Spreading The Gospel

Christians

Psalm 8:7: The Excellency Of The Lord: “All”


SIH TOTT ICONINTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Psalm 8 is a wonderful Psalm that was written by King David with the central purpose of praising the Lord for his greatness as revealed to us in nature. By God’s grace alone, with hearts filled with reverence and awe, we will be seeing our Lord in all His glory as we look at nature around us.

As a result of seeing God’s greatness, we will also be reminded of man’s insignificance, and God’s great grace which grants to this insignificant man great honor and glory. May we all come to a greater understanding of His greatness, our insufficiency, and His great grace as we enter into this devotional series.

Lord willing, this devotional series (including this introduction) will be 10 lessons in length and will be looking at one verse per devotion.

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

Psa 8:1-9

(1) To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David. O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.

(2) Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.

(3) When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;

(4) What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?

(5) For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.

(6) Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:

(7) All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;

(8) The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.

(9) O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

As King David describes the creation over which mankind was given rulership. In this verse, and the following, he makes it plain that ALL of the animal kingdom was originally subordinate to mankind…

All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;

Please note, in the case of the sheep and oxen, David is describing animals that are used by man for:

  1. sheep -necessities for living (food, clothing etc)
  2. oxen – manual labor (plowing, bearing burdens etc.)

 

But David goes further. He then lists “beasts of the field” as also being placed under man’s control. This phrase speaks of “a mute, or dumb beast) in other words, those which are more strong willed, less likely to understand the commands of man, and therefore more difficult to control. This speaks of beasts such as (lions, bears etc) which are much more difficult to be tamed and used by man.

Based upon his list, King David names both domesticated animals and wild animals as being placed under man’s rulership.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Let’s take time to stop and consider the great blessing that the Lord has bestowed upon mankind… He created the animals found in nature for the express purpose of meeting the needs of mankind.

Throughout the centuries what would mankind have done without the use of animals to supply their food, clothing, mode of transportation and as the source of much power to labor in the fields and areas of industry?

Many, many of mankind’s absolute life necessities have been supplied by the animal kingdom throughout the years.

Then, stop and think about those animals which are very difficult to tame. Prior to the fall of man, they were completely under the control of mankind. What a sight it must have been to see the lions and bears obeying every command of Adam and Eve!

But also consider that even after the fall, the Lord has graciously reserved many species of animals to remain easily controlled and used by mankind. Following man’s rebellion against Him, He could have allowed all the animals to be wild and very difficult to control. How difficult would it be for man to attempt to use wool from sheep that are as dangerous as lions, or get milk from cows who are as uncontrollable as crocodiles!

However, He graciously reserved some of the animal kingdom to reamin soft-hearted and easily domesticated so that man’s need would continue to be supplied even after the fall.

 

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Philippians 4:15-18 “a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God”


 

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 4:15-18 – “Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity. Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account. But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.”

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Paul continues to address the Philippians sacrificial giving…

Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.

 

From the beginnings of Paul’s ministry in Philippi, the believers faithfully supported Paul. Once he departed from them, and moved to other ministry locations, no other church were faithful in supporting him.

The church at Philippi was willing to “push the envelope” and set the example for the other churches to whom Paul was ministering.

For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity.

Even when Paul was in other cities, ministering to the people there, the Philippians were faithful in continuing to help to meet his needs. They did not believe in the “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine” mentality of the fallen world. They did not limit their support to the time that Paul ministered to them. Even when Paul no longer ministered to them, they still had the desire to continue their support for Paul.

 

 

Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.

 

Paul was thankful for the Philippians’ faithful support, not because he benefited from their support, but because he knew they would be rewarded for their faithfulness to the Lord. His thankfulness was centered upon the future blessings that they would receive from the Lord.

But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.

Based upon their continuing support, Paul had an overflowing supply of his needs. He is fully supplied, just having received the lastest love gift from Philippi, which had been delivered by Epaphroditus.

Paul describes their love gifts as:

1. an odour of a sweet smell – a pleasing fragrance

2. a sacrifice acceptable – giving of themselves for another in a way that is approved by God

3. wellpleasing to God – very pleasing to God.

Paul is picturing the love gifts of the Philippians as burnt offerings, the smoke ascending to God, being accepted by God, pleasing Him for their faithfulness to Him.

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Folks, may we all see the importance of helping to support those who are sharing the truths of God’s Word to us and to others in this world. In a wider sense, we can also see the need to help any of our brothers and sisters in Christ who have a need that we are equipped to meet.

May our love abound toward faithful ministers for Christ and all our Christian brethren among us!

