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Approve the Things That Are Excellent

May 1, 2019

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Approve the Things That Are Excellent

We live in a world  where we are surrounded by those  who approve of all sorts of things  that God condemns as sin  in His word.     We see those  who think it’s enlightening  to combine Eastern religious practices  with Christianity.     Others claim their  “smart business practices”  are not really dishonest.     Some claiming a higher knowledge  declare that there is no God.     And others tout  that God does not condemn homosexuality.     The proclamations  of mankind  get very complex and diverse  as they declare  that they have discovered ways  that are far superior  to God’s old-fashioned word.

But,  when a person’s eyes,  ears,  mind and heart are opened  to fully realize the eternal truths  of God’s word — in comparison  to the ever-changing ideas of people — we get just a small glimpse  of the power  in everything God sets forth.     When we see God’s power  and the depths  of His love for us,  we have a whole different take  on what the world keeps pushing at us.     Then  we come to understand the grossness  of the world’s ways  in comparison to the goodness and holiness  of God’s ways.

That is what happened  to the Philippians.     They had been Roman idol worshipers  before coming  to faith  in Jesus.     In their changed life style,  they began to display  a true Christian love and faith  that excelled  as they learned more  about God’s love for them  in Jesus Christ.     Now they were totally different  from the unbelieving Roman community they lived in.     So,  when Paul wrote to them  about their new faith  in Philippians 1:9-11 he says,

I pray  that your love may abound still more and more  in real knowledge  and all discernment,  so that you may approve the things  that are excellent,  in order to be sincere and blameless  until the day of Christ;  having been filled  with the fruit of righteousness  which comes  through Jesus Christ,  to the glory and praise  of God.

Paul would pray this for us also,  in this world  of many unbelievers.     People often don’t know enough  about the love and power of God  to “approve the things  that are excellent”.     They just go with the flow  of the world  and have no clue  about how much more excellent God’s ways are.     They have no  “real knowledge  and all discernment”.    

But,  when we come to know the wonders  of God’s love  for us  in Christ Jesus,  there springs up  a godly joy and love  within us.     Then we become filled  with “the fruit of righteousness”.     But,  that has nothing to do  with our efforts  to do good works  all by our own strength.     Every honest  “fruit of righteousness”  that we might have  “comes through Jesus Christ”.     It is not meant  to pat us  on the back  and declare how good we are.     Instead,  it is  “to the glory and praise  of God”.     So,  anything good within us  is a work of God.

That is why it is so important for us  to open up our hearts and minds  to all the truths  and proofs  God has set before us  in His word.     His word gives us life.     As we see what a marvelous gift  God Almighty has given us  in His word,  we say,  “Hallelujah!     My LORD,  everything You say  in Your word  really is so much more excellent  than anything this twisted world  has to offer.     Blessed be Your name  for giving even me  the treasures  of Your word.”

Love,
Margaret

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A Christian devotional to glorify the LORD of lords and God of gods

 

Pray for our country.

 

This is the day which the LORD has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

 

The word of the LORD is tried;
He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.
Psalm 18:30

 

Sing for joy in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming  to the upright.
Psalm 33:1

 

How blessed are those  who dwell in Thy house!
They are ever praising Thee.
Psalm 84:4

 

Just as a father has compassion  on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
Psalm 103:13

 

Oh give thanks to the LORD,  for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Psalm 107:1

 

Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
Psalm 105:3

 

Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that
I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12

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