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Philippians 1:12-14: “Trials For The Gospel’s Sake ”


 

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 1:12-14 KJV – “But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel; So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places; And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.”

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel;

 

Paul desired for the Philippian believers to come to recognize one of the main purposes of trials, abuse and persecution in the life of a Christian… for the gospel to be advanced among the lost. In Paul’s case, he was suffering abuse in the form of unjust imprisonment at the hands of the idolatrous Roman government.

Even in the midst of his abuse, Paul understood that the Lord has allowed this imprisonment to fall upon him so that the gospel could be shown through his words, actions, and lifestyle and so that other Christians would be encouraged to boldly proclaim the gospel to the lost around them…

 

 

So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places;

Paul did not deserve this imprisonment, he was in this prison for the cause of Christ. As he spent time in prison, all who cared for him, due to his spotless testimony, came to understand that he did not deserve to be imprisoned. In that sense, his “bonds in Christ” were clearly seen by those around him. He was in prison for Christ’s sake, not for wrongdoing on his part.

What a wonderful testimony Paul possessed! To lead such a righteous life that, when persecuted, everyone realized the persecution was undeserved. As they watched Paul’s life, they saw truths about Christ and, in his words, they heard about Christ. Even while in prison, the life and words of Paul were furthering the gospel message to the lost around him.

 

 

And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.

Not only did Paul’s imprisonment open doors of opportunity for Paul to spread the gospel message, but it also encouraged others to spread the good news of Christ to those around them. Paul’s courage and spotless testimony in the midst of his imprisonment, was an encouragement for other Christians to take a firm, bold stand for Christ also.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

May we all learn some important truths from this aspect of Paul’s life…

1. All the trials that come upon God’s people are an opportunity for the gospel to be proclaimed through our lives and voices.

2. Our words and actions during these trying times of life can affect the lives of both lost and saved around us. As we remain faithful to the cause of Christ, the gospel will be proclaimed to the lost while encouragement to serve will be received by those who are saved.

3. We should always strive to lead lives that are unspotted by this world. In doing so, we can have confidence, and proclaim to those around us, that the trials that come our way are not due to the chastening hand of the Lord but have come upon us to further the gospel.

We should always remember that others are constantly watching us. How we handle the trials, and good times, of our lives affect others. No matter what type of situation we are currently in, may we all strive to live God honoring lives and show Christ to all those around 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

Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

HELD IN HIS ARMS


More words of faith and encouragement from this author can be found at https://inlovewiththelord.wordpress.com/

Martha L Shaw - Poet, Writer, Artist

dad mom me

As a child my earthly father was always there loving me and when I cried out, he came quickly.  Now I am grown but my needs have grown as well so I often need to call out to Abba and He is always there when I do . . . and when I do not.  He knows my every need.

How amazing is that love?

Featured Image -- 10771

Deuteronomy 31:8
The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

Joshua 1:9
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.

Psalm 119:76
May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant.

John 14:1
Do not let your hearts be troubled…

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Worship with a Human Heart


This post comes from a student I taught about six years ago. She has recently started a blog and would no doubt appreciate some visitors and followers. I thoroughly enjoyed her post, the content of which you will find below; please visit the original post: Worship With A Human Heart

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The church fellowship I attend is small. Worship is usually run by a singer and one – or, if we’re lucky, two – musicians, along with someone in charge of displaying lyrics. . .

This week, it didn’t quite go smoothly. Sometimes the lyrics were out of order, sometimes the guitar was louder than the singer, sometimes the congregation was off-key or sang at the wrong time. At one point the musician couldn’t find the music sheet for a song, so we ended up singing one song twice!

This is my favourite worship. When we raise up our voices and stumble, when our plans go awry and the guitarist stumbles. And when we continue anyway. Because we must. I love these moments. They make me smile, and I like to think they make God smile too.

Because we aren’t a concert of professionals with a stage and fancy lightning. Because we aren’t here to produce beautiful, on-key music without missing a beat. We are here as humans to worship the one true God.

And how remarkable, how astounding that He loves our worship, stumbles and all. How awesome is it that He loves such imperfect humans.

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

We don’t need to be perfect to come before God. In fact, He came to us, arms held wide, while we were unworthy. How can we not praise Him? How could anyone stand to wait until perfection before raising off-tune voices in worship to our God?

Thank you, Lord, that You love it when we worship with a fallible human heart.

http://sevennotesofgrace.com/2016/01/30/worship-with-a-human-heart/

Philippians 1:9-11: “Turning Love Into Action”


 

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 1:9-11 KJV – “And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.”

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

In this text, Paul’s prayerful desire was for the Philippians to be graced in four basic areas:

 

 

“And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;

 

1. Their Motive – Paul desired that their love would be overflowing in greater and greater ways; especially to motivate them to gain more knowledge of the Lord, His will for their lives, and the ability to make Godly decisions.

