Friday August 19, 2016.
Author : Bishop Julius Okarike
Verse Of The Day : And what you learned and received and heard and saw in me, do these things. And the God of peace will be with you.- Philippians 4:9 (NET)
LISTEN : Mankind has the propensity to learn fast the bad. We tend to be comfortable with sin than we’re with morality and righteousness. However, we all have equal opportunity to learn the good instead of the bad by imitating the good and exercising ourselves in godliness. Apostle Paul in his epistle to the Philippians said, “Those things which you have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do” (Philippians 4:9). This simply means that we should imitate what we witnessed in him, and what we have learned of him in the epistles, and what we have heard about him both in principle and practice: those we should practice ourselves. The word imitate is to copy someone’s behaviour or appearance, etc. It is to do the same thing as someone. Paul want us to copy his godly lifestyle as Christians. But why should he urge us to imitate him? It’s because himself has equally imitated Christ. Apostle Paul is known for spreading the gospel of Christ to the gentiles. He was often afflicted and persecuted; however, he never stopped to bring the good news of the kingdom to the unsaved.
Besides, he was kind, loving, generous, encouraging, compassionate, forgiving and caring to the Churches he established and people around him. In spite of his series of afflictions and trials, he remained faithful to his calling and missions. Hence, he want us to imitate all that he had demonstrated, that is, his uniform conduct. Today, it’s very rare to see people who can urge others to imitate all that they have seen in them, and learned from them, and heard of them. Only the consciousness of a pure and upright heart can encourage that.
In the same verse, he stated the benefits we’ll receive when we imitate him: he said, “And the God of peace shall be with you” (Philippians 4 : 9b). When you choose to live in line with the will of God like Paul, you’re sure to experience the peace of God. Many unnecessary battles that people fight today in their lives is because they lack the peace of God. Peace belongs to God and it’s a blessing from Him (Hebrews 13 : 20-21; 1 Thess 5:23). Beloved, the way to obtain the blessing – the God of peace, is to lead a holy life and to perform with faithfulness all the duties which we owe to Him and to our fellow men.
Having read today’s devotional, what are you expected to do?
1. Always exercise yourself in godliness and grow in His grace.
2. Imitate the good and shun the bad.
3. Don’t stop to be good because of persecutions and trials, rather fulfill God’s purpose no matter what.
Daily Task : Be kind, loving, generous, encouraging, compassionate, forgiving and caring to the people around you and to all.
Daily Reflection : He or she whose heart is devoid of the peace of God, will inevitably and continously experience an endless conflicts and confusion in life.
Prayer : Most high God, I ask for grace to imitate the good and shun the evil in Jesus ‘ name, amen.
Prophetic Word : Today, I decree upon your life, the grace to do the right is released upon you in Jesus Christ ‘ name.