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Posts tagged “God

Woe to those who devise iniquity  and work out evil on their beds ! Micah 2


Woe to those who devise iniquity
And work out evil on their beds!
At morning light they practice it,
Because it is in the power of their hand,

They oppress and man and his house
A man and his inheritance.

 

God sees everything, nothing is hidden from Him. He sees the wicked and evil intentions people have for others. Hidden motives, they claim to be your friend, they say they wish you well, perhaps they are your own family members, they hug and kiss you with kind words just as Judas kissed Jesus  They lie awake in the night scheming, they wake up and bring their thoughts to life. Their intention, which God see’s clearly, is to take what is not theirs. In their greedy hearts, they devise plans to steal a man’s inheritance and wish disaster on their family.

The bible was written to instruct us, correct us, guide us into righteousness , warn us, prepare us, convict and help us in every way. There isn’t a scripture or book in the bible without God’s divine hand of instruction for us.Although Micah was writing concerning Jerusalem and Samaria, there are many lessons and warnings applicable for us today.  May God open your eyes to see and ears to hear  and understand.

I found Micah to be fascinating and relevant for the present time- so listen carefully.

Watch out- many who call themselves brothers and sisters in Christ are NOT

There are people who secretly devise evil and wickedness against others have the sweetest words and countenance to fool you. Even more shocking, they assemble with us in our Christian house as a brother or sister in Christ, but they devise evil in their hearts. Yes! They worship God and sing his praises while they work iniquity. They may fool us, but they don’t fool God. The bible says that God turns his head from them and will not hear their prayers or cries for help.

But why? Why would anyone hate the righteous?
In Proverbs 29:27, the righteous are hated, abhorred and an abomination to the wicked:

An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous,
And he who is upright is the way an abomination to the wicked. 

In 2 Cor 2:15-16, we are a stench of death to those who are perishing….

 For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life.

Watch out! Don’t think you can get away with mixing your ways and God’s ways

There are wicked, unrighteous and vile people among us- in our houses of worship and our ‘Christian communites’. They worship with us, pretend with their works, knowledge and words, but secretly, they are wolves in our midst. They don’t truly honor and obey God. Many have made their own ways, own laws and have backslidden so far they no longer see truth. Many times they have mixed truth with lies. This isn’t anything new, it’s written all through scripture. In fact, in Jeremiah, 2500 years ago,the women were worshiping the Queen of Heaven and worshiping God. God continued to warn them, but they would not listen. I found it very interesting that the women refused to stop because they said since they started worshiping and praying to the queen of heaven, all was well with them – their prayers were answered. The bible tells us that when we pray to anyone or thing other than God (idol) we are actually praying to demons.  So many times I’ve had people tell me how their prayers were answered when they prayed to a statue of their saint and their prayer was answered.  Be careful!  You are praying to demons and surely they like it and will do all they can to pull you further and further from God. They hate you and want to destroy your soul. Did Jesus die for nothing? We pray to God in Jesus name. You must chose between the spirit and flesh and the spirit of the world and the Spirit of God. You can’t  pick both.

Back to Micah 2……

As Micah, proclaims, there are those who lie awake at night devising evil as they lie on their beds, when the morning sun arises, they bring these thoughts to action because they can. They are greedy and never have enough, they are not content with what they have and they do everything they can to get more, more, more more- stepping on anyone along the way. They try to steal a man’s inheritance and oppress a man and his family

However, to God’s people: You wait and cling to the Lord. For the Lord is against this wickedness and is devising disaster. No longer will your enemy walk upright in their pride and haughtiness as they scheme to take your heritage and what is your blessing.

So many different thoughts to take from here on Micah…… Remember to pray for your enemies – this brings you a blessing. Also do not return insult for insult. Wait on the Lord and He will make all things right. The verses above say that God brings disaster on those of evil scheming, but He also is saddened to see the wicked perish. He patiently waits for the wicked to turn from their ways. The entire book of Revelation is chance after chance to turn back to God, but some will not and instead will turn and curse Him.

These people walk in a false spirit – a lying spirit- who falsely divines and seek diviners, sorcery, magic -and provoke God to anger, they have no inheritance in God’s kingdom, it was sin punishable by death, they sell themselves to do evil instead of obeying the Lord.

