READ: Philippians 2:19–3:11
THINK: What are the most important things in your life–the people, the passions, the priorities, the possessions? What motivates and excites you most? These are the things that could potentially control you if you’re not careful. But the crucial question is where all of this stands in regard to your relationship with Jesus. Many things in your life may be worthwhile and important, but none should compare to Christ. Your devotion to Him should be in a class by itself–far above anything else. Is your passion to know Jesus the ultimate priority in your life? And is that priority evident in the way you spend your time, efforts and resources? If not, what changes are in order?
RESPOND: In what way was Timothy a great example to all followers of Jesus? (See 2:19 and 2:21 notes.) Why is it often good to hear the same challenges and instructions repeatedly (v. 1)? Who were “those mutilators of the flesh” and how were they distorting the gospel message? (See 3:2 note.) What does it mean that Paul and other true believers “put no confidence in the flesh” (v. 3)? What was Paul’s greatest desire in life? (See 3:8-11.) How did everything else in Paul’s life compare to his relationship with Jesus? How do Paul’s attitudes and priorities serve as an example to all Christians? What is “the righteousness that comes from God”? (See 3:9 note.) Why and in what way does this come only by faith in Christ? What does it mean to “know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings”? (See 3:8-11 note, sub points 3 & 4.)
PRAY: Pray that your priorities and affections will always remain in proper perspective so that nothing in your life compares to your devotion to Christ. Ask God to help you live in a way that is worthy of demonstrating His power. Give Jesus thanks for the privilege of identifying with Him through suffering.
ACT: Pick up where you left off yesterday. Continue to set a good example of putting others ahead of yourself and looking out for their good. If there is anything in your life that has taken priority over your devotion and service to Christ (consider your use of time and resources), make a definite change to put things in their proper place.