Friday 29 October 2010

Bible Book:

"And this is my prayer: that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight, to help you determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless" (v.9)

Philippians 1:1-11 Friday 29 October 2010


Pure and blameless - I have typed that phrase in a very fewseconds, and it seems so simple. Purity is about cleanliness andbeing without blemish. Blamelessness is about being in a positionwhere we cannot be accused of wrongdoing. It all sounds so easy.How difficult can it really be? All we have to do is follow therules and live fully immersed in God's love. 

It sounds so possible, and yet I know that I cannot honestlydescribe myself as either pure or blameless. I am a sinner, and Irecognise that I cannot blame anyone else for many of the things Iget wrong. Has God set me an impossible task?

Paul's letter to the Philippians opens with wonderful assurance ofthe grace of God. It is in this grace that God gives us everythingwe need to succeed in living pure and blameless lives. Paul iswriting from prison, where he is confined and chained, yet he isstill concerned for the Christian community he loves so much. He isceaseless in prayer (verse 3), and asks God to surround each personwith love, and to give each person insight to know what is best.Best can mean right, but it can also mean most important. One ofthe blessings of grace is the ability to know what is important inour lives and give it the time and attention it needs. By focussingon what is good in my life, I am given the strength to avoid thosethings that are damaging and sinful. It is in this focus on goodthat we are able to strive towards purity and blamelessness. Theseare the fruits of living in God's love.

To Ponder

Sometimes it feels as though living a pure andblameless life is an impossible task. In what ways can you seekstrength and discernment when times get tough?

Paul continued to live as an active Christianeven though his body was confined in a prison cell. Are there timeswhen you need to think creatively about how to serve God? What isthe outcome?

God gives us the tools we need to decide what ismost important in our lives. Thank God for whatever it is thatmatters most to you today.

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