If you walk in these ways, you must stop and repent. Do as the people in the New testament did and destroy everything that has to do with witchcraft, sorcery, magic and calling on the dead. DONT BE FOOLED, God is not mocked, for whatever you sow, surely you will reap. Galations 5:20 and more…

Listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit

I noticed something lately about opening my ears to hear the leading of the Holy Spirit. It’s easy to fall of the track and take a wrong turn. We can so easily make excuses to do things we know we shouldn’t.  It’s exactly how the devil worked in the garden, he mixed truth and made it seem okay- he still does that today. Often times I will want to do something or say something and Ill either know I shouldn’t or I am unsure. At this point, if I begin to reason within myself why its okay and it’s not a sin – sure enough – If I find myself reasoning to do something, it’s something the Holy Spirit doesn’t want me to do.  God wants to lead you in all you do, stop to pray and ask for His direction. He will lead you.
–If you find yourself reasoning and arguing with yourself about whether or not to do or not do something – you might be trying to argue for your own desires and not God’s.–

Learn a spiritual lesson :

As we read these verses, there’s a spiritual battle lesson in this. Just as people deceive and scheme disaster against you, there are spiritual authorities in high places that have the same plan of defeat for you – to rob you of your inheritance of a child of God. These spirits want to destroy your life and your joy, filling us with wrong thoughts of fear, worry, anxiety, defeat and lies. YOU must stand up in this battle with the Word of God as your hope and your anchor (Your Sword). God will fight for you, He will strengthen you and He will send His warring angels to fight for you. However, you must not be a coward. Understand who you are in Christ, Your authority in Him and the Power of the Holy Spirit in you. Let that truth strengthen you.

No weapon formed against you shall Prosper

No wicked words or curses  risen up against you shall prosper

This is your true and trustworthy heritage in the Lord
You belong to a Great a mighty God
A Great Warrior is He

 

Well, I planned to write more on the amazing finds on Malachi, but it seems I took off with this verse from Micah2:1-4 . Learn a lesson from it historically, spiritually and literally in your lifee:

Woe to those who devise iniquity,
And work out evil on their beds!
At morning light they practice it,
Because it is in the power of their hand.
 They covet fields and take them by violence,
Also houses, and seize them.
So they oppress a man and his house,
A man and his inheritance.

 Therefore thus says the Lord:

“Behold, against this family I am devising disaster,
From which you cannot remove your necks;
Nor shall you walk haughtily,
For this is an evil time.
 In that day one shall take up a proverb against you,
And lament with a bitter lamentation, saying:
‘We are utterly destroyed!
He has changed the heritage of my people;
How He has removed it from me!
To a turncoat He has divided our fields.

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Philippians 4:21-23 “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:

Php 4:21-23 – “Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren which are with me greet you. (22) All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar’s household. (23) The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. To the Philippians written from Rome, by Epaphroditus.”

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Paul’s closing to his letter and our closing to this devotional series….

Salute every saint in Christ Jesus.

 

Paul tells the Philippian saints to embrace and welcome each other in the knowledge we are all members of Christ’s family. This is one of the most prevalent commands that the Lord gives to His people to always love one another…

Joh 13:34-35 – “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”

 

The brethren which are with me greet you. All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar’s household.

 

Paul sends greetings to the Philippians from those with him… they send their embraces and welcomes to them. Paul who was imprisoned still found fellow believers around him in the household of Caesar.

Perhaps, these are people that he personally had won to the Lord, or else they were previously saved and now were in contact with Paul. In either case, although he was imprisoned by Romans, he still was able to enjoy fellowship with believers around him.

 

 

 

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

 

Paul’s parting desire for the Philippian believers was for Christ’s grace to be with each of them.

Folks, if we have God’s grace in our lives what more do we really need? By having His grace, we are assured of His forgiveness of our sins, deliverance from our sins and continual presence in this world and in the world to come.

 

Rom 16:24 – “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”

 

 

To the Philippians written from Rome, by Epaphroditus.

This letter from Paul to the Philippians was written from Rome (while Paul was in prison), was dictated by Paul, and penned by Epaphroditus.

Why didn’t Paul actually pen this epistle. Some believe it was because he was in prison and did not have the proper materials to write a letter, but most believe it was because Paul’s eyesight was very poor and he was not able to see to write.

This second theory would explain why Paul says he personally wrote the letter of Galatians in large script…

Gal 6:11 – “Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand.”

And his poor eyesight may have been the “thorn in the flesh” of which he spoke a few times in his writings…

2Co 12:7 – “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.”

 

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

This closing to Paul’s letter is a very fitting closing to this devotional series as well. My wish for each one of us is to have the Lord’s grace present in our lives on a daily basis, that we might all love one another with a self-sacrificial love, and may we all grow in both knowledge and the application of these truths to our lives.

Thank you so much for joining with me in this devotional study.

