Devotion – December 2, 2015 – Do Everything Without Complaining

philippians2_14-15Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.
—Philippians 2:14-15

I was amazed a few weeks ago when my daughter (6 yrs old) was asked to choose a Bible verse, any Bible verse, for a school project, she chose this verse (the first part).  I promise, her mother and I didn’t choose it for her, but we loved the opportunity it gave to talk about arguing and complaining.

What’s Your Attitude?
One of the things I love about this verse is it deals with attitude.  There are a lot of commands in the Bible.  We are to love our neighbors, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, honor the Sabbath, and so on.  It can be very easy to look at these commands and think that as long as we do it, we’re being obedient.  But with this verse (as well as many others) God cuts to the chase.  It’s not about external works, it’s about the heart…it’s about our attitude.

God wants us to WANT to do these things.
Yes, we should feed the hungry, but we should do so joyfully, just as Jesus didn’t begrudgingly come and die for us, but rather “for the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)

Thankfully, God also helps us with this.  He has made us a new creation and He has given us His Holy Spirit to dwell in us which produces fruit, such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  If we find that we struggle with our attitude, we can pray and God will help.

Dear Jesus,

Thank You for willingly and joyfully enduring the cross for us.  We confess that our attitude is often not good.  We complain about things and argue.  Please forgive us and help us to do everything You have commanded willingly and with joyful hearts for the joy You have set before us, eternal life with You.

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