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Philippians 3:12-14 “Reaching Forth for Christ”


 

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Background to Philippians…

The Apostle Paul wrote the epistle (personal letter) (1:1) to the Philippian church, probably during his imprisonment in Rome. The letter was written from a heart of love and concern for the Philippians. Due to Paul’s imprisonment, he could not personally visit with the church so he sent this letter with Timothy to encourage them and bring back news of their condition to Paul. (2:19).

Some of the main divisions of the book include:

1. Introduction to the book: 1:1-2

2. Paul’s thankfulness for the Philippians: 1:3-11

3. News of Paul’s imprisonment and dedication: 1:12-26

4. Following Christ’s example is our duty: 1:27-2:18

5. Paul’s representatives and the need to treat them kindly: 2:19-30

6. Paul’s example of living a joyous life: 3:1-11

7. The Christian’s heavenly calling: 3:12-21

8. The need for Godly living: 4:1-9

9. The love offerings of the Philippians: 4:10-20

10. Closing to the book of Philippians: 4:21-23

 

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

 

Php 3:12-14 – “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Paul, in previous verses (vs 9-11), explained his burning desire to experience communion with the Lord and possess a certainty of his future resurrection, glorification, and eternity with Christ. Paul now reminds us that he has not entered into his perfect, eternal existence yet, but lives a daily earthly life as a part of fallen mankind.

 

 

Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect:

Paul had not yet received the blessing of perfection. He was yet to receive eternal physical life, glorification of his body in the eternal presence of Christ. He is still present on this fallen earth, struggling with his sinful flesh and awaiting physical death…

 

 

but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.

Paul gives us the reason why although he was not yet eternally perfect, he strove to “apprehend” perfection while on the earth.

Christ took hold of Paul on the Damascus road. It was then that the Lord saved him, and called him to live a holy life of service to Him. It was then that he was “apprehended of Christ Jesus”. It was at this point that Paul knew the purpose of His life and the calling that he had been given.

It was at this point that he began to strive to take hold of the perfection that he knew awaited him in eternity.

 

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended:

 

Paul understood that he has not entered an eternal perfection, nor has he become perfect on earth. He knew that he still had not reached his goal.

 

 

but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

Although Paul had not reached perfection as of yet, he would single-mindedly continue his pursuit…

1. forgetting those things which are behind, – Paul put behind him his past failures. He would try to forget his life as a lost person and his failures in his service to Christ.

2. and reaching forth unto those things which are before, – He would place his failures behind him and reach ahead to reach his goal of faithful service to Christ by living a holy life for His glory. He would not let his past failures stop his forward progress for Christ. He would not give up on reaching his goal of perfection while yet on this earth.

3. I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. – Paul pushed himself forward to fulfill the calling of God that he had received Christ as his Lord and Savior.

 

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Do we find our past failures hinder our present service to Christ? Folks, this should not be so. Paul has set us a perfect example of overcoming past failures to excel in Christ’s service. He did this by learning to place his failures behind him, out of sight, and keep his eyes fixed on the goal of faithful service that he had been given…

Heb 12:1-2 – “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

May we all learn to do the same as we seek to remain faithful to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Questions, Comments, or Suggestions?

Email me at: rob.barkman@settledinheaven.org

Homepage… http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog… http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

“Hide Me Under the Shadow of Your Wings” Psalm 17


A Prayer of David

Hear a just cause, O LORD

Attend to my cry;

Give ear to my prayer that is not from deceitful lips.

Let my vindication come from Your presence;

Let Your eyes look on the things that are upright.

You have tested my heart;

You have visited me in the night;

You have tried me and have found nothing;

I have purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.

Concerning the works of men,

By the word of Your lips,

I have kept myself from the paths of the destroyer.

Uphold my steps in Your paths,

That my footsteps may not slip.

I have called upon You, for You will hear me, O God;

Incline Your ear to me, and hear my speech.

Show Your marvelous lovingkindness by Your right hand,

O You who save those who trust in You 


From those who rise up against them.  

Keep me as the apple of Your eye;

Hide me under the shadow of Your wings,

From the wicked who oppress me,

From my deadly enemies who surround me.

They have closed up their fat hearts;

With their mouths they speak proudly.

They have now surrounded us in our steps;

They have set their eyes, crouching

down to earth,

And as a young lion lurking in secret places.

