If any…

As I was in my quiet time this morning I was reflecting on the chaotic nature of the environment of tucking our kids in bed last night and the strife and arguments being had over a petty issue which quickly grew from talking to not quite shouting but loud firm words.

My reading led me to Philippians 2, If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.  Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.  Each should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Well I can honestly say that I was not comforting, tender and compassionate in the heat of the moment.  My own desires to get our kids in bed and myself in bed right after was my goal.  So, in my quiet time this morning I prayed for forgiveness for mis-handling the situation and told our kids I was sorry when I came home from work today.

As the earthly shepherd of my family, I should be giving them a glimpse of our heavenly shepherd.  I should be the safe place my family can come to in time of need.  Unfortunately there’s that whole sin nature thing inside me and its only through constant prayer, discernment and being in the Holy Spirit can I not let me emotions get the best of me.

Jesus was the ultimate example of humility and put our needs and interests ahead of His.  And its only when we humble ourselves and realize that we need Jesus and the Holy Spirit to overcome our sinful nature and realize the God is God and we are not, do we really put others needs ahead of ours.  I remember taking a spinning class many years ago and the instructor would work us out pretty hard.  Parts of the workouts included some sprints on the bike and as we were all breathing hard he would tell us “Your lungs will recover, keep going, just keeping breathing”.  I think Jesus is like that too, saying “trust Me, keep going and it will all work out”.

Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.  But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind me and straining forward to what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 3:13-14.

I hope and pray this encourages you to keep going, pressing on following the calling God has called you for.  Remember the time when things get unpleasant and we turn to Him for strength is when God can do amazing and awesome things.

This is how I fight my battles – Michael W. Smith

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