2Th 1:3 – “We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth…”

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 4:12-14 “I Can Do All Things Through 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:

Phil 4:12-14 – “I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction.”

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Paul continues his thoughts on learning to live a contented life (vs 10:11)…

I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound:

Throughout Paul’s experiences in serving the Lord, he came to understand how to live a humbled, depressed life. He also had learned how to live a life in which his needs were more than met, as he overflowed with the necessities of life.

2Co 11:23-28 “Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.”

 

 

every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.

 

Paul faced many different life experiences which taught him how to live with all his needs satisfied and, at other times, lacking all of those needs. He was taught how to live with excess and with lack.

 

 

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

 

Paul understood that it was only through divine intervention by Christ that he was able to remain faithful and contentment in his varying life situations. He could not do this on his own but was entirely reliant upon the empowerment of Christ in his life.

 

Joh 15:4-7 – “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”

 

 

 

 

Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction.”

He commends the church at Philippi because they shared their possessions with him, to help meet his needs, as he faced the times of lack in his life. Their acts of sharing to meet Paul’s needs were acts of love, grace and concern.

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Speaking for myself, there is one section of our Scripture for this morning that is very familiar and interesting… “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

 

This verse is applied in many different ways by teachers of God’s word. However it is important to notice that, in the context, being able to do all things through Christ specifically involves being able to remain faithful to the Lord, no matter what our state may be. Whether facing times of lack, or times of great overages, Paul is telling us that, through Christ, we will be able to make it through faithfully, and with a spirit of contentment.

May we all take this wonderful verse to heart and recognize our consistent need of Christ intervention in our lives to remain faithful no matter what life circumstances may come our way. It is only through Christ we can retain a spirit of contentment and dedication to His cause as we seek to always please Him.

2Co 3:4-5 – “And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God”

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 4:2-3 “those women which laboured with me in the gospel”


 

 

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 4:2-3 – I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord. And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche,

Paul now “beseech (es)” the females that have labored with him in times past. To beseech simply means to call to oneside. Paul is inviting these ladies to join him by….

 

that they be of the same mind in the Lord.

…being in agreement in mind, desires, and knowledge of the truths of God. This will eliminate any disagreements and areas of friction between themselves as they serve the Lord.

Rom 15:5 – “Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:”

Paul understood that many times Satan will use divisions and doctrinal error to hinder the work of Christ.

Rom 16:17-18 – “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.”

 

Paul knew that Christians who stand firm in their faith and unifed as one will avoid many of these downfalls.

And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers,

The idea of a “true yokefellow” involves one who was a sincere servant of Christ working side by side with Paul.

By “true yokefellow” Paul is probably addressing Epaphroditus or another faithful man who had joined him on his journeys (Timothy, Silas etc). Paul instructs him to help meet the needs of these women who had so faithfully served the Lord by his side. Note in this instance Paul seems to be placing this “yokefellow” in a more submissive role by helping meet the needs of the women as they served the Lord (not vice versa).

Paul goes on to list others who had been useful to his ministry while he was in Philippi. Clement is mentioned along with others who had worked side by side with Paul.

 

 

whose names are in the book of life.

Paul reminds his “yokefellow” that those he is sent to help are all spiritual brothers and sisters. As such, they shared many attributes with this yokefellow… their salvation experience; their Lord; their need to share Christ with others; their eternal blessings and homeland; etc etc. All of these help to cultivate a unity in service between the yokefellow and those he is sent to help.

 

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

There are several basic lessons we can learn from this portion of Scripture…

 

1. The importance of unity in mind, desires, goals, and doctrines, to effectively serve the Lord as one unit.

2. The need to appreciate and properly value the women who labor among us for the cause of Christ.

3. The proper attitude of humility, willing to step in and meet the needs of those who are serving Christ, no matter what their gender, position in the church, or age.

4. Those who labor with us are our spiritual brothers and sisters, and as such, share much in common with each of us including our eternal home.

May we all seek to follow the teachings of our Lord, given through the Apostle Paul, to be more effective servants for Him.

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 3:17-19 “Ye Have Us for an Ensample”


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 3:17-19 – “Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)”

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.

 

Paul encourages the brethren to be “co-imitators” of himself. He goes on to tell them to take note of those who follow Paul’s example. These are the people that the brethren are to follow.

Why would Paul encourage the brethren to follow him, instead of telling them to follow Christ?

