Into The Breach – Being A Christian Man

Day 1 of 7 • This day’s reading

Devotional

  

Day 1 — Discerning true value

Read: Philippians 1:3-11

A man’s life is full of achievements and failures, but the measure of a man is how he responds to each of them. The Christian life is always a partnership with God and with other believers in successes and disappointments. God initiates the good work in us, and he remains with us to complete it throughout this life and into the next. Although Paul is in a prison cell, he prays with joy and gratitude for his friends at Philippi because they have become partners with him in the work of the gospel (vv. 3-5). He expresses his confidence that God “who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus” (v. 6 NABRE). 

After Paul describes the practice of his prayer, he then describes the content of his prayer for his companions. Paul first prays that their “love may increase ever more in knowledge and every kind of perception” (v. 9 NABRE). Love for God, for one another, and for the lost is the heart of discipleship. But genuine love is not just sentiment. It must be both informed and perceptive. Disciples experience the transforming power of God through knowledge of the gospel and a deepening understanding of Jesus Christ. 

The second prayer of Paul for his companions asks that they may “discern what is of value” (v. 10 NABRE). The world gives us false messages about manhood, so we must continually discern what is genuinely valuable in life as we keep growing in love. This discernment on the path of love will show us what belongs to the gospel and what is of the world. As we follow the way of Jesus Christ, we learn his truth, grow in grace, and bear fruit for God’s glory. 

REFLECT: How do I “discern what is of value” in my life in the midst of its successes and failures? 

PRAY: O God, who began a good work in us, continue to complete your work within me. Give me the grace I need to increase my love and to discern what is of value.

By Stephen J. Binz, Catholic biblical scholar, speaker, and author of over 50 books, including Threshold Bible Study. His graduate work in Scripture is from the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome and Jerusalem. The website for his work is www.Bridge-B.com.

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