Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: https://sothrichfield.podbean.com
Philippians 3:1-11 ESV)
Righteousness Through Faith in Christ
3 Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you. 2 Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. 3 For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh— 4 though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. 7 But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
Did you need to walk away from something in your past keeping you from becoming new in Christ?
Holy God, Savior and Redeemer, I worship and praise You today. I spent Easter quietly at home; no trumpets, no big songs of praise, no flowers, no large family celebrations, and no face-to-face church service. It didn’t feel like Easter because I didn’t do worship like I am used to doing worship. But as I listened to the song Glorious Day on the radio tears welled up in my eyes as I reflected on Your Gospel story. As my family gathered around the TV to hear the online Easter message, again I felt Your Spirit fill me with Your love and hope. I celebrated Easter! As I read this passage today I wonder about how much confidence I have put in the things we do at worship at church over what You did to overcome death through Your resurrection. All the things I used to hold dear and valuable, everything I before thought were critical and necessary to worship God on Easter are not required when it comes to God’s saving grace. The things I do in church don’t make Easter, it is what You did for my sins that makes Easter. I hate this social distancing stuff, but I do have to thank You for how it is making me reflect on what really is important. Grow me so I take pride in Christ Jesus and not brag about what things I have done. Help me to have new hope in Your message of salvation. I want You and the power that raised You to life in me. When we are able to assemble again, help me not take the gift of freedom to worship You in public for granted again, recognizing that there are many around the world that will never be able to worship as a community together safely. Allow me to appreciate my church community, to work and grow with them in Your Spirit. Give me Your righteousness not for what I do but for my faith. Make my faith strong and deep and wide in order for me to trust in Your resurrection power no matter what hardship I encounter and allow me to worship and praise You with all my heart wherever I am, because You are there also. Amen.