1. Paul understood our human nature. It is far easier to follow an example we can see with our eyes as compared to attempting to follow an example based on the historical account of someone’s life. At this point in time in history Christ was no longer present on the earth and the Word of God was not completed yet. For people to learn about, and follow, Christ they would have to hear about His life from a first or second hand source.

2. In the context, Paul is telling them to follow His example because he was following Christ. In essence, by following Paul’s example they would be following Christ.

3. Also keep in mind the context of the passage. Paul had just explained his great desire to be willing to put sin to death in his life and live a life of sacrifice for Christ. He had just encouraged others to do so as well (vs 11-16).

He may have been referring to this aspect of his life only. In other words, he was telling the people of Philippi to follow the example he was setting by desiring to put sin away and give their all in the service of Christ. This would involve following Christ’s example in all things.

In any case, Paul’s encouragement for others to follow his example does no injustice to the importance of being followers of Christ.

 

 

(For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:

 

Paul understood the need for the brethren to carefully choose whom they would emulate. There were many who came in the name of Christ, claiming to be His servants, who were actually opposed to His cause.

 

They were a sorrow to the heart of Paul. He understood their lost condition and the great harm they caused to the work of Christ.

 

 

 

Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)”

Those who actively oppose the work of Christ under the guise of service to Him are described by Paul as:

1. Whose end is destruction, – eternal ruin, constant entering into a worse state forever

2. whose God is their belly, – they worship and serve their fleshly appetites

3. and whose glory is in their shame, – the earthly honor and following they achieve will result in eternal embarrassment

4. who mind earthly things. – they place their attention and affection on the things this world has to offer.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

WOW! What a blessing it would be if we knew we lived such a Godly life that we would encourage others to be followers of us! If we carefully examine ourselves, I doubt if many of us (myself included) would feel comfortable do so.

This shows us such a need for Godly living on each of our parts! May we all follow the command of our Lord given to us by the Apostle Paul who said….

1Ti 4:12 – “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”

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… <a href="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 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


Philippians 2:14-16: “Shine As Lights In the World”


 

 

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 2:14-16 – “Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.”

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Paul now instructs the Philippians on how to have testimonies that will shine brightly in the midst of a fallen world….

Do all things without murmurings and disputings:

The Philippian believers were to do all things without complaining or arguing. These had to do with their willingness to be submissive to the authorities over them. They were to willingly submit to the will of their family leaders; church; government; masters; and, most importantly, their Lord.

 

 

 

That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life;

 

 

This testimony of submission to higher authorities would result in them being seen as:

1. be blameless and harmless – unable to be accused and innocent

2. the sons of God – members of the family of God

3. without rebuke – without fault

4. among whom ye shine as lights in the world; – lights that shine brightly revealing Christ and His Word

This wonderful light-filled testimony would take place “in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation” in other words, in the midst of a twisted, corrupted world.

 

 

that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.”

The shining testimony of the Philippian believers would bring rejoicing to Paul’s when he stood before the Lord to give answer for his ministry. Their faithfulness would be proof that Paul’s service on their behalf was not worthless.

Paul pictures his service to Christ as a race and as working at a job. Both have an end goal, both take much effort and both are done according to guidelines that were given. So too, our service to the Lord. The Lord gives us specific opportunities to share Him with others, according to guidelines He has given to us, which will take effort on our part and enabling on His part.

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

When we have are in submission to those who are placed over us, we find ourselves shining brightly, revealing Christ to others around us. One of the hallmarks of Christ’s ministry on the earth was His submission to His Father and the other authorities over Him. When we willfully submit to our authorities, we are placing before others a wonderful example of the submissive spirit of Christ.

May we all strive to live in submission to the authorities around us as we seek to show Christ to a lost and dying world.

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 2:12-13: “God Hath Highly Exalted 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 2:12-13 – “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Wherefore, my beloved,

Before Paul gives the Philippian believers practical instruction, he reminds them of his great love for them. He was writing to them out of a heart of concern and care wanting only to help them and encourage then in the Lord. He was not instructing them out of a critical, fault-finding spirit, nor did he teach these things for his own personal gain.

 

 

as ye have always obeyed,

 

First, Paul commends them for their consistent service for Christ. He describes their service as “always obey(ing)” Christ. In other words, they served the Lord at every opportunity, without regard to the individual opposition or circumstance they may face.

The Greek word for “obeyed” is a very interesting word. It combines the ideas of listening, following and submitting. They obeyed the Lord consistently by SUBMITTING to His authority in their life which was shown by them LISTENING to His teachings and FOLLOWING His instructions and example.