 

That ye may approve things that are excellent;

2. Their Judgment – Paul desired that they exercise Godly judgement by recognizing, affirming, and living according to, those things that excel in spiritual truth and importance.

 

that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;

 

3. Their Testimony – Paul desired for the Philippians to have a testimony of being a genuine and separated to God throughout all their lives and generations until Christ comes again.

 

 

Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.”

 

4. Their enablement – Finally Paul desires for their service to stem from Godly enablement. He desired for the Holy Spirit to control every aspect of their lives; allowing them to bear spiritual, blameless fruits; both of which are gracious gifts given to them by Christ. These spiritual fruits are to be utilized to “shine the light upon” God and cause Him to be honored and worshipped. They are not to be used to exalt the individual Christian, which would bring attention and praise to the Christian.

 

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Paul’s desires for the Philippians should not only be our desire for other Christians, but our desire for our own personal lives as well:

As Christians, we should never underestimate the need for Godly motives, judgment, testimonies, and enablement as we live our lives for Christ….

1. So often we can go through the motions of Christian service with the wrong motives compelling us.

2. It is so easy to find ourselves using our own carnal judgements to make the day to day decisions to come our way.

3. It is so easy, to get side-tracked in our service that we find ourselves going through “religious” motions of service in the name of Christ, in a disingenuous way, confusing “going through the motions” without genuine holiness.

4. Perhaps the most prevalent of these pitfalls that can so easily take us off course, is when we serve the Lord of our own effort, strength and ability, without relying upon the Holy Spirit to enable us to accomplish that which the Lord has given us to do.

May we all be on guard for these pitfalls in our own lives, as well as being in prayer for our spiritual family that they would not be overcome by these as well. May we always seek to help other struggling Christians with words of instruction and encouragement to strengthen them as they seek to serve our Lord sincerely under the strengthen hand of the Holy Spirit.

 

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

Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

Philippians 1:6-8: “Our Love For Other Believers”


 

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:

 

Philippians 1:6-8 KJV – “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace. For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.”

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

Due to the Philippians’ Godly lives and testimony, Paul was convinced that the Lord was at work in their personal lives and in their church. Once he was assured the Lord was working, Paul also knew that the Lord would continue to work in their lives until the second coming of Jesus. It would be at Christ’s coming that the Philippians’ redemption would be made complete at the receipt of their glorified bodies and their entrance into eternity.

This helps us to understand that there is no such thing as “falling from grace”, in other words losing our salvation. What God has begun, He will complete. If we see others, who once professed Christ, turn their backs on Christ, in actuality, they were never saved to start with.

This is also supported by the Apostle John who said “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” (1Jn 2:19 KJV)

When a person turns from their profession of faith, it is not the Lord who was unable to accomplish His work in the professor’s life, the responsibility falls totally on the pseudo-Christian who, in actuality, misled those around him when he professed salvation, never being saved to begin with.

 

Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart;

It only made sense that Paul would think of the saints at Philippi with great confidence in their testimony… he loved them which led to him believing in them and their public profession of faith.

 


inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace.

The Philippian church shared in Paul’s experience of imprisonment and proclamation of the gospel. They did this in many ways, through praying for Paul, sending Paul much needed monetary aid and encouragement along the way.

By doing these things, the church had a part in the grace that the Lord had shown Paul during these difficult times. The Lord had graciously blessed Paul with the prayers of saints, encouraging words and monetary needs being met. The saints at Philippi, by allowing the Lord to use them, had a share in the blessings that were sent Paul’s way. In that sense they were “partakers of my grace”.

 

 

For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.”

Based on their past relationship; their sharing in experiences; and their aid of prayer, encouragement and money; Paul had a deep, sincere, desire to be with the Philippian church. This love was not a carnal, fleshly, passion for them, but a Godly, spiritual desire to be in their midst. This is the same type of love that Christ exhibited towards each of his people.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

As we see Paul’s love for the Philippian believers on display, it reminds us of the type of love we should have towards our brothers and sisters in Christ.

If we love our spiritual family as we do we will:

1. Be quick to believe their testimony and trust them for continued faithfulness

2. We should remember, and appreciate, all they do for us never taking them for granted.

3. Our love should not find its roots in selfishness or carnality, but should be an exhibition of a Christ-like love that is characterized by self-sacrifice, caring for others, working for the good of others, and humility.

Do we love our spiritual siblings as we should? If so, this love will be seen in our lives, through our concern care and sacrifice for them.

 

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

Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

Continuing to Stand


It is true that I watched the State of the Union address last evening. To say that I was impressed would not lead to the truth of what I truly felt. Nonetheless, the most troublesome thing that I heard was when our “Christian” President chose to uphold Islam and its tenants over the virtues of Christianity. Now, if one is Islamic it stands to reason that such individuals would further what he sees as just and honourable through Muslim eyes. However, when one is a Christian it should also stand to reason that such a person uphold the virtues of Christianity above all else.

