I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:12-13
Even when they are nowhere near the restaurant and out of uniform, I can almost always spot a Chick-fil employee. Being from Georgia, the state where the restaurant was created, I am very familiar with the culture of Chick-fil-a. I know that there is a strong work ethic instilled the restaurant's employees and I am familiar with the restaurant's commitment to "second-mile service," doing even more than what is expected in order to serve others best. The words "my pleasure" are also a dead giveaway that someone has been employed by Chick-fil-a. You see, Chick-fil-a has such a strong impact on their employees, that its influence impacts every part of their employees' (past and present) lives. Because of their time with Chick-fil-a, Chick-fil-a employees' behavior is often changed for the better.
In the same way, when we love God with all of our strength, our behavior is forever changed. Jesus called believers to love God with all of our strength in Mark 12, explaining that loving God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength is the greatest commandment. Loving God with all of our strength means that our love for God directly affects our actions. It means that our conversations point others to Christ, that we treat others with kindness, that we help those who are hurting, and that we live with integrity. When others meet us, it means that they can immediately tell that we are followers of Christ, much like how I can easily spot a Chick-fil-a employee.
The apostle Paul understood what it is like to love God with all of our strength. While he was in prison, he wrote a letter that we now know as the book of Philippians. He was in prison for telling others about Jesus and planting churches. Because he loved God with all of his strength, his behavior was forever changed so that he spent his entire life pointing others to Christ. From prison, Paul wrote that his strength came from God. He loved God with all of his strength, and God, in turn, gave him strength while he was going through difficult times. Paul explains that because of this, he could live with contentment, even when he was suffering in prison.
Has God radically changed your life? He is calling you to love Him with all your strength in such a way that your behavior is forever changed. Will you commit today to love God with all of your strength?
What can you do today to love God with all of your strength? How can you live today in such a way that your love for God affects your actions? Today, commit to act in such a way that your actions reflect your love for God. Maybe you need to share your faith with a friend, pray with a family member who is hurting, find a place at church to serve, or bring someone to church with you this weekend. Let your actions prove your love for God. Love Him with all of your strength today! He will, in turn, give you the strength you need to face difficult times.
Read Philippians 4:10-23 (NLT)
How I praise the Lord that you are concerned about me again. I know you have always been concerned for me, but you didn’t have the chance to help me. Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Even so, you have done well to share with me in my present difficulty.
As you know, you Philippians were the only ones who gave me financial help when I first brought you the Good News and then traveled on from Macedonia. No other church did this. Even when I was in Thessalonica you sent help more than once. I don’t say this because I want a gift from you. Rather, I want you to receive a reward for your kindness.
At the moment I have all I need—and more! I am generously supplied with the gifts you sent me with Epaphroditus. They are a sweet-smelling sacrifice that is acceptable and pleasing to God. And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.
Now all glory to God our Father forever and ever! Amen.
Give my greetings to each of God’s holy people—all who belong to Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me send you their greetings. And all the rest of God’s people send you greetings, too, especially those in Caesar’s household.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
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