Daily Verse – Philippians 2:3

YouVersion

Do nothing according to eritheian – self ambition.

The two occurrences of this word, here and James 3:4 – are better understood as strife or contention.

Don’t act if it is a result of, or results in, faction or intrigue – being contentious or continuing in opposition.

Instead, act in humility – tapeinophrosune – modesty or humbleness of mind.

There are three occurrences of this word in the N.T.

This verse is often used to teach that as Christians we shouldn’t argue or be in opposition to things.

Jesus shows his opposition to many things in the Gospels – prejudice, bad religion, not supporting and helping others, and many more.

Paul tells us here to be open and honest in our opposition, doing it from a place of humility and honesty, not by intrigue and deception.

We are not to revel in our opposition but in respect of situation and those involved.

Daily Verse – Colossians 4:6

Colossians 4:6 https://my.bible.com/bible/113/COL.4.6

The Apostle Paul is talking again about proclaiming the mystery of Christ.

He exhorts us to talk about Jesus, the hope of our lives, wherever and whenever the opportunity presents itself. As in yesterday’s verse, we are to always be ready to share our faith, even in the face of opposition.

Today, Paul asks us to have grace in our conversations.

The Greek word is charis and it occurs 24 times in the New Testament and is mostly translated as grace and favour, from God and from ourselves as a result of God in our lives.

Strong tells us that charis is from chairo meaning: of manner or act (abstract or concrete; literal, figurative or spiritual; especially the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; including gratitude).

Our conversations are to have God upon our hearts and be a reflection of Him in our lives.

Daily Verse – 1 Peter 3:15

https://www.instagram.com/p/CNUkBuwrD4P/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

The word which jumps out in this verse, when you read the Greek Interlinear version, is that ‘answer’ is written as ‘defence’.

We are to always be ready to give a defence of the hope we have in Christ.

The word for ‘defence’ in Greek is apologian and only occurs in the New Testament 3 times: 2 Corinthians 7:11, Philippians 1:16, and here in 1 Peter 3:15.

According to Strong’s definition, the word means to give an answer for oneself, to be a clearing of self, or a defense.

The religious hierarchy was very anti the 1st Century Church – remember its actions had led to the leader of The Way – Jesus – being crucified. Saul of Tarsus had led the Judaic witch-hunt of the post-Resurrection followers.

As the Word of God spread out into the Gentile communities there were many other debates and challenges to this new faith. The Book of Acts provides sufficient examples of Paul having to defend his faith.

We are still being challenged to ‘defend’ our faith.

Sometimes this is in the face of violence and persecution, but for most of us it is in the form of the unbelief of those around us and a society which is increasingly humanistic in tone.

Peter challenges us to have our ‘defence’ for our faith in the hope of Christ.

What is your apologian?

What is it in your life, day in and day out, which convinces you to be a follower of The Way of our Lord Jesus Christ?

Verse of the Day: Romans 8:1

https://www.bible.com/en-GB/bible/113/ROM.8.1.NIVUK

In this verse the Apostle Paul uses the Greek work katakrima for the word condemnation.

He tells us there is no condemnation – no penalty, no punishment or penal servitude following from a condemning.

There are only two other usages of katakrima besides this one in the New Testament and both occur in Romans 5:16 and 5:18. Both refer to the penalty of Adam’s sin and how, through Christ, the penalty for that sin has been paid for good.

In some ways this is an easy concept to understand but much more difficult to take on board.

It is as if a stranger had just walked up to you and offered you a £1,000,000. You would be looking around to try and work out what was going on. Really? The money must be fake. There must be a catch.

Paul reassures us, there is no ‘penalty’ for those of us who are in Christ Jesus. Those who are part of the body of Christ. Those of us who find out belief and peace in God through His son.

I love the way The Message Version puts this part of the verse:

‘Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. ‘

https://my.bible.com/bible/97/ROM.8.1-2

How many of us feel as if we are still under that continuous, low-lying black cloud?

The Good News is that we are able to move out from under it into newer, clear blue skies.

The Daily Verse – Acts 20:7

On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight. – NIVUK

Acts 20:7

When you meet with people what do you talk about?

Do you remember the last time you talked until late into the night?

The Apostle Paul was travelling from Philippi, in Greece, back towards Jerusalem.

His journey takes him through Toras, which is in modern Turkey.

Paul stays there with believers for seven days and there is clearly much he wants to say to them.

If we look at the Apostle’s letters to the churches in the New Testament we can gain an idea of many of the things he might have discussed with them.

We are told about a specific day, however. The first day of the week.

Remember this would be a Sunday, as the Jewish Sabbath was counted from Friday evening to Saturday evening.

It is thought that early Christians would still worship in the Synagogues but then meet the following day to break bread and share their faith in Jesus.

Clearly the act of breaking bread was taken from the Last Supper, but when it is frequently mentioned there is generally no reference to the wine.

The believers come together in the remembrance of Jesus and share food and speak of their lives in faith.

Paul has much to tell them and talks with them until midnight.

Again, referring to his letters, it is easy to surmise that Paul could talk until midnight just by himself, but it is far more likely that he was also being asked questions, perhaps asked for his judgement in matters, encouraged to share more stories of other believers and the works of God.

Think about today or, if it is still early, yesterday.

How many people did you talk to? Was it face to face, or via digital technology of some variety?

What did you talk about?

Were any of your conversations with other believers? How much of your conversations were focused on God?

I am sure that the Apostle Paul did talk about other things than the Faith in Christ, but I bet it wasn’t very long before he brought the conversation back around to God.

Paul tells us in a couple of places in Acts that he was zealous for the Law. The Jewish Torah and the Laws were given by God to the people to remind them of how to stay faithful to God.

Paul is no less zealous for the Faith in Jesus after his conversion on the road to Damascus.

The Apostle knows that God and God’s Word should be at the centre of everything you think and say and do. Jesus was the perfect example of this and Paul is trying to imitate him.

Also remember that the Gospels were beginning to be written around this time (Matthew and Mark in the 50’s AD and Luke more likely the 60’s AD) and it is unlikely that places such as Troas had received a full story of Jesus’ life yet without it being given verbally.

Your conversations with fellow Christians are likely to be more engrained in the Faith, and conversations with other people more societally based.

Paul talked with strangers and told them about Jesus. When he met the faithful, he still talked about Jesus.

It may not always be appropriate to tell people about Jesus, but it is appropriate for us to reference our lives by him. We see this most obviously with sports people who make the sign of the cross or point heavenward when something positive happens.

Consider your conversations and where Jesus and God fits into them.

Talk more with believers, even late into the night as Paul did, about Jesus and faith and living your life in both.