June 29 – In Spirit and Truth


“For we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh,” – Philippians 3:3 (NASB)

Our verse selected today is straightforward and direct. It pulls no punches presenting truth. But first, let’s understand the first phrase. When God commanded of Abraham to perform circumcision on every male child on the eighth day after birth, it was to be established as a covenant sign. The practice wasn’t foreign in the culture of that time but it was given by God with special religious significance. Physical circumcision identified a male as belonging to the physical and ethnic lineage of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Israel). Christians are not commanded to abide by the physical act. But it is a spiritual characteristic of a person whose wages of sin has been forgiven and removed. We find three proofs of a true believer. First: “worship in the Spirit of God” means we render inner and respectful spiritual service with our spirit as one with the Spirit of God. Second: “glory in Christ Jesus” means⸺to boast with exultant joy⸺giving all the credit for all that we are to Christ Jesus. Third: “no confidence in the flesh” references our unredeemed humanness, ability, and achievements apart from God. It’s us trying to prove ourselves good enough for God’s approval.

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Philippians,worship,glory,confidence,

June 5 – Our Source of Being


“In him we live and move and have our being; – Acts 17:28a (ESV)

For the second time the Apostle Paul in traveling in Asia Minor preaching the Gospel. He is in Athens waiting for Timothy and Silas to join him. Our verse today is a very small part of the speech that the apostle Paul gave on Mars Hill* in Athens, Greece. Recorded in Acts 17. Some Athenians who enjoyed spending “their time in nothing other than tell or hearing something new (v. 21)” invited Paul to explain what he was teaching. Paul took the opportunity to tell them about the one true God. We worship the true God about whom the apostle Paul was speaking. What He said about God is true for us today. Our God has given us life when we were born and He gives us life every day. We don’t live on our own. And we even live by the strength that God gives us to live the moments through each day. As we keep this promise in the top of our minds, we also develop and appreciation of His involvement in our lives, God’s presence with us become more precious. For it is in Him that we have our being.

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*Mars Hill is the Roman name for a hill in Athens, Greece, called the Hill of Ares or the Areopagus
More about Paul’s talk on Mars Hill.

 February 1 – Truthfully Worshiping In Spirit

“God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” – John 4:24 (NASB)

Worship is an essential element of the life of all who truly believe by faith in Jesus. True faith cannot be separated from the act of worship and remain true faith. We worship not what is a physical or material nature. We worship The Spirit with our spirit. Much more than the popular use of the word ‘spiritual’ which describes some metaphysical feeling or sense of being beyond the physical. This verse represents the classical statement on the nature of God as Spirit. The phrase means that God is invisible as opposed to physical or material. Therefore, when we worship God there is only one absolutely necessary way⸺we must worship God in spirit and truth. That may well relegate much of the ‘acts of worship’ used to day to the ‘unnecessary category.’ While these may help us focus on God, they are a physical and material means. The word “spirit” does not refer to the Holy Spirit but to our human spirit. Jesus’ point here is that a person must worship not simply externally with traditionalism to religious rites and rituals or places and outward appearance but inwardly (“in spirit”) with the proper heart attitude. 

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December 28 – The Wise Believe

“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.”” Matthew 2:102 (NASB)

Who were these magi that came from far away to worship Jesus and why did they come anyway? They came as a lesson to us that Jesus’ coming as a human to earth was for the whole world. Promises for Israel and promises to the whole world. Though not all scholars agree on the timing of the arrival of the Magi from the East, they apparently came some time after the birth of Jesus. Jesus and Mary and Joseph, though still in Bethlehem, were now in a house (Matthew 2:11), and Jesus was called a Child (Matthew 2:9,11) rather than a newborn Infant,(Luke 2:12). Because traditional images and nativity settings as well as Christmas time programs merge the birth of Jesus with the visits of the shepherd and the magi we think it all happened rather close to the same time. How many came? We do not know. The three gifts given by the maji has become the reason we think of “Three Kings.” They were not even kings but were “A caste of wise men specializing in astronomy, astrology, and natural science.” Calling them “wise men” is a more accurate identification.

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