“Expectations In Life”

Posted: June 27, 2019 in Christian Life, God's Will, Philippians

Philippians 1:19-26

What do you want to do or accomplish while you’re here on planet earth? What do you dream about? What are you doing to achieve this dream that you have? Are you interested in fame, fortune, power, or pleasure? Would you like to be free from all pain, sorrow, and suffering and have a lot of friends and be able to influence people? What or who motivates you in your pursuit of your dreams – a parent, a teacher, a friend, or perhaps the fear of loss (Acts 4:36; 5:3; Philippians 2:13; 1 Thessalonians 2:11; Hebrews 10:25)? Are you willing to bend the rules (cheat) to accomplish your goals? Do you believe that “the end justify the means” (Romans 3:8; 6:1; 2 Timothy 2:5)? If so, when and why? How have the “religions of man” done this?

If we’re honest, most of us are putting our own desires and pleasures above everyone else’s including God’s desires for us (See what Lucifer did in Isaiah 14:13, 14). We usually want things to go “our way” and not “God’s way” or His will for our lives (See James 4:13-17). But the Lord Jesus Christ, who laid down His life to pay the debt that we owed to God (1 Peter 3:18), has a unique plan for our lives (Ephesians 2:10; See Jeremiah 29:11). He desires that all mankind (men and women, boys and girls) be saved (1 Timothy 2:4). Sadly, most people won’t accept His gift of eternal life because they love darkness rather than light (John 1:12; 3:16-19, 36). He even gave to each true Christian a spiritual enablement (gift) at the time of our salvation so that we could glorify God by making Him known to others whom God brought into existence (Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 12-14; Ephesians 4:11 ff; 1 Peter 4:10) and to help build up (edify) the spiritual “Body of Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:11). See our “Bible Basic Docs” on our website.

Let’s see what the Apostle Paul wanted to accomplish in his own life and his willingness to accept what God allowed to come into it and give thanks (Ephesians 5:20; 1 Thessalonians 5:18; 1 Timothy 2:1). He “turned the lemons he received in life into lemonade.” Are you doing this too?

Assurance. Even though he was under house arrest in Rome (Acts 28:30) because of his faith in the resurrected Christ who had died for our sins and who had been raised from the dead on the third day (2 Timothy 2:8-10), he was quite confident that he would be delivered from his imprisonment and that he would be able to revisit the churches he had started, and start other local churches. He believed that the prayers of the believers in Philippi would be answered by the Lord. “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16). He also believed that God the Holy Spirit and the Lord Jesus Christ Himself were interceding for him to God the Father (Romans 8:26, 35; See Hebrews 7:25).

Magnification. It was Paul’s desire to glorify God and to magnify His name (person and work) to those whom he encountered in life (1 Corinthians 10:31; Psalm 34:3). He did this with boldness even though he was bound (chained) to a Roman soldier night and day (Philippians 1:14, 16). Think about what that must have been like if it had happened to you. (How would your behavior change if you knew that Jesus was chained to you? Actually, God the Holy Spirit indwells each believer, and is grieved when we sin – Ephesians 4:30; 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20)? Paul was not ashamed of Christ or the Gospel which is the power of God unto anyone’s salvation who believes in/on Him alone for salvation (Romans 1:16; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). He wasn’t going to let fear or shame deter His witness for Christ (2 Timothy 2:7; Romans 1:16, 17). With cheerfulness and clarity he spread the Gospel to those whom he encountered along life’s path (Philippians 4:4).

Life/Death. It mattered not to Paul whether he lived or died. To die meant to be present with the Lord immediately (2 Corinthians 5:1-8). The Bible doesn’t teach “Purgatory.” Physical death was a door into eternity. If God wanted him to live a little longer on earth (1 Thessalonians 4:14; Revelation 1:18) he would use that time to reach more people for Christ and edify them in the faith. Christ was the source of his life (Galatians 2:20), and pleasing Him was paramount (2 Corinthians 5:9).

Dilemma. Living and remaining on earth would mean continued bodily limitations, suffering and joy, being absent from Christ, and being in Satan’s realm. Dying would mean that he would receive a better, temporary body (2 Corinthians 5:1-9) to house his soul and spirit in heaven until the time of the rapture when he would receive a resurrected, glorified body like Christ’s (1 John 3:2; 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52). It would mean joy and no more suffering, to be present with Christ forever, to be separated forever from sin, but no more opportunities to overcome sinful temptations and earn rewards, crowns, or praise from God (James 1:12), and no weak Christians to help (Galatians 6:1 ff).

Confidence. Paul had a quiet confidence that God was going to allow him to remain on earth a little longer so he could assist believers in the faith. The Jews who were intent on killing him had a weak case against him and couldn’t prove the accusations that they made against him.

Time. We all have 24 hours each day and 168 hours in a week. What are you doing with the time God has given to you? Don’t “kill time.” Are others learning about God from the words you speak and from the life you live? Does dying frighten you? If so, why? Have you been “born again from above” (John 3:3-7; 1 Peter 1:23) by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on the third day? Perhaps you know these facts and believe these facts. But have you transferred your faith and trust over to Christ alone to save you? Are you trying to earn your way to heaven (Ephesians 2:8-10; Titus 3:5)? Are you “believing in vain” by adding to or subtracting from the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:2)? What are your thoughts about heaven and the lake of fire (hell)? Do they line up with the Scriptures (Matthew 25:30, 41, 46; Luke 16:19-31; John 14:1-3; Acts 7:55; Hebrews 11:10, 16; Revelation 7:9-17; 21:1-17; 22:1-5)? Do they disappear by imagining them away as John Lennon suggested?

Questions. What does God want you to do daily while you are here on earth? What is your reason and purpose for existence? If you’re a true Christian, have you dedicated your body to God as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1, 2)? By when do you hope to achieve the goals that God has put into your heart (See Philippians 2:13; 3:10)? What obstacles are you facing and who does God want you link up with to carry out the good works that God planned for you to do (Ephesians 2:10; 4:11 ff; 2 Corinthians 6:14)? What skills (spiritual gift) do you need to develop? What specific steps are you taking to accomplish His goals for your life (Galatians 5:16, 25)? And why do you want to do these things – to glorify God or yourself (1 Corinthians 10:31; Jeremiah 9:23, 24)? Are you a “wandering generality” or a “meaningful specific”? Do you feel helpless (Romans 5:6), hopeless (Ephesians 2:12), and like you are hell bound (Romans 6:23)? If you are –

Help. We’re here to assist you and others who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). If you’re a true Christian, we’d like to ask you to take this information and pass it on to other believers who are teachable and willing to change. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” Join us on “Facebook” and “Youtube” for our Bible studies. We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com.

Share. We’d like you to memorize this short Gospel presentation and share it with unbelievers as God the Holy Spirit leads you: “Friend, you have sinned. But Christ died for sinners and rose again. Trust Him alone and He will save you eternally. Do it now!” – Dr. Manfred Kober [1]

[1] https://www.faith.edu/1993/02/do-we-really-know-the-gospel/

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