Arise, O LORD,

Confront him, cast him down;

Deliver my life from the wicked with Your sword,

With Your hand from men, O LORD,

From men of the world who have their

portion in this life,

And whose belly You fill with Your hidden treasure.

They are satisfied with children,

And leave the rest of their substance for their babes.

As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness;

I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness.

Philippians 3:8-11 “That I Might Win Christ”


INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Background to Philippians…

The Apostle Paul wrote the epistle (personal letter) (1:1) to the Philippian church, probably during his imprisonment in Rome. The letter was written from a heart of love and concern for the Philippians. Due to Paul’s imprisonment, he could not personally visit with the church so he sent this letter with Timothy to encourage them and bring back news of their condition to Paul. (2:19).

Some of the main divisions of the book include:

1. Introduction to the book: 1:1-2

2. Paul’s thankfulness for the Philippians: 1:3-11

3. News of Paul’s imprisonment and dedication: 1:12-26

4. Following Christ’s example is our duty: 1:27-2:18

5. Paul’s representatives and the need to treat them kindly: 2:19-30

6. Paul’s example of living a joyous life: 3:1-11

7. The Christian’s heavenly calling: 3:12-21

8. The need for Godly living: 4:1-9

9. The love offerings of the Philippians: 4:10-20

10. Closing to the book of Philippians: 4:21-23

 

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

 

Php 3:8-11 – “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.”

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss

Paul had no doubt in his mind that all his personal attributes and what he had previously accomplished (vs 5-6) were simply a detriment and obstruction to obtaining…

 

 

for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord:

 

the highest possible achievement in life… to obtain a personal knowledge of Christ as Savior and Lord of his life.

 

 

for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung,

 

This same knowledge of Christ caused Paul to give up all his previous accolades and accomplishments; he was seeing them as simply refuse that is to be cast away.

 

 

Paul changed his attitudes and priorities of life so that…

 

 

that I may win Christ,

 

1. he might enter into a personal relationship with Christ and enjoy intimacy with Him.

 

 

 

And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

 

2. he might, through faith be the recipient of Christ’s righteousness. He needed the righteousness of Christ because, being a part of fallen mankind, he had no righteousness of his own.

Please note that Christ’s righteousness is described in two ways:

a. “through the faith of Christ” – this righteousness is received through faith that comes from, and is brought to completion by, Christ (Hebs 12:2).

b. “of God by faith” – this righteousness originates with God through an exercise of faith in Christ (Roms 3:22).

 

 

That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

Having an intimate relationship with Christ results in the Christian:

a. “may know Him” – a personal relationship with Christ

b. “may know the power of His resurrection” – the receipt of eternal life, and being dead to sin and alive to service of Christ.

c. “may know the fellowship of his sufferings” – suffering and self-sacrifice for the cause of Christ.

All of these make the Christian formed in the mold of Christ’s death. This causes the Christian to die to sin and be willing to live a life of sacrifice for Him (Roms 6:5-6; 2 Cor 4:11).

If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.”

Becoming dead to sins and living sacrificial lives for Christ are indicators of a genuine salvation experience.

Both becoming dead to sins and living sacrificial lives do not merit the inclusion in the resurrection of the dead (which is obtained by grace through faith in Christ). On the contrary, these strongly validate the Christians’ belief that they will be a part of this glorious resurrection.

 

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

In our text for this morning, Paul presents to great truths that we find presented throughout God’s Word:

1. The receipt of Christ’s righteousness and the certainty of eternal life is not based upon human merit but faith in Christ which is a gracious gift from God.

Eph 2:8-9 – “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

2. The two distinguishing marks of a genuine salvation experience are being made dead to sin, and a willingness to live sacrificial lives for Christ…

Rom 6:10-14 – “For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.”

May the Lord help us to always remember these two great truths and allow them to cultivate a greater love, appreciation and assurance of the wonderful salvation He has so graciously given to us!

Questions, Comments, or Suggestions?

Email me at: rob.barkman@settledinheaven.org

Homepage… http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog… http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Philippians 3:4-7 “Gain or Loss For Christ?”


 

 

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Background to Philippians…

The Apostle Paul wrote the epistle (personal letter) (1:1) to the Philippian church, probably during his imprisonment in Rome. The letter was written from a heart of love and concern for the Philippians. Due to Paul’s imprisonment, he could not personally visit with the church so he sent this letter with Timothy to encourage them and bring back news of their condition to Paul. (2:19).

