Stand Firm


Context: Philippians 1: 1-30
Focus: Philippians 1:27-30

“Conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.
Philippians 1:27 (My Emphasis)

Paul is exhorting the church in Philippi to stand together in their faith while conducting their lives in a manner worthy of the gospel message they received that made them citizens of heaven .

When anyone hears the gospel message of Christ and believes, they are transferred into the heavenly places where Christ is seated. They are in the world but not of the world. They join the ranks of believers whose mindset becomes firm and steadfast in keeping the faith that through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ they have been saved.

There is no isolated believer who can attempt to keep the faith of the gospel.  Throughout the scripture Jesus emphasizes becoming one with one another in love and in the faith that makes us inseparable. We are in the Body of Christ and can do nothing without the strength of Christ, and the support of one another.  When one suffers in the Body, all suffer, and when one rejoices, all rejoice.  Living independently, wandering off, makes a child of God weak and vulnerable.  It’s like a lamb going off and leaving the flock, which the wolf goes after as prey.

The Body of Christ is like a vast army having one mind and purpose, conducting themselves as worthy of the gospel which a believer is saved. Those in faith are no longer citizens of this world but make-up God’s Kingdom, where He reigns.

The strategy of the enemy is to cause conflict and fear and sow the seed of pride into the Body of Christ, causing division and the scattering of the flock, to keep us apart.  The strategy of the Holy Spirit is to sanctify us and make us holy, steadfast in our love for one another and in sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.

CR – Ephesians 6:11, Ephesians 6:13, 1 Peter 5:9, 1 Corinthians 15:58,
1 Corinthians 16:13, Philippians 4:1, Philippians 3:20, Ephesians 6:12,
John 17: 20-21, 1 Chronicles 12:22


Lord, please remind us to be not only steadfast in our faith and in sharing the gospel but to conduct our lives, worthy of our salvation, and to love one another with a fervent love which does not fail but wins, remembering, we are loved, unconditionally.
In Jesus Name.
( Psalm 98:1)

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His Diamond in the Rough

Context: Ephesians 3: 1-21
Focus: Ephesians 3: 8-10

“To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God, who created all things, so that through the church the manifold (multifaceted) wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.” (My Emphasis)

Characteristics of a Diamond: hard, transparent, multifaceted, projects light,  precious stone, clear

Characteristics of the Church: (Christ’s Body) – perseverance, multifaceted, precious stones, resolute, light, God’s Jewel, Adamant

Paul was given the grace to preach to the Gentiles and to everyone the unsearchable or hidden riches (treasures) of Christ and to bring to light what God had planned through His Church, God’s manifold wisdom, to now be understood by the rulers and authorities in high and heavenly places.

God called into place every precious stone to form the church revealing the mystery of the ages – His redemption and plan to save everyone who responds to His Call.  When we are called to salvation we find our place in His Body. Each member of His body reveals the truth concerning Jesus Christ by displaying the truth through their unique gifted life. When the church is one body its light is brilliant and direct like the multifaceted cuts within a diamond. Each facet gives off light, being transparent in revealing Christ through the purification of His Holy Spirit. The Lord calls us who are in the world, out of the world to display His Glory.  It is to His glory we live a sanctified life, our good deeds shine brightly. This oneness and brilliance make clear His plan of redemption to those above the earth and on the earth and it is to His delight His Bride’s perseverance for His Holiness is displayed. (Ephesians 2:10)

CR – 1 Corinthians 2:7, Ephesians 1:3, Colossians 2:10, 1 Peter 1:12,
Zechariah 9:16, Romans 11: 25-30, Titus 2:14, 1 Corinthians 12:4,
1 Peter 2: 4-5, Hebrews 12:1-2, Zechariah 12:3, Revelation 3:10

Lord, thank you that you complete the work you begin in every child of God. Keep cutting and chipping away at my character so I may be part of the sparkle of your Body that dazzles the unbeliever and the hosts of heaven to take a closer look into your promise of salvation.

Resources: What Does it Mean to set your face like flint? 

The Church of Christ is Unique

Diamonds in the Rough

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United in Love

Context: Ephesians 2: 1-22

Focus:  Ephesians 2: 17-22

“And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.” 

Through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross He has united both Jew and Gentile.  Those who are in faith are also one, having in common the indwelling Holy Spirit.  This same Holy Spirit teaches all who believe to love one another and God – thus fulfilling the commandments of Christ.  Jesus has fulfilled the law and all the requirements for justification, so that both those of the first covenant would be reconciled to God the Father in not by keeping the law but by keeping the faith in His Salvation- in Jesus Christ.  Therefore, the law has been kept because the requirement for forgiveness of sin was accomplished by Christ’s sacrifice- the shedding of blood. Now both Jew and Gentile are reconciled to one another and to God the Father through the sacrifice of God’s only Son.  The barrier has been demolished, the hostility is gone.  And the world will know who are Christ’s disciples because they have love for one another.

Paul was a scribe and a Pharisee who knew the law inside and out.  But when He came to faith in Jesus Christ He put all his credentials and knowledge of the scriptures, aside, because they added nothing to the knowledge of God’s Salvation through the saving Grace of Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 1:20-1 Corinthians 2:2)

“His Cross” is a Positive Sign

There is no hierarchy in the Kingdom of God.   All who come to faith are neither Jew nor Gentile, male or female, slave or free, but one in Christ Jesus – the children of God.
(Galatians 3:28 )

Where a body of believers are united the body is strong,  and the battle is won when everyone is of the same mind, united in love. But the body is weakened when it succumbs to division and strife.  The glue that binds us together is love. That is why Jesus emphasized before His ascension to His followers to love one another.  It was not a suggestion but His commandment, because Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13: 1-13 )

“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”
John 17: 20-23

One of the most strategic ploys of the devil is to cause division among believers and families.  If a believer succumbs to fear, there is strife, mistrust, confusion and chaos.  It is as though a very strange thing is happening that catches you off guard.  But by loving one another we are united not in ourselves but in Christ.  So the defense of the believer is to forgive and to love which no weapon of the devil can defeat.  For the knowledge of God’s perfect love (unconditional) casts out all fear and faith in His love and for one another is His perfect shield.

