Philippians 1:20-26 – Why Am I Here?

Read Philippians 1:20-26

images of people with question marks above their heads in thought bubbles

I can still see myself sitting at the kitchen table in my pajamas as a teen. After everyone had gone to bed, and the house was quiet, I wrote. I wrote a lot of things in a journal questioning my purpose. I suppose you could say I was talking to God on those pages. I may have even written “Dear God” at the top of some of those rants.

Even still today, I ask God daily to show me my purpose, how I can best walk this journey of faith with him close. These words of Paul really resonate with me today, and I feel a kindred spirit with him and how he sees his own journey.

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1 Corinthians 10:23-11:1 – Give Glory to God

Read 1 Corinthians 10:23-11:1

sidewalk chalk art with words "Be Kind"

What if I had titled this reflection, “Be a People Pleaser” instead? After all, Paul does say, “I, too, try to please everyone in everything I do.” Taking that sentence out of context could easily lead us off course. Take careful note of Paul’s motivation. “Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” and “I do what is best for others so that many may be saved.”

Paul’s discussion is still dealing with the idea of eating food used in worship of idols. This seems to be a very serious dispute for the first audience. I’m still grappling with what kind of food that could mean for us today.

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2 Kings 12:17-21 – Overdeliver

Read 2 Kings 12:17-21

many different bright colored wrapped presents with bows, some blurred, some clear

If there had been a kitchen sink, I’m sure Joash would have given that to King Hazael, too. Do you wonder why Joash gave away so much? Was he that afraid that Jerusalem would fall under his watch? Was he prideful, a weak king, or a bit of a coward?

There is a time and a place for overdelivering. In our business, we learned early on that overdelivering makes for happy customers. We always appreciate doing business with people who overdeliver on their promises. It’s like a bonus you weren’t expecting. Here, Joash’s giving away all that has been dedicated seems a bit desperate. Do you think he checked in with God first?

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1 Samuel 17:52-18:4 – New Friends

Read 1 Samuel 17:52-18:4

two cuddly teddy bears sitting in a field, facing away, one posed with it's arm around the other

What a statement David’s actions made that day for the Israelites and the living God. The soldiers didn’t waste any time plundering the deserted camp. I can just imagine the relief they felt. They would not have to endure the bondage that seemed so sure.

It seems for David it was “all in a day’s work.” He carries Goliath’s head like a trophy, yet not with selfish pride but with gratefulness to God for giving him the strength. David’s deed had obviously caught Saul’s attention. Saul wanted to know everything about David. There doesn’t appear to be any recognition or association with the harp player, David. We see two, distinctly different sides of the same man in the accounts we’ve been reading.

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1 Samuel 12:1-25 – Samuel Remembers, We Remember

Read 1 Samuel 12:1-25

The word GOD inside a red heart shape with a blue hazy background around it

Samuel still carries a lot of weight with the people. We see clearly he is respected as well. He has done nothing overtly sinful for which the people seek revenge or retribution. Do you have someone in your life that you look up to and respect? I know we are all sinful, but there are people who don’t have “visible” sins that adversely affect other people. Samuel was this and so much more.

Samuel is going to take this opportunity to point out a couple things to the people, aside from his good reputation. That is, the importance of remembering what God has done and being faithful followers. You can sum up what Samuel impressed upon the people that day in those two things.

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