Reread Philippians 1:1-11
<> Roughly how many times have you read this passage at this point?
<> Have you started to naturally memorize any of it?
<> Are you seeing life-change as a result of these devotionals or are you just feeling smart and self-righteous because you’re so good at being religious?
Goal #2: Pure and Blameless
Stop for just a second and consider Paul’s second goal of real love. It’s NOT SMALL. Notice that he doesn’t say, “I hope you’re getting MORE pure and some what LESS blameful than you used to be.” He doesn’t use relative terms. He uses absolutes. I hope that pure and blameless would be two concrete descriptions of your life. This goal’s magnitude and gravity grow when you consider who you are and what the two words pure and blameless actually mean.
The original Greek use of this word described a process employed to test clay pots. Clay pots often contained small cracks and merchants would use wax to fill the cracks. The problem is wax is a poor replacement for clay. It hides the hole well but it creates a weakness in the pot’s integrity. To ensure the solidarity, pots would be held up to a source of light that revealed wax filled cracks.
<> Are there any areas of your life that God has been holding up to the light to reveal to you wax-filled cracks?
<> Are there areas of your life that you are refusing to talk to God about because you know He would reveal wax-filled cracks?
Read John 1:1-18
<> Who is the Word?
<> According to vs. 4 what two things were in the Word?
Jesus has an amazingly exposing effect on our lives. He continually pushes and digs deeper into our hearts than we want Him to and reveals our weaknesses. The problem is too many of us have tried to fix our own cracks and have created weaknesses that will be exposed when put to the test. Jesus doesn’t want to put a band-aid on your deep issues. He wants to heal them. He’s a master potter so to speak. He wants you to be a new pot without cracks, not a duct-tape held together ready to bust pot.
<> Have you been trying to fix broken areas of your life instead of allowing Jesus to heal you and provide the help you need?
<> Why do we try to fix ourselves?
<> What are weak spots in your life that Jesus wants to heal completely.
<> How does this require discernment?
Blameless: Go read 1 Timothy 3:1-7.
The word blameless is the same idea as being above reproach from 1 Timothy 3. The idea is that you would live your life in a way that if someone accused you of sin, everybody around would laugh at the notion. This is not an easy task nor is it one that happens overnight. Being blameless has everything to do with consistency.
<> Are there areas of your life that could be easily accused because of a careless lifestyle?
Like being pure, being blameless requires intense amounts of discerning what is best. Just because an action, environment or situation is permissible does not mean that it is beneficial. Too often, this idea has been taken to mean in traditional churches, that you are not allowed to go anywhere questionable (You know, places where sinners go). This is preposterous. 1 Timothy 3:7 says you “should have a good reputation with those outside the church” and you can’t grow your reputation with un-churched people if you never hang out with them.
Being above reproach or blameless is all about living an OPEN BOOK life. I’m not hiding anything and I’m not trying to hide anything. This is what I stand for. People who know me and love me dearly know when I’m in a dangerous environment. People who don’t know Jesus know that I don’t love sin the same way that they do and they know the reason is because I love Jesus.
<> Are there areas of your life that you aren’t exposing to the light?
<> Do you live an open book life?