The fact is that Christianity is not given to the weak and appeasing. It is not given to those that uphold its virtues so long as its standards do not offend. The fact is that the Gospel never seeks to appease. Instead, the Gospel has shown itself to be a stumbling stone and a rock of offence (Romans 9:33). This means that there are some who will not take too kindly to the standard of Scripture. Others will find reason to avoid it even if that avoidance means making cultic ventures greater than the Gospel. Well, Christians, it is time we continued to stand. It is time to take back the narrative  from those who love not Jesus and stand on the very principles of the Gospel.

The hallmark principle of the Word of God is love. It was because of love that God sent His only begotten Son into the world in order to restore a broken relationship. It was because of love that Jesus humbled himself unto death; even the death of the cross in order to make things right between the Father and man. It is because of love that Christ remains on the right hand of the Father interceding for those that love Him. That love is furthered in Christendom to all that know not Christ might come to know Him. That love is extended to all – even followers of Islam. That love is perpetuated in the lives of the Christian whereby his life is one showing forth the love of God. Love is the hallmark of all that God is as God is love.

On the other hand Islam does not present in love. Now, some might say that all of Islam does not seek to be like what is counted as radical. Even so, contrary to the commandment of love found in the Holy Writ, Islam presents no such idea; not even amongst its own. Many Muslim men rape their women and other women. There are honour killings in the name of Allah for those who betray the teachings of Islamists. Many Muslim men take very young wives and often those wives are counted as property. Those counted as infidels are beheaded, burned and drowned. Yet, Islam is counted as the religion of peace even while the Prince of Peace is seen as a mere prophet to be subordinated to Muhammad.

This is not a time for Christian apathy. It is not a time to kowtow to the move of some political figures that seek to remove Christianity from the public arena. Instead, it is time to stand in the face of adversity. It is time to hold fast to the fundamental teaching of the Gospel. It is time not to give in to the feel good temporary gimmicks of the day. Instead there needs to be a continuation of the stand that was called for in Scripture. This stand is not a stand with calm waters in a peaceful pond. No, this is a stand when the wind and waters are contrary to what we know to be right. We started standing and that stand needs to be perpetual.

Ephesians chapter six uses the word “stand” three times. The idea of standing is central to the chapter and to Ephesians at large. However, the idea of standing is not specific to the church of Ephesus. Christians today are also faced with the wiles of the enemy. Christians today need to wear the entire armour of God. And, when one wears armour he, by necessity, must stand. Standing is not an act of apathy. It is an act of boldness and determination. Determination — what an idea from a determined God in order to restore broken relationships. Standing in love; what a way to present the truth of the Word of God without shame.

Philippians 1:3-5: “Our Remembrance Of Others”


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:

 

Philippians 1:3-5 – “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;”

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,”

After Paul shares his desire for God’s grace to be shown to the Philippians, he now turns his attention to the grace God has shown to him. What is the first received grace that comes to Paul’s mind? It is his memories of the Philippian saints and the privilege of being able to pray for them.

“Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy”

Paul’s natural loving response to the wonderful memories he had of the Philippians was to pray for them. Stop and think about it… as Paul remembered their faithfulness and the encouragement he received from them, he would stop and thank God for them and ask the Lord to meet their spiritual and physical needs whatever they may be.

The gracious privilege of praying for them was a joyous thrill to Paul’s heart.

“For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;”

One of the sources of Paul’s great joy was based upon their fellowship as believers in Christ. One of the ideas behind the word “fellowship” is “to share in common”. In other words, Paul possessed great joy in praying for the saints at Philippi because they shared so much in common. One of the reasons they shared so much in common was because Paul had been acquainted with the church “from the first day until now” (the very beginning of their church).

What did they share in common? Their salvation, their faithfulness in service to Christ, the persecutions they faced, their spiritual and physical needs etc etc etc. Because they shared much in common, Paul understood much about what they were going through, this enabled him to more intelligently pray for their needs.

Paul held a privileged position of prayer for them, because he understood much more about their experiences and needs than most other saints.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

From Paul’s thankfulness and prayer we can learn much about our relationship with other Christians. Here is a quick rundown of the lessons we can learn:

1. We should be thankful for the memories that we have of wonderful times we have shared with our spiritual family members and the living testimony for Christ, and the example they set for us.

2. We should always be mindful of what our spiritual kindred are going through and the needs they have in their lives. Especially we should use the experiences we have shared with them to better pray for them and their needs.

3. We should never take for granted the privilege we have to pray for others. This allows us to be a part of the blessings they receive when their spiritual and physical needs are met.

4. Our prayers should come from a joyful heart of love as we appreciate our spiritual siblings and seek to give of ourselves, through prayer, to meet their needs.

May we all be more effective prayer warriors for members of God’s family. May we all seek to learn from the thankfulness and prayer life of the Apostle Paul and live them out in our lives as we seek to serve our Lord!

 

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

Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

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