Some of the main divisions of the book include:

1. Introduction to the book: 1:1-2

2. Paul’s thankfulness for the Philippians: 1:3-11

3. News of Paul’s imprisonment and dedication: 1:12-26

4. Following Christ’s example is our duty: 1:27-2:18

5. Paul’s representatives and the need to treat them kindly: 2:19-30

6. Paul’s example of living a joyous life: 3:1-11

7. The Christian’s heavenly calling: 3:12-21

8. The need for Godly living: 4:1-9

9. The love offerings of the Philippians: 4:10-20

10. Closing to the book of Philippians: 4:21-23

 

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

 

Php 3:4-7 – “Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.”

 

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more:

Paul then explains that he should be able to rely upon his fleshly background and works to merit salvation.

He then gives us a list of some of the things that our flesh would look to merit salvation…

 

 

 

Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.

 

1. Circumcised the eighth day, – Paul had the outward marking that identified him as a member of God’s physically chosen nation. He was a participant in the religious rites and observances commanded by God.

2. of the stock of Israel, – Paul, in actuality, was a member of God’s physically chosen nation.

3. of the tribe of Benjamin, – Paul was a member of the tribe that possessed the land area surrounding Jerusalem, the home of the worship place of God.

4. an Hebrew of the Hebrews; – Both of his parents could trace their lineage back through Abraham. He was not only a Jew but “doubly” a Jew.

5. as touching the law, a Pharisee; – He was a member of the most religiously strict group of the Jews. He was an interpreter, and observer of the laws of God.

6. Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; – He burned within to persecute those who opposed the teachings of the Jews.

7. touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. – His testimony among the public was spotless. No one could accuse him of publically breaking God’s laws.

But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.”

All of these fleshly attributes that Paul, and the Jewish world, considered “religious” and pleasing to God, actually did nothing to attain the favor of God. Paul’s pursuit of these merits was only lost time and effort for the cause of Christ.

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

How sad it is to hear of Paul’s excessive attempts to curry favor with the Lord, only to come to an understanding that all His efforts were of no avail. He had conformed to, and excelled in, all the religious requirements of the day only to find them to be wasted efforts to please the Lord.

This example from Paul’s life brings to our mind two very important questions…

First of all, as fallen mankind, “Are we trusting in Christ as our Savior and Lord, or are we relying on the efforts of our sinful flesh and the religious requirements of the world to secure forgiveness and eternal blessings for us?”

Secondly, as Christians, “How often do we find ourselves laboring under the religious expectations of this fallen world, instead of simply living our lives to honor and glorify Christ in all we do?”

May the Lord give us the grace to come to an honest personal assessment of our spiritual condition and our outward labors for Christ.

Questions, Comments, or Suggestions?

Email me at: rob.barkman@settledinheaven.org

Homepage… http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog… http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Philippians 3:2-3 “Examine The Wicked And Our Own Lives”


INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Background to Philippians…

The Apostle Paul wrote the epistle (personal letter) (1:1) to the Philippian church, probably during his imprisonment in Rome. The letter was written from a heart of love and concern for the Philippians. Due to Paul’s imprisonment, he could not personally visit with the church so he sent this letter with Timothy to encourage them and bring back news of their condition to Paul. (2:19).

Some of the main divisions of the book include:

1. Introduction to the book: 1:1-2

2. Paul’s thankfulness for the Philippians: 1:3-11

3. News of Paul’s imprisonment and dedication: 1:12-26

4. Following Christ’s example is our duty: 1:27-2:18

5. Paul’s representatives and the need to treat them kindly: 2:19-30

6. Paul’s example of living a joyous life: 3:1-11

7. The Christian’s heavenly calling: 3:12-21

8. The need for Godly living: 4:1-9

9. The love offerings of the Philippians: 4:10-20

10. Closing to the book of Philippians: 4:21-23

 

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

 

 

Php 3:2-3 – “Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.”

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Paul begins to warn the Philippians of those who would oppose the truths of God’s Word. In doing so, he repeatedly used the term “beware”.

This word comes from a Greek word that means “to look at” or “to perceive”. When using this term, Paul is encouraging the Philippians believers to closely examine these groups and perceive the great harm they were doing to the cause of Christ.

“Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.

