Where's Your Passion? 4 Points from the book of Philippians: Part 1

The next two posts will be 4 main points from the book of Philippians. It's great to sit and study out a book of the Bible and to glean on what God's Word has to say. As Christians we need to make sure we are spending time with God and we are spiritually feeding ourselves. 

#1 Witnessing - Philippians 1:15 “Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will.”
Soulwinning or simply witnessing to people can be difficult at times. But whatever the cost you need to speak the truth, even if it’s to your best friend. The truth may not be popular or easily accepted but people still need to hear it. All over the Bible it talks about different men and women who stood up for Christ and were not ashamed of their faith. In history many died because they took it seriously and even people then were rejecting what God had to say. People can reject what God has to say, but it’s still the truth. In other words you can run, but you cannot hide. Where’s your passion? What do you want to do with your life? Is God the center? How about the people in your life? Have you witnessed to them? Eventually it will all boil down to will you serve Christ or be like the rest of the world. In 1 Kings 18 it talks about Elijah and the prophets of Baal and how the two were “competing” of who would see fire come down on their altar. You have him (Elijah) who believed in God, you have the followers of Baal and then you have the people who didn’t know what they believed they were just there to watch what was going to happen. You need to choose which side you are on. There’s no way to serve both. Matthew 6:24 says, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” 
For me (Ang) this is something I deal with when I’m out on Saturdays talking to people (I don’t personally know) about Christ. Sometimes it’s hard to say something when you know something is wrong because we don’t like to be confrontational and have to correct people but we like to keep the peace. Just this past Saturday I talked to a man who was upset that we even knocked on his door and said that we were wrong in doing so. As we talked I could see he was holding onto religion and that he wanted nothing to do with God. I assure you that in your life you know someone who isn’t saved and I can promise that at times it will be hard but if you are really their friend, you won’t let them go to hell because you failed to open your mouth.  Matthew 28:19-20  “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” That wasn’t just a commandment for your parents, your pastor, missionaries, or even the disciples but it was written to ALL of us. There are people in the world dying everyday and we have to be out there fighting for their souls. All because someone offends doesn't mean you should stop. They do not know you personally (if you don't know the person) so you shouldn't take what they say to heart. Make it a goal to tell at least 5 people a week about Christ, you can adjust that of course but even telling one person is better then telling no one.

#2 Bitterness - Philippians 3:13 “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.”
Most of us have probably heard the phrase “forgive and forget.” Truth be told that is a hard statement. It’s hard to forgive and it’s almost impossible to forget. We tend to hold grudges and keep to mind every single thing someone says or does to us. God talks about bitterness being something that holds back an individual and if you have ever been bitter, which you probably have, you know that feeling of wanting to stay behind and not moving forward. You need to forgive for a few reasons but one God forgave you when you weren’t worthy of it and just like His example you need to do that to others. It goes along with the Golden Rule. If you want to be forgiven then forgive yourself. In the book of Psalms 66: 18 it says that if we regard iniquity (sin) in our hearts the Lord will not hear us. It puts up a wall between you and the person and also God. If your relationship with God is right then your relationship with people should be right. You can’t have one without the other.
We are all human and humans make mistakes and sin. That is a part of our nature. Of course don’t intentionally go out there and make foolish choices but we will all slip up from time to time. You need to forgive those who wronged you and do your best, ask God, to help you let that go. A situation that you may go through in your life will either bring you closer to God or you’ll leave him because you think He is not listening, watching, or even caring. God uses instances to teach us and mold us into who we are supposed to be. As rough as it may be, there is light at the end of the tunnel and there is hope, he is Jesus Christ.
          I’m constantly reminded of the situations in churches nowadays. Churches have parted over some of the most ridiculous reasons a person could come up with (eg: carpet color). God’s people have allowed childish behavior to hinder a great work of God. If you give the devil room he will find a way to make that bigger. It’s like a hole in your shirt, if you don’t resolve the problem as soon as possible it will stretch until it’s not even fixable but has ruined the entire shirt. If we don’t learn how to forgive and not be bitter it not only infects us but the people around us and our fellow Christians. If there’s one bad apple it can ruin the entire bunch. One negative thing said can change the entire spirit of a group.


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