Posted by: robert0199 | September 20, 2018

But Whatever Gain

7 But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
(Philippians 3:7-11 ESV)

Paul is writing to the Philippians that whatever he had gained as a Pharisee he now counts as loss for the sake of Christ. In fact Paul says that he counts everything as loss because of the worth of knowing Jesus as his Lord. Paul states that for Jesus sake he suffered the loss of everything. He says that he does not have a righteousness of his own that comes from the law, but the righteousness that comes through faith in the Lord Jesus, that righteousness depends on faith. Paul wants to know the power of Christ’s resurrection, to share in His suffering, and become like Him in His death, that he might attain the resurrection from the dead by any means.

Heavenly Father, Paul’s desire to obtain the resurrection from the dead is a