 

Paul warns the church at Philippi of three groups of people who opposed the cause of Christ…

1. “dogs” – false professors, hypocritical worshippers of Jehovah who were looked upon as spiritually unclean and rejected from genuine worship of the Lord (Mat 7:6, 2 Pet 2:22)

2. “evil workers” – those who were outwardly, blatantly wicked. Those we were proud of their sins calling evil good and good evil. (Isa 5:20, Luke 16:15, 2 Pet 2:18-19)

3. “concision” – “to cut down” or “to cut off”. This speaks of the physical Jews who were relying upon their physical circumcision as one necessity for salvation (Acts 15:1, Gals 5:2)

To this day, all three of these groups do great harm to the cause of Christ.

For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.”

Paul now identifies himself and other true followers of Christ as “the circumcision”, not “the concision. In other words, Paul places the emphasis, not on his physical Jewish lineage, but his spiritual lineage as a member of the nation of God’s chosen people (Gals 3:7, Rom 9:6-8).

In comparison to the groups of lost individuals described in the prior verse, genuine Christians as those who…

1. “worship God in the spirit” or “worship God by the Spirit’ – true believers worship God sincerely, they worship God based upon the intervention of the indwelling Holy Spirit during their times of worship.

2. “rejoice in Christ Jesus” – their boasting, rejoicing and peace all stem from their recognition of Christ’s work on their behalf and their security that they possess through Christ.

3. “have no confidence in the flesh” – Because true believers recognize salvation is by Christ and Him alone. They do not rely on any aspect of their own works realizing their entire being is tainted by sin and unable to produce anything work that is pleasing to the Lord.

This is why true believers understand that they can place NO CONFIDENCE in any aspect of their sinful flesh, but must place their entire confidence in Christ and His work.

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

May we all “be on the lookout” for the false professors, the blatantly wicked and those who rely upon human lineage or works to attain salvation from Christ. May we see that all of these do tremendous harm to the cause of Christ.

May we also examine our lives to be sure that we see the fruits of a genuine salvation experience. These include a sincere worship of the Lord based upon His enabling in our lives; all of our boasting based upon Christ and His work on our behalf; and not relying on any aspect of our own works realizing our entire being is affected by sin.

When we see these attitudes prevailing in our lives, we can have a greater assurance that we are genuinely saved and eternally secure in Christ.

Questions, Comments, or Suggestions?

Email me at: rob.barkman@settledinheaven.org

Homepage… http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog… http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Philippians 3:15-16 “Let us walk by the same rule”


 

 

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Background to Philippians…

The Apostle Paul wrote the epistle (personal letter) (1:1) to the Philippian church, probably during his imprisonment in Rome. The letter was written from a heart of love and concern for the Philippians. Due to Paul’s imprisonment, he could not personally visit with the church so he sent this letter with Timothy to encourage them and bring back news of their condition to Paul. (2:19).

Some of the main divisions of the book include:

1. Introduction to the book: 1:1-2

2. Paul’s thankfulness for the Philippians: 1:3-11

3. News of Paul’s imprisonment and dedication: 1:12-26

4. Following Christ’s example is our duty: 1:27-2:18

5. Paul’s representatives and the need to treat them kindly: 2:19-30

6. Paul’s example of living a joyous life: 3:1-11

7. The Christian’s heavenly calling: 3:12-21

8. The need for Godly living: 4:1-9

9. The love offerings of the Philippians: 4:10-20

10. Closing to the book of Philippians: 4:21-23

 

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

 

Phil 3:15-16 – “Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.”

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded:

For those who are perfect (spiritually mature with no great spiritual weaknesses), share in this same motivation as Paul… desiring a closer walk with Christ, possessing a holy self-sacrificial living and being confident of the great eternity awaiting us in Christ (vs 11-14).

1Co 14:20 – “Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.”

 

 

and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

As God’s people, if we do not have a burdened heart for holy living and a sacrificial walk for Christ, He will give us this desire. The Lord wants all of His people to possess these wonderful desires for His service.

Pro 3:5-6 – “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

 

Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.”

No matter what level of spirituality we have attained, no matter what Godly desires we possess, we are to live according to the Godly desires we have been given. As we are faithful to the desires we possess, the Lord will bless us with a closer walk with Him and will grace us with a more perfect set of desires.

During this growth process we are to always be faithful with the desires we possess and continue to mature in our Christian walk.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

The great lesson to be learned in this text may be simple, and yet it is very important indeed.

We are to be faithful to our Lord no matter what level of spirituality we have attained. As we are faithful with the knowledge, desires and abilities that we possess, He will bless us with continued spiritual growth and eternal blessings.

Luk 16:10 – “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.”