CR- Matthew 22: 37-40, Hebrews 9: 21-22, John 13: 34-45

Lord, I praise you for your salvation and for placing me in your body where all who are in faith are joined together through your love.  Remind me to at all times to love where there is no law, and no weapon can defeat.  (1 Corinthians 13: 1-13)

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His Workmanship

Context: Ephesians 2: 1-10
Focus: Ephesians 2: 8-10

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”
Ephesians 2: 8-10 (My Emphasis)

Salvation comes to only those who believe God’s gospel message concerning His Son, Jesus Christ.  The criteria for salvation is “belief”, faith in His death and Resurrection and the forgiveness of sin.  It is a gift and cannot be earned by any good deed(s).  Once a person comes to faith, he/she becomes a new creature in Christ Jesus to do the good works God has planned for that person, personally.

One of the things I struggled with concerning my faith was whether I could stay “saved”.  But if salvation is a gift that is not earned by my righteousness which is at best like “filthy rags”, then what can I do to remain saved?  It is faith alone that qualifies me for eternal life, which Christ earned for me on the cross when He took my unrighteousness and made me righteous according to His perfect Works in fulfilling the law and God’s perfect sacrifice.  So if I couldn’t do anything to be saved through my own “good” works, I have learned that neither can I keep my salvation by what I do or don’t do.  It is God’s gift, and that gift transforms me into the image of Him who predestined all who believe would be transformed into His righteous image by the work of His Holy Spirit, whom I have received, and therefore my good works are not mine, but His.
And when I see Him I will lay down my crown of righteousness at His precious Feet.

Lord, thank you for your salvation, which I did not earn but received the moment I believed your Word.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  John 3:16

CR – Ephesians 1:13-14, Matthew 7:22-23, Jeremiah 18:4, Romans 8:29, Isaiah 64:6, Philippians 1:6, 2 Corinthians 5:17, 1 John 1:9, Romans 10: 8-10

My Testimony of God’s Salvation


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The Power of His Love

Context: Ephesians 1: 1-23
Focus: Ephesians 1: 19-23

“And what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.” Ephesians 1: 19-21

God’s incredible power is for those who believe.  Now that Jesus is seated in heaven at the right hand side of God the Father, He has all authority and power over everything.  He is the Head of the Church, His Body, and the same power that raised Him from the dead is given to all who come to faith in Him and submit to His awesome love and perfect Will.

“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7

During a time of trial and testing, I was grasping at straws, controlled by my circumstances, I succumbed to fear.  Then I heard the Lord’s small still voice say,
“Believe I am for you.” His voice aligned with His Word –
“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”  Romans 8:31  (My Emphasis)

So when the Lord sends us (believers) out among wolves or we are in a “fiery trial” we know He is in control, and because we are submitted to Him He brings about His perfect will, even when we are weak or fail.  He is strong and nothing can thwart His purpose and Will.  The important thing is to “Wait” on His promptings, and seek Him concerning everything.  Then He goes before you and prepares hearts, moves mountains, and arranges circumstances to bring about what He wants to accomplish through your life that is yielded and still.

“He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10

  What Does it Mean to Wait?

CR – 2 Timothy 1:7, Ephesians 2:6, Isaiah 41:13, 2 Corinthians 12: 9, Philippians 4:13

Lord, thank you for the power of your love in Christ Jesus.  In this we know, love never fails, and if you are for us, nothing can come against us in carrying out your will.


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Context: Ephesians 1: 1-23

Focus: Ephesians 1: 18

“I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.” Ephesians 1:18 (My Emphasis)

Paul exhorts the Ephesians for their strong faith and says he thanks God for them and prays constantly, asking Christ to give them spiritual wisdom and insight so they may grow in the knowledge of God.  He prays their hearts will be flooded with light so they can understand the confident hope He has given to those He called – His holy people who are His rich inheritance.

What is our confident hope, and what is the calling Paul speaks of?  What are God’s people ultimately called to be and to do?
Those who are in faith in Christ Jesus are called heavenward to eternal life,  therefore, the calling is to live a holy life, separated, set-apart, for the Lord’s good pleasure. Those who have answered the call are predestined to bring Him glory, honor and praise for evermore.  The chosen are called to be transformed into the likeness of God’s only Son, and to reign with Him forevermore.
But the scriptures say, many are called by this message of salvation, but few respond and become the chosen elect they were predestined to be through faith in Jesus Christ.
How about you?  Have you answered His Call?

“And that message is the very message about faith that we preach: If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.”
Romans 10: 8-10 

CR –  Matthew 22: 14, 1 Thessalonians 4:7, 1 Peter 2:9, 1 Peter 5:10,
Romans 8: 28-30, Matthew 4: 21-22,  1 Peter 1: 3-5, 1 Peter 1: 13-16

Lord, my hope is in your salvation, alone. My hope is in your calling me out to be your own and with my response to your calling, I know I am heaven bound, and the transformation taking place within me, makes me “holy” in your righteousness, set apart for your praise and glory alone.  Abba Father!

Learn How to “Handle the Word, Exegetically ” and Write Your Own Personal Devotionals

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