Spreading The Gospel

Posts tagged “grace

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


INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Background to Philippians…

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

Some of the main divisions of the book include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

 

 

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

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

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

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

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

Questions, Comments, or Suggestions?

Email me at: rob.barkman@settledinheaven.org

Homepage… http://www.settledinheaven.org

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


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


 

 

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Background to Philippians…

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

Some of the main divisions of the book include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

 

 

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

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

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

Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord.

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

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

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

Questions, Comments, or Suggestions?

Email me at: rob.barkman@settledinheaven.org

Homepage… http://www.settledinheaven.org

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

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


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


 

 

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Background to Philippians…

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

Some of the main divisions of the book include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

 

 

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

 

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

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

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

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

Questions, Comments, or Suggestions?

Email me at: rob.barkman@settledinheaven.org

Homepage… http://www.settledinheaven.org

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

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


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


 

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Background to Philippians…

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

Some of the main divisions of the book include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus,

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Why would Paul send Epaphroditus with Timothy?

 

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Questions, Comments, or Suggestions?

Email me at: rob.barkman@settledinheaven.org

Homepage… http://www.settledinheaven.org

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

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


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


 

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Background to Philippians…

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

Some of the main divisions of the book include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

 

 

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

 

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

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

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Questions, Comments, or Suggestions?

Email me at: rob.barkman@settledinheaven.org

Homepage… http://www.settledinheaven.org

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

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


Philippians 2:3-4: “Esteem Others Better Than Ourselves”


 

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 2:3-4 – “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Paul continues to help us understand proper motivations we should possess as we cultivate Godly relationships with other Christians…

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory;

Godly relationships cannot be motivated with desires for:

1. strife – conflict, confusion and disorder

2. vain-glory – worthless praise

Neither of these motivations should hold any place in the lives of Christians. When these motivations are present they are to be replaced with humility…

 

 

 

but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

 

We are to, with a humble mind, we are to see others as more valuable than ourselves. This attitude will cause us to put the welfare of others first and to be willing to make personal sacrifices for them.

 

 

 

Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”

When we see others as better than ourselves, we will begin looking out for their welfare and seek to meet their needs. We will no longer be self-centered and discouraged due to our own personal wants but our attention will be centered upon Christ and working to help others along life’s way.

The Lord’s mandate to “look …. on the things of others” does not give us the liberty to judge others in an ungodly way, become tattlers of their affairs, or noisy interferers. Please keep in mind, when we have a truly humbled heart pointed towards the welfare of others, the mistreatment of others will not be an option for us.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

1Jn 3:14 – “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.”

Rom 15:1 – “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.”

 

When we develop a selfless attitude towards the people of God, we are showing ourselves to be genuinely saved and spiritually strong. What a wonderful testimony to have before the lost around us. When they see us enjoying Godly relationships, willing to make sacrifices for others, they are seeing the love of Christ at work in us.

May we all continue to come to a better understanding and application of the Lord’s word given to us through the Apostle Paul which will allow us to develop more Godly relationships with our brothers and sisters in Christ and be living testimonies of the love of Christ in the eyes of those who are lost.

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 2:1-2: “Love & Unity”


 

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 2:1-2 – “If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.”

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Paul uses the blessings of Christ to encourage the Philippians believers to be united with one another…

 

 

If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,

Paul now reminds the Philippian believers of a few of the innumerable blessings that the Lord has given to them….

1. consolation in Christ – security and peace stemming from His presence beside us during every event in our lives

2. comfort of love – encouragement that comes from a knowledge of His love, and watch care for us.

3. fellowship of the Spirit – communion with the Spirit allowing us to share in the blessings of Christ

4. bowels and mercies – the Lord’s deepest sincere longings and pity being pointed towards us.

Paul is pleading with the Philippian church members, since these wonderful blessings are graciously given to you by our Lord, it is only proper for you to….

 

Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.”

Bring a deep, sincere joy to Paul’s heart by sharing with their brothers Christ-like …

1. like-minded – beliefs and opinions

2. having the same love – self-sacrificial love

3. being of one accord – passions, priorities and goals

4. being… of one mind – thoughts, attitudes and reasonings

It only makes sense. If the Lord has exclusively given to His people the blessings of security and peace, encouragement, communion, His deepest sincere longings and pity; surely the Philippian brethren should enjoy a close, intimate unity with one another.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Folks, do we ever stop and think about all the blessings of God that we share with other believers and especially, the members of our church? Stop and think about all these blessings that we have in common one with another.

Yes, we do hold many things in common with all mankind around us. Many of our physical needs, our employment, our education and our community affairs are the same for both lost and saved.

However, all these blessings of God we share in common with only the people of God, which allows us to enjoy a closer level of communion with our spiritual brethren than that of the lost world.

As a matter of fact, the doctrines we believe and the goals of service that we share as members of a specific local assembly will be unique from many of the other believers that are around us. These blessings which are shared in common allow an even closer level of fellowship between ourselves and the members of the the church in which we are members.