 

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 4:19-20 “God Shall Supply All Your Need”


 

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 4:19-20 – “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

But my God shall supply all your need

 

In the context of their sacrificial giving to Paul, he reminds the church at Philippi that the Lord will fully meet their needs. What a wonderful display of the faithfulness of the Lord. When we give of our time, labors, and worldly possessions for the cause of Christ, He will never be a debtor to us. He will always make sure our acts of faithfulness will not go unrewarded.

Psa 84:11 – “For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.”

 

 

 

according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

 

The Lord is able to supply any need which we may have, because He literally owns all material things eternally. Nothing can stop His delivery of these needs to us because He is all-powerful, all-knowing, and everywhere present.

Psa 104:24 – “O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.”

God’s supplying of all the needs of His people brings glory (ie brings praise and honor) to Himself. It is through His work, the creation of this world that these riches exist and are available for His use in meeting the needs of His people.

Every time we say that our needs are supplied, we have to give our Lord all the credit for those needs being supplied. He is the One that is to be thanked, appreciated, and served based upon His love and grace towards us.

Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

Paul, finally, emphasizes the need to bring eternal glory to our Heavenly Father for the meeting of all of our needs.

Paul ends this section with the word “Amen”, simply emphasizing the truthfulness of this promise from God and the need to glorify Him for meeting our daily needs.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

May we all recognize and appreciate the divine supplies of the Lord that are active in our lives. Based upon this appreciation, may we all seek to serve the Lord in greater ways and share with others in need the wonderful blessings He has 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 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 4:10-11 “Be Content”


 

 

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 4:10-11 – “But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again;

Paul overflowed with calm happiness because their concern for Paul had begun bearing fruit once again. Based upon their love for Paul and blessings they had received of the Lord. They were able to resume sending Paul these love offerings which showed they still loved Paul and were financially being blessed of the Lord.

These were the source of Paul’s joy… knowing he was loved, the church there was being blessed, and he appreciated the blessings of love offerings sent to him.

 

 

 

wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.

 

Prior to this, although the Philippian church loved and was concerned about Paul, they were not in a financial position to do so. With the receipt of the love offerings, Paul understood they were now being blessed by God financially which enabled them to send the offerings.

 

 

 

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned,

 

Paul emphasized his joy was not simply based upon the receipt of the love offerings. His joy was centered upon their continuing love for him and their current state of financial blessedness.

Paul materialistic needs were not a big issue with Paul. He had learned a very valuable lesson in his service for Christ….

 

 

in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

 

The word translated contentment is a very interesting one. It comes from two Greek words fused together that mean “enough for self” or “sufficient for self”.

No matter what his material needs (things like money, clothing, shelter, food etc.) might be, Paul had learned to possess an attitude that says “it is enough for me”.

Although the basic principle presented here is the need for Christians to be content in all areas of their lives, it especially points to the need to always be content in the material things of this life. This same principle is presented in the many texts that teach us not to crave the things of this world but to always seek first the spiritual things of God for our lives.

1Jn 2:15 – “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”

 

Col 3:1-2 – “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

May we all listen to the very important advice given to us by Paul…. Folks, we need to learn to be content, no matter what our lot may be in this life.

If we stop and think about these things, we will come to an understanding that, in the “big picture”, the things of this world are simply temporal, short-lived things that do not compare to the eternal blessings that await the people of God. May we all keep this our focus in our lives as we seek to give the eternal things of God first place in our lives.

1Ti 6:6-10 – “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

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 4:8-9 “Think On These Things”


 

 

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 4:8-9 –Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.”

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Finally, brethren,

To bring to completion Paul’s instructions to the Philippians, he presents a listing of things that believers should concentrate on…

 

whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

 

What is the Christian to concentrate on?

Whatsoever things are…

1. true – actual to fact

2. honest – transparent, sincere, honorable

3. just – innocent, aligns with law of God

4. pure – clean, without blemish

5. lovely – acceptable, beautiful in God’s sight

6. good report – reputable, produces good testimony to others

7. virtue – excellence

8. praise – commendable, good to be encouraged

Folks, these are the things that we are all to keep our minds dwelling upon. When we think on these things, it limits the ability of Satan to tempt us and gradually lure us away from the Lord’s desires for our lives.

 

Rom 12:2 – “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

Rom 8:5 – “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.”

 

 

Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do:

Paul then encourages the believers at Philippians to follow his ministry that he has presented to them. This includes his teachings, actions and the lifestyle example he has set for them.

Paul had also encouraged them to follow his example in 3:15-21. Keep in mind, Paul was emulating Christ in his life. By encouraging the Philippian believers to follow him, he was encouraging them to follow Christ.