Questions, Comments, or Suggestions?

Email me at: rob.barkman@settledinheaven.org

Homepage… http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog… http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Philippians 3:1 “Caring For Our Spiritual Family Members”


 

 

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Background to Philippians…

The Apostle Paul wrote the epistle (personal letter) (1:1) to the Philippian church, probably during his imprisonment in Rome. The letter was written from a heart of love and concern for the Philippians. Due to Paul’s imprisonment, he could not personally visit with the church so he sent this letter with Timothy to encourage them and bring back news of their condition to Paul. (2:19).

Some of the main divisions of the book include:

1. Introduction to the book: 1:1-2

2. Paul’s thankfulness for the Philippians: 1:3-11

3. News of Paul’s imprisonment and dedication: 1:12-26

4. Following Christ’s example is our duty: 1:27-2:18

5. Paul’s representatives and the need to treat them kindly: 2:19-30

6. Paul’s example of living a joyous life: 3:1-11

7. The Christian’s heavenly calling: 3:12-21

8. The need for Godly living: 4:1-9

9. The love offerings of the Philippians: 4:10-20

10. Closing to the book of Philippians: 4:21-23

 

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

 

 

Php 3:1 – “Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe.”

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Paul now begins the remaining part of his teaching to the church at Philippi…

Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord.

 

“Finally” (the remaining portion), my spiritual relatives, find calmness and happiness in the Lord.

What a very important teaching for us all… to be content in Christ alone. In other words, all Christians have a great need to find joy in Christ, no matter what the circumstance or condition in which they may find themselves.

Php 4:11 – “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”

 

To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe.”

 

Teaching the need for Christ-based contentment affects both the teacher and the students.

It affects the teacher, in this case Paul, because it shows he is not being lazy nor is he lacking in his teachings to the people. It proves his love for them, the proactive nature of much of his teaching, and his diligence is caring for the saints of Philippi.

It affects the students who hear this teaching, by giving to them instruction that does not fail to provide for their security. When we learn to be calm and happy in the Lord during great trials of our faith, we find peace in the midst of the storm and joy in the midst of sorrow. We are like a ship that is securely docked to the harbor of Christ as the storm rages. Without this contentment in our lives we are more like ships being tossed to and fro with fear and sorrow ruling the day.

This principle was displayed by Christ as He drew his disciples attention to Himself, and in doing so, gave them peace in the midst of the storm (Matt 14:22-32).

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

The need to find calmness and happiness in the Lord no matter what our lives may hold for us is one of the great keys to successful Christian service. It opens the doorway to encouragement in the midst of discouraging times, joy in the midst of the sorrows of life, and peace when the storm rages.

May we all keep our eyes upon Christ, and Christ alone, and draw from His presence peace and joy as we enter each new day. May we seek to be consistent servants no matter what the day may hold for us.

Questions, Comments, or Suggestions?

Email me at: rob.barkman@settledinheaven.org

Homepage… http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog… http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Philippians 2:28-30: “Caring For Our Spiritual Family Members”


 

 

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Background to Philippians…

The Apostle Paul wrote the epistle (personal letter) (1:1) to the Philippian church, probably during his imprisonment in Rome. The letter was written from a heart of love and concern for the Philippians. Due to Paul’s imprisonment, he could not personally visit with the church so he sent this letter with Timothy to encourage them and bring back news of their condition to Paul. (2:19).

Some of the main divisions of the book include:

1. Introduction to the book: 1:1-2

2. Paul’s thankfulness for the Philippians: 1:3-11

3. News of Paul’s imprisonment and dedication: 1:12-26

4. Following Christ’s example is our duty: 1:27-2:18

5. Paul’s representatives and the need to treat them kindly: 2:19-30

6. Paul’s example of living a joyous life: 3:1-11

7. The Christian’s heavenly calling: 3:12-21

8. The need for Godly living: 4:1-9

9. The love offerings of the Philippians: 4:10-20

10. Closing to the book of Philippians: 4:21-23

 

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

 

 

Php 2:28-30 – “I sent him therefore the more carefully, that, when ye see him again, ye may rejoice, and that I may be the less sorrowful. Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness; and hold such in reputation: Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to supply your lack of service toward me.”

 

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

 

I sent him therefore the more carefully, that, when ye see him again, ye may rejoice, and that I may be the less sorrowful.

 

Paul would take great care to hasten Epaphroditus’ departure for Philippi knowing that it would be an joyous encouragement to the people, which would result in Paul’s encouragement as well.

