ADORATION – Reflect on God’s Greatness
GOD IS SOVEREIGN God approves and determines every action necessary for the existence and activity of himself and all creation.
Scripture frequently indicates God’s will as the final or most ultimate reason for everything that happens. Paul refers to God as the one “who accomplishes all things according to the counsel of his will” (Ephesians 1:11). The phrase here translated “all things” (ta panta) is used frequently by Paul to refer to everything that exists or everything in creation (for example, Ephesians 1:10, 23, 3:9, 4:10; Colossians 1:16, 17; Romans 11:36; 1 Corinthians. 8:6, 15:27–28). The word translated “accomplishes” (energeō, “works, works out, brings about, produces”) is a present participle suggesting continual activity. Paul’s statement might be more explicitly translated, “who continually brings about everything in the universe according to the counsel of his will.”
Praise God because He is Sovereign
Praise God because He sees every action. Praise God that He is the one who reigns over every action and over all of the universe. Praise God that He is constant in His sovereignty.
CONFESSION: Confess your sins to God and receive his continued mercy.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
THANKSGIVING: Giving thanks to God for his specific blessings in our lives.
“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” Psalm 100
SUPPLICATION: Bringing our requests to God.
- Bring your personal prayer requests to God.
- Pray for Sarah H. as she serve overseas. Ask God to encourage her and direct her.
Philippians 3 New International Version
No Confidence in the Flesh
Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you. 2 Watch out for those dogs, those evildoers, those mutilators of the flesh. 3 For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh— 4 though I myself have reasons for such confidence.
If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.
7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in[a] Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Following Paul’s Example
15 All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained.
17 Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. 18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
Physical threats bring about a natural flight/fight/freeze response in our bodies. This happens automatically. We can train ourselves to respond more strategically to the automatic response to a certain degree. For instance, soldiers can, through mental and physical training, learn to think and respond in threatening circumstances versus just react. This respond versus react is, as I said, a matter of training over time. The same principle applies to other kinds of threats: spiritual, relational, emotional. We can train to respond and not merely react. This is part of what Paul had in mind when he said we are to “train for godliness.” (1 Tim. 4:7). Part of this training is to continually “rejoice in the Lord.” We can come to think of this “rejoicing” as merely a sort of “spiritual” exercise. That is something that has largely symbolic value rather than practical impact. Sort of like the tendency to see worship in community as “nice” but not “necessary.” This is not at all the reality of what happens in worship or in “rejoicing.” We are, as we rejoice, aligning our minds and hearts with what is actually true about the world. God is worthy to be rejoiced in. In addition, we are training our heart/mind response to the various threats and opportunities we encounter in the world. Do you want to become “better” at responding to life events? One way to do this is to practice rejoicing in the Lord. You can start now if you like.