May we all stop, recognize God’s blessings, recognize those with whom we share these blessings and strive to develop close, long-lasting relationships with them knowing that it is pleasing to 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 1:29-30: “To Suffer For His Sake”


 

 

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Background to Philippians…

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

Some of the main divisions of the book include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

 

Php 1:29-30 – For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake; Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me.

 

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ,

 

The Lord graciously delivers to each of His people times of affliction, to bring glory and honor to Christ, and open occasions for us to grow in grace and knowledge of Him.

 

 

 

not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;

 

This gracious gift of faith from the Lord involves both the saving faith that we exercise when we are first saved, and also the faith to trust Christ in the midst of opposition and trials. Trusting in Christ for our salvation, and in times of opposition, reveals to those around us the genuineness of our absolute trust in Him. The one faith (at salvation) shows our trust in Him with our eternal life, the other (during opposition) shows our trust in Him for our physical life and well-being.

Not only do opportunities to suffer for His name allow our faith to be seen by others, but it also develops Christian maturity and growth in Christ. This growth then prepares the Christian for greater opportunities of service for Christ which, in turn, results in even greater glory and honor being brought to Christ’s name

In all these ways, being opposed in our stand for Christ is truly a gift of grace, opening up to us wonderful occasions to bring glory and honor to His name.

 

Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me.

The church at Philippi was facing the same types of opposition that Paul faced when he had been with them, and the current opposition that he faced.

Paul was pointing out to them that he was speaking to them out of experience. These instructions were not simply words that were a part of an academic exercise or words that stemmed from inexperience and naiveté.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Through his experience, Paul understood the powerful testimony that could be had by trusting in Christ for our eternal salvation and then continuing to trust in Him in times of trials and opposition. Paul knew that these, in turn, resulted in greater spiritual growth and maturity which brought about greater areas of service to Him.

How often do we recognize that our saving faith was a gift given to us by God? (2 Peter 1:1)

How often do we stop and thank Him for the opportunity to show our sincerity to others by remaining faithful in the trials that have come upon us? (Heb 3:12-14)

How often do we appreciate the trials that come our way realizing that, as we remain faithful to Him, they will result in our continued growth in Him and greater service to Him in the future? (James 1:2-4)

May we all recognize and appreciate the wonderful blessing of faith that the Lord has granted to His people. It is through this faith that we are eternally secure in Him and able to remain faithful to Him during times of trials and opposition.

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 1:27-28: “Let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of 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 1:27-28 KJV – “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; And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.”

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ:

One of Paul’s great desires for the Philippian church members was for them to behave in an appropriate way for those who give the gospel of Christ to others.

Folks, as Christians, we are representatives of Christ on earth. We have the responsibility to represent Him in this world in two major ways:

1. by taking the gospel to the lost

2. by possessing lifestyles that follow the example Christ has set for us

These two go hand-in-hand as the appropriate way to represent Christ on earth.

 

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;

 

Paul’s hope is that they remain unified to faithfully serve the Lord in Paul’s presence, and in his absence as well. Even in his absence, Paul will hear of their ongoing unity in their service to Christ. He describes their unity as:

1. “stand fast in one spirit” – remain rooted fast and firm with one set of desires

2. “with one mind striving together – joining together in spiritual warfare based upon a singular set of beliefs in which they all mentally affirm.

Their unity would result in an advance of the doctrines of the gospel of Christ.

 

 

And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.”

 

Paul then encourages them to continue in this unity, even in the face of persecution. They were not to be fearful in the face of those who oppose them. By remaining faithful during opposition it would proved three things to everyone who was watching them….

1. it gave a clear indication that those who were abusing them were headed for eternal ruin and destruction.

2. and it gave a clear indication that the church members were headed for deliverance from this sinful world to a sinless eternity with Christ.

3. their faithfulness during persecution indicated their salvation was based upon God working in their lives empowering and motivating them to faithfulness as new creatures in Christ.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Folks, does our lifestyle reveal Christ and His gracious intervention in our lives?

When others see us do they see Christ being glorified as He works in our lives?

Are we unified with other church members and Christian friends in serving the Lord, even in the midst of persecution and hardships?

All of these are wonderful testimonies that bring honor and glory to Christ and encourage other believers around us. May we all rededicate our lives to reveal our Lord in us as we live our daily lives on this fallen world that so desperately needs to see Christ.

Questions, Comments, or Suggestions?

Email me at: rob.barkman@settledinheaven.org

Homepage… http://www.settledinheaven.org

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

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


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


 

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Background to Philippians…

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

Some of the main divisions of the book include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

 

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

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

That ye may approve things that are excellent;

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Questions, Comments, or Suggestions?

Email me at rob.barkman@settledinheaven.org

 

Homepage… http://www.settledinheaven.org

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

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

Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com