 

 

 

Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness; and hold such in reputation:

Because of Paul’s great care in sending Epaphroditus to them, the Philippians were to treat him as a brother in Christ, receiving him with genuine delight. Based on his reputation, they were to hold him up as an honorable servant of Christ and the Apostle Paul

 

 

 

Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to supply your lack of service toward me.

 

Epaphroditus had proven himself as a faithful servant of the Lord. In the course of his service to Christ, he willingly risked his life. He did all of this simply because, in the Philippian’s absence, he was to stand in for them, working to meet the needs of Paul.

 

 

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Folks, Epaphroditus willingly risked his life to do the work of the Lord. How many of us can say the same thing? May we all ask the Lord for grace and enabling to choose Him over our own life when necessary.

For some of us, our spirit is willing to die for Christ, when necessary. But because of the blessings of God upon our nation, the opportunity to die for Christ is very limited here. Not so, in many foreign lands. In some countries EVERYDAY Christian’s willingly place their lives on the line in an effort to serve their King, the Lord Jesus. May we be in daily prayer for those who face death every day in an effort to serve Jesus.

We have much to be thankful for, living as citizens in a country where Christ, for the most part, is allowed to be worshipped without persecution. However, things are changing. May we always be thankful for the grace the Lord has shown to us and be in prayer for our country that we might continue to serve the Lord without fear of losing our lives in His name.

Questions, Comments, or Suggestions?

Email me at: rob.barkman@settledinheaven.org

Homepage… http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog… http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Philippians 2:25-27: “Caring For Our Spiritual Family Members”


 

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Background to Philippians…

The Apostle Paul wrote the epistle (personal letter) (1:1) to the Philippian church, probably during his imprisonment in Rome. The letter was written from a heart of love and concern for the Philippians. Due to Paul’s imprisonment, he could not personally visit with the church so he sent this letter with Timothy to encourage them and bring back news of their condition to Paul. (2:19).

Some of the main divisions of the book include:

1. Introduction to the book: 1:1-2

2. Paul’s thankfulness for the Philippians: 1:3-11

3. News of Paul’s imprisonment and dedication: 1:12-26

4. Following Christ’s example is our duty: 1:27-2:18

5. Paul’s representatives and the need to treat them kindly: 2:19-30

6. Paul’s example of living a joyous life: 3:1-11

7. The Christian’s heavenly calling: 3:12-21

8. The need for Godly living: 4:1-9

9. The love offerings of the Philippians: 4:10-20

10. Closing to the book of Philippians: 4:21-23

 

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

 

 

Php 2:25-27 – “Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants. For he longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick. For indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.”

 

 

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus,

Along with Timothy, Paul would be sending to the Philippians a man named Epaphroditus.

The name Epaphroditus means to be devoted to the goddess Aphrodite (Venus).

If this was his given name, it helps us to understand much about Epaphroditus. Apparently his parents were devoted followers of the goddess Aphrodite and desired their son to follow her as well. Therefore, in honor of this false goddess, they gave their son the name “Devoted to Aphrodite”.

If Epaphroditus was a “nick name” given to him by his friends later in his life, then this tells us that in his younger days Epaphroditus was probably a devoted follower of Aphrodite who was later converted to Christ.

 

my brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants.

 

Epaphroditus fulfilled many roles in his service for Christ. He is described as:

1. my brother – member of the same spiritual family as Paul

2. companion in labour – he shared in Paul’s labors for Christ

3. fellowsoldier – he was an associate in spiritual warfare with Paul

4. your messenger – one sent from Philippi with a message for Paul

5. he that ministered to my wants. – He served Paul by helping to supply that which he lacked.

 

Why would Paul send Epaphroditus with Timothy?

 

 

For he longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick. For indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him;

 

Epaphroditus had fallen ill while with Paul. He had a likelihood that he would die. However, the Lord graciously delivered Epaphroditus from death and restored him to health. In doing so He was showing him mercy, because he did not deserve to rescued from his impending death.

The church at Philippi, Epaphroditus’ home church, heard of his illness and was worried about him. Because of the church’s great concern for Epaphroditus, he began to worry about them and the sorrow his sickness was causing them.

Paul wanted to send Epaphroditus back to the church at Philippi, to comfort both the church and Epaphroditus.

 

 

 

and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.

