Begin today's devotional by reading Philippians 1:1-11
I'm sure you've heard the phrase, "blood is thicker than water." This phrase means that when it comes down to having to choose loyalty or make a decision, family is chosen above anyone or anything else. Maybe you've felt it in your own life. I know I've had various situations where I wish I could be in two places at once, but honestly, the family choice is the only answer.
I also have some friends who may as well be family. We have been friends for so long, and will be for the rest of our lives. Even if we see each other once a year, we pick up right where we left off, know what each other is thinking or feeling, and are so close that other people assume we are cousins or related somehow.
I love this section of Philippians where Paul is so thankful for the church in Philippi that he says, "I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy." (vs. 3-4). Are there people in your life that make you feel the same way? Every time you think of them, you are thankful to God and filled with joy? I hope so! If not, I encourage you to pray that God would surround you with family and friends who love you with an inexplainable unending love.
In addition to family, and close friends who could be family, have you ever gone on a mission trip or traveled somewhere and met other Christ-followers? Did you have that instant connection or that feeling like you've known each other forever? I know it's happened to me throughout my life.
Several years ago, my husband and I went on a mission trip to Mexico. There were two host missionary families that we connected with and still stay in contact with today. When we met them, it seems like we skipped right to the "we're family now" feeling before the week of serving even started. And we aren't family, we're not blood-related...or are we? We are blood-related. And that blood is the blood of Christ!
The blood of Jesus has given us each grace and hope and true meaning in our lives. And God has given us countless brothers and sisters, blood-related family, that we should love and encourage with everything we have. It is unfortunate when petty issues divide us, and unforgiveness reigns. We need to rise above whatever differences are going on and realize that blood is thicker than water. Right now, is just a breath of time, we have all eternity to spend together so let's start the healing process.
Spend some time thanking God today for those He has put in your life. If there is anyone you need to forgive, ask God to help you. If there's anyone who you need to ask for forgiveness, ask God to help you.
I encourage you to pray the last verses of this passage over each of them.
"And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God." (vs. 9-11)
"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." Philippians 4:8
I love coffee! For me, it's a must-do for every morning. If I don't have at least one cup, the day is going to be a little off without my needed dose of caffeine. Lately, I've been trying to watch my spending so have been making a lot more coffee in the regular coffee maker with coffee grounds and good old-fashioned coffee filters instead of my single serve machine.
And you know what I don't love? Drinking my delicious coffee, taking in every sip, and when I get to the bottom, discover that coffee grounds got into my cup, and I have to go spit them out in the sink. Gross! This hasn't happened in awhile, but when it does, I go over and check the status of the coffee maker. Sure enough, in the process, the weight of the water pushed down the edge of the coffee filter, and some grounds snuck into the pot and then ended up in my cup. It kind of ruins my relaxing start to the day.
Filters of all kinds, are so helpful. They separate the bad from the good, the truth from the lies, the wanted from the unwanted. We use coffee filters, air filters, water filters, and more. Why do we sometimes forget to use filters when we are speaking or posting on social media?
As Christians, the most important filter we can use is the Bible. If anything we hear contradicts the Bible, it isn't true. Therefore, we shouldn't repeat it. If anything we hear contradicts God's view of those He created in his image, it isn't true. Therefore, we shouldn't repeat it.
Philippians Chapter Four provides us with a great filter to protect our thinking and speaking. If anything isn't excellent or praiseworthy or admirable or true, we shouldn't think about it, let alone say it. It harms others and it harms ourselves.
I want to encourage you to start using God's Word as a filter more intentionally before you speak or share things on social media. See how it changes your life and changes the lives of those around you.