 

 

and the God of peace shall be with you.”

 

When the Philippian believers think on the right things and follow godly examples that have been set before them, it will allow them to enjoy a close communion with the Lord. As they commune with Him and enjoy His presence in their lives they will be peaceful and content. They can know their hearts are right with the Lord and their lives are pleasing to Him.

 

 

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

May we all keep our minds guarded and dwelling on the Godly things we have seen listed by Paul. In doing so, we will keep our thoughts on Christ, His Word, and the encouraging truths that will keep us close to our Lord and in the center of His will 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 4:4-5 “Rejoice!”


 

 

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 4:4-5 – “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.”

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Rejoice in the Lord alway:

 

The command to “rejoice” comes from a Greek word that means “to be calmly happy”. When Paul tells the Philippian believers to “rejoice in the Lord always”, he is emphasizing the need to live a peaceful, happy existence based upon a knowledge of the Lord’s controlling presence in our lives.

No matter what our circumstances may be, we can own a sense of peace and happiness knowing our Lord is in control and only works in our lives for our benefit.

Psa 46:1-3 – “To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.”

and again I say, Rejoice.

Paul emphasizes the need to live a joyous life, during all the circumstances of life, when he says “again I say rejoice”.

Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

Paul then continues his instruction by telling the Philippian believers let their lives be lived in “moderation” (fitting, proper, appropriate) for each situation we face. That is the key to living a moderate life… always reacting in a way that is appropriate, not over-reacting, nor being totally detached from all that is taking place around us. Moderation understands that the end result of our actions is not the only basis of success. Success also involves how we react to a given situation, and the methods we use to handle the situation are of utmost importance as well.

 

It is doing what is right IN THE RIGHT WAY.

Living a moderate life exhibits a true faith and love for our Lord. It is telling all around us that we do not need to panic, nor do we need to fearfully ignore the events of our life. We are not like stampeding elephants that blindly run destroying everything in their way. Nor are we like an ostrich who sticks his head in the ground refusing to acknowledge the danger that lurked nearby. We are called to deal with whatever comes our way, moderately, through faith in Christ and a knowledge that He is in control of it all.

Paul them gives us one of many reasons why living moderate lives is so important…. “The Lord is at hand”. Folks, time is running short… what we are going to do for Christ must be done now!

John 4:35 – “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.”

 

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

May we all seek to possess lives that are joyful and moderate in Christ. No matter what we may face, may we all possess a calm happiness, reacting in an appropriate way to every situation that comes our way. In doing so, may we reach many for Christ through our living testimony of faith and love.

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 4:1 “Stand Fast In The Lord”


 

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 4:1 – “Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.”

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Therefore,

The word “therefore” refers us back to Paul’s previous teachings on the many blessings awaiting the believer at the second coming of Christ (3:20-21). He will be using these eternal blessings that await God’s people as a motivating force to encourage them to “stand fast in the Lord”…

 

 

my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown,

 

As Paul addresses the believers in the church at Philippi, he describes them as:

1. my brethren – Paul and the Philippian believers were members of the same spiritual family.

2. dearly beloved – Paul loved them with a sacrificial love

3. longed for – Paul missed them and sincerely desired to be with them

4. my joy – They brought delight to Paul as he heard about them and thought about them

5. crown – Paul’s was rewarded for his faithfulness by hearing and seeing their obedience and service to Christ.

All of these titles show us that Paul loved and appreciated his dear Philippian friends. This helps to remind us that Paul was encouraging the Philippians from a heart of love only desiring the best for them.

 

 

 

so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.”

 

Paul encourages the believers to persevere in their service to Christ in the face of continuing opposition and danger. By remaining faithful they would probably face even greater hardships as their persecution would probably increase.

Why would Paul, one who loved them dearly, encourage them to take actions that would only increase their sufferings? It was because Paul understood that greater benefits lie in the spiritual blessings of obedience to Christ, then the temporal blessing of lesser opposition through compromise with the lost world.

 

Their faithfulness was a very important issue with Paul. He greatly desired to see them stand firm in their service to Christ in the midst of the persecutions they faced. This was so important to Paul that he had previously emphasized the need for continued faithfulness to them…

Php 1:27 – “Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;”

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Folks, are we continuing faithful in the face of the many trials and issues of life that take place? Keep in mind, not only does our faithfulness reap eternal rewards for us, but it also encourages other believers around us. All believers are members of the family of God, and as a family, our actions affect others in our family. We are not islands to ourselves whose actions only affect ourselves.

 

Tit 2:7-8 – “In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.”

 

 

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