and sisters as I seek to speak the same to them. Only as God speaks his word to me, and as I hear that word in faith, is my reality transformed and do the insults of others, of my own sinful nature, and of the evil one himself, cease to constitute my reality. The words of my enemies, external and internal, might be powerful for a moment, like a firework exploding against the night sky; but the Word of the Lord is stronger, brighter, and lasts forever.
We need to be givers of words of encouragement and receivers of words of courage!
Who are the friends that Christ has put in your life?
How are you encouraging them in their walk with Jesus?
How do you need their words of courage?
Refer to back page for guidance.