Bible Study & Devotional 275
Guiding Scripture: Philippians 3:10-11 ‘I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.’
🔴 Self-Emptying Love
written by: Torrie Slaughter
“To know Christ means coming to the end of ourselves.” I didn’t comprehend the full measure of that statement at the time. The revival I attended years ago had a theme Die to Self’. A banner hung high on the church building and echoed throughout the hallways and sanctuary. It was a bold command and one that made my young adult self uncomfortable. I was trying to figure out who I was, and this church told me to ‘kill it’?
However, as I sat on the chapel pew in an unfamiliar city with a college friend, I was afraid. I didn’t know what to expect. And then, the pastor presented the sermon focusing on Paul’s letter to the Philippians and many passages supporting the glorious reward of imitating Christ. It was that message I heard in late 1996 that chipped away at my arrogant, self-serving desires.
Dying to Self
Luke 9:23 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
John 12:24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
John 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease.”
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Psalm 116:15 Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.
John 3:16-17 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
Letter to the Philippian Church
The Apostle Paul had many reasons to boast about his credentials to teach and his faithfulness to God the Father. However, he called it all garbage (Philippians 3:8) compared to knowing Jesus our Savior. What a transforming idea?! Humbling ourselves by exclaiming the gifts, strengths, talents, and wisdom we have comes from God. And that through His Son Jesus, we have the opportunity to help others understand the Kingdom of God is near and real. Wow!
Accepting Jesus into our hearts and following His example of self-emptying love will not be a perfect journey. But, our daily walk to prioritize the cross and suffer the pain of separating from worldly ideas is victory.
How does Philippian 3 help us?
Through powerful statements, testimonies, reminders, and warnings:
- Stop trusting our flesh and look to Jesus. (Philippians 3:4-6)
- Count all things unto the Lord through Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:7-11)
- By honoring our calling, and pressing toward conforming with Jesus’s death on the cross will increases our loveliness. (Philippians 3:12-14)
- Be mindful of our influencers and strive to be like Christ in all circumstances. (Philippians 3:15-19)
Remember, we have victory in Jesus, and our citizenship is in Heaven. No matter our age, we can still press forward to know Jesus better.
Prayer: Father, help us not prefer works to suffering, strength to weakness, or wisdom to folly. We do not want to get swept away in the applause of our work and become enemies of the cross. Keep us near to your will. Amen.
🔴 The Bible In A Year Daily Reading Plan
Isaiah 66:1-24, Philippians 3:4-21, Psalm 74:1-23, Proverbs 24:15-16
This devotional was written by Torrie Slaughter the founder of Our Given Purpose® for A Daily Purpose Bible Study & Devotional. Want to hear more? Tune in on Mondays and listen to Our Given Purpose the Podcast and on Fridays to Talking on Purpose with Torrie the Podcast & Internet Show. Torrie also hosts a YouTube channel of the same name.
Yes, citizens of the everlasting, 🙏🏾🎉