Philippians 4:4-9; Colossians 3:23-24
From The Pastor Devotionals – Temple Baptist Church in Montreal
At the end of one of his concerts in 1970, Jimmy Hendrix smashed his guitar. Expecting this kind of action, the audience screamed and applauded until they realized that something was wrong.
Suddenly the applause stopped. Hendrix had fallen on his knees and remained in that position, motionless. He finally broke the silence by asking, “If any of you know real peace, I want to meet you backstage.”
Apparently, nobody responded to his startling invitation. Several days later he died from a drug overdose.
Hendrix had everything most people want, except real peace. Even though people talk about peace and joy these days, the world is sinking deeper and deeper into despair and loneliness.
The Apostle Paul wrote to the believers: “My brothers rejoice in the Lord.”(Philippians 3:1) And then he repeated in the next chapter (verse 4): “Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again, Rejoice.”
Paul was experiencing real peace under all kinds of circumstances, including suffering. In Philippians 4:7, we read: “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Paul was a man of action. He did not run away or hide from challenges and duty but, on the contrary, he worked hard to advance the Gospel no matter what.
He did not fear the future. He did not hold back by thinking, “Too many people need Christ and I am only one.”His actions reflected his faith and commitment.
What about my actions? What about your actions? The following suggestions will help and enrich your Christian life:
Do something for Jesus that stretches you. There may be some pain when stretching but the long-term benefits will be worth it.
Do something to enrich and strengthen your Christian life. For example:
- Get serious about studying the Bible.
- Start thinking about and memorizing Bible verses.
- Make a list of your blessings and thank God for them.
- Put away all bitterness and anger. Forgive everyone.
Do something for your family. For example:
- If you owe an apology to a family member make sure you apologize.
- Express appreciation for what loved ones do for you.
- Hug your children and tell them you love them.
- Hug your parents or call or write to them and thank them for their love and prayers or for something they have done to help you.
- Help family members develop their talents.
- Stop complaining and start giving compliments.
- Start having daily devotions with family members.
Do something for your church. For example:
- Write a letter of appreciation to a teacher, musician, worker or leader.
- Volunteer to a need the church has.
- Offer to use your car to bring people to church.
- Visit people who are in physical or spiritual difficulties and advise the church leadership about any needs.
- Increase your giving if you can.
- Refuse to participate in gossip or criticism of members and leaders.
- Use your talents to help and edify the church and our Lord.
- Join or start a prayer group.
Do something to fulfill your responsibility of evangelism. For example:
- Invite friends and neighbours to church.
- Visit a lonely person who needs Christ.
- Start giving out tracts, daily if possible.
- Pray for the special needs of missionaries and workers in the church.
Paul wrote: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.”(Colossians 3:23) Let’s stop being part-time Christians. It is a great honour to be a full-time Christian. A part-time employee does not have any job security or benefits but a full-time employee enjoys all kinds of benefits.
A true believer in Christ is a full-time member of the mighty army of God. “Like a mighty army moves the Church of God”starts the second verse of the familiar hymn “Onward Christian Soldiers.”But, sad to say, often this is not true of churches today. Let it start being true of you and me. Let us live and act as members of the mighty family of God. It is the greatest honour to be a child of God, our Creator and Lord.
Remember: “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”(Philippians 4:13)
Pastor Joseph Hovsepian