When the Lord healed Epaphroditus, he was not only showing his mercy to him but also to Paul. Epahroditus had been a wonderful blessing and help to Paul. If he would have died, Paul would have had his burdens and sorrow greatly increased.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

In this text, we can see several examples of Christians appreciating and caring for the feelings of their spiritual brothers and sisters.

1. We can see that Paul appreciated Epaphroditus as he recounts the roll that he had in Paul’s life.

2. We can see Epaphroditus’ love for the church at Philippi as he longed for them and was full of heaviness for them.

3. We can see the church’s care for Epaphroditus during his time of illness

4. We can see Epaphroditus’ care for Paul as he labored to meet his needs

5. We can see Paul’s concern for the church at Philippi as he sees his need to send Epaphroditus to them

WOW what a wonderful text that helps us to see the great need to always be empathetic towards our spiritual family members and seek to help them in their times of sorrow, concern and trials in any way we can.

May we all live according to the instructions Paul had previously given to the church in Philippians 2:1-4…

Philippians 2:1-4 – “If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”

Questions, Comments, or Suggestions?

Email me at: rob.barkman@settledinheaven.org

Homepage… http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog… http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Philippians 2:22-24: “Helping Others Through Friends”


 

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Background to Philippians…

The Apostle Paul wrote the epistle (personal letter) (1:1) to the Philippian church, probably during his imprisonment in Rome. The letter was written from a heart of love and concern for the Philippians. Due to Paul’s imprisonment, he could not personally visit with the church so he sent this letter with Timothy to encourage them and bring back news of their condition to Paul. (2:19).

Some of the main divisions of the book include:

1. Introduction to the book: 1:1-2

2. Paul’s thankfulness for the Philippians: 1:3-11

3. News of Paul’s imprisonment and dedication: 1:12-26

4. Following Christ’s example is our duty: 1:27-2:18

5. Paul’s representatives and the need to treat them kindly: 2:19-30

6. Paul’s example of living a joyous life: 3:1-11

7. The Christian’s heavenly calling: 3:12-21

8. The need for Godly living: 4:1-9

9. The love offerings of the Philippians: 4:10-20

10. Closing to the book of Philippians: 4:21-23

 

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

 

 

Php 2:22-24 – “But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel. Him therefore I hope to send presently, so soon as I shall see how it will go with me. But I trust in the Lord that I also myself shall come shortly.”

 

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Paul now promises the Philippian believers that he will send Timothy to them soon…

 

 

But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel.

 

The Philippians were familiar with Timothy and his life that has been proved to be faithful to the Lord. He had worked for Paul in spreading the gospel, much like a son would labor to meet the needs of his father. This would include loving Paul, respecting Paul, protecting Paul, and learning from Paul much like in a son’s relationship with his father.

 

 

Him therefore I hope to send presently, so soon as I shall see how it will go with me.

 

Paul hoped to send Timothy very quickly, just as soon as Paul knew his fate. This would help Paul to understand what his short-term needs for Timothy might be. As soon as Timothy was no longer an absolute necessity for Paul, he would be sending Timothy to them.

 

 

But I trust in the Lord that I also myself shall come shortly.

Paul’s hope was to also visit with the Philippians very soon. Again, this would also be based upon what Paul’s future would hold.

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Paul’s sending of Timothy to the Philippians is a good example of self-sacrifice for the good of others. Paul was willing to temporarily give up his “right hand man” for the sake of the believers at Philippi.

But also, we can learn a very important lesson about using other Christians to help those whom we cannot help. The Philippians needed to be encouraged and strengthened following them hearing of Paul’s imprisonment. Although Paul could not visit them and personally encourage them, he would be sending Timothy to fulfill that task.

There are times when we cannot help others who we see in need, whether due to a lack of opportunity, lack of talent talent, lack of experience or other reason. In those cases, we are to look for other Christians who will be more able to meet the need.

Likewise there are times, as Christians, when we are approached by another Christian about their inability to meet a need of another, we are to be willing to step in for them and seek to meet the need at hand.

Do we see those with needs around us? If so, are we willing and able to meet that need? If we are unable are we seeking others who can stand in our place to meet the need?

Has a Christian brother or sister asked us to step up and meet another’s needs? If so, are we willing to do so, even if the one in need is a total stranger to us?

May we all be used of the Lord in great ways to meet the needs of others and seek out help for those whom cannot help ourselves.

Questions, Comments, or Suggestions?

Email me at: rob.barkman@settledinheaven.org

Homepage… http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog… http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

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