 

 

not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence,

Paul also commends them for not hypocritically serving the Lord, just for appearance sake. Paul recognized they did not serve the lord only when Paul was present to receive his praise. On the contrary, Paul saw that they continued faithful in service even when he was not there to see them, encourage them, and praise them.

 

 

work out your own salvation

Paul is not telling the believers to work faithfully in an effort to gain, or retain their salvation. Paul is clear in many, many other places of Scripture that the initial salvation experience, the retention of that salvation, and the completion of that salvation are all entirely of God’s grace apart from the works of man.

“work out” – in other words, work to completion, do not stop before the task is accomplished

“your own salvation” – the change that has taken place in your life through the graces you have been given.

In other words, Paul instructs the Philippians to serve the Lord faithfully until each task is complete. They are to do this by exercising the graces given to them, as ones who are saved from their sins. This would include spiritual fruits, Holy Spirit empowering, etc etc. In that sense, they are to “work out”
their “own salvation”… ie “actively use the graces related to your salvation experience to bring the task at hand to completion”

This principle is brought out in Rom 6:18-22:

 

“Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.

For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.”

 

 

with fear and trembling.

Two of the great motives that are to drive the believer to faithfully complete each task presented to them is “fear” and “trembling”…

1. “fear” – alarm, fright, dread. The Greek word for fear is the word “phobos” from which we get our word “phobia”

2. “trembling” – to shake, to quiver from fear.

 

The above words, when taken together, CANNOT simply mean to reverence the Lord. The basic meaning of “phobos” along with the idea of shaking in fright, clearly presents fear and dread as a motive in our faithful service to the Lord.

In what way are Christians to be in dread of the Lord? Are they to fear a loss of salvation or eternal condemnation? Of course not, the Bible makes it plain that the Lord will always bring to completion the work of salvation that He has begun in the heart of the believer…

Php 1:6 – “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:”

Rom 8:29-30 – “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.”

 

If this is true, then in what way are Christians to fear their Lord? They are to fear, or dread, His chastening hand upon those who are willfully disobedient to Him. From experience the Christian knows that the chastening of the Lord can be very stern and painful, meted out in an effort to bring the rebellious Christian back to a close walk with Christ.

Christian’s are to be much like a child who fears the chastening hand of his father, though the child knows he is loved and will always be a part of the family. So too, Christians are to fear the results of the chastening hand of God, while still confident in His love, adoption, and eternal security. After all, God’s chastening hand, although harsh, is meted out from a heart of love, for the believer’s good.

 

Heb 12:5-11

“And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.

Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”

 

 

 

 

 

For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”

The Philippian believers were to keep in mind that all of their labors for Him were, in actuality, the Lord working within them. In other words, the believer’s exercise of spiritual gifts as they served the Lord was actually an act of the Lord enabling and empowering them in their walk with Him.

This is why they should not faint. This is why they should not quit in the midst of hardships. The Lord was working in them enabling them to complete the task that has been placed before them.

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

What is a Christian to do? Based upon these instructions by Paul, we are to faithfully serve the Lord and bring our tasks to completion, without hypocrisy. We are to serve Him out of a recognition of His chastening hand and his gracious enabling in our lives.

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 1:25-26: “Contentment In Bringing Joy To 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:

 

Php 1:25-26 KJV – “And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith; That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again.”

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all

 

After examining the probable results of Paul’s prison deliverance by release or death, he has been persuaded that he will be released from prison and continue to live and serve the Lord on this earth.

 

 

for your furtherance and joy of faith;

 

Paul saw the great need of the churches of the Gentile world. He saw they needed assistance as they continued to grow in the Lord and experience lasting joy in their faith.

What is meant by their “faith”? Of course, joy is gotten by the Christian when they exercise faith in Christ as their Savior, but it does not stop there. As the Christian grows in the truths of God’s Word, their faith will increase and become more fixed in their hearts. This is a part of their “joy of faith” and the need for Paul to continue to teach them not only the way of salvation but the truths of the Word as well.

 

 

That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again.”

Paul wants the saints at Philippi to gain an increase in joy from his remaining on earth and ministering to them. Paul was trusting their joy would increase as they see him delivered from prison, which meant the Lord would allow Paul to continue to minister to them to meet their needs.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

One of the blessings of serving the Lord is finding contentment and satisfaction in the knowledge that we are being used of the Lord to help others in need. It is a great privilege to be used of the Lord to meet the spiritual or physical needs of those around us. It is living a life to which we are called of our Lord.

May we all follow the example of Paul and be content knowing the Lord is using us to bring joy and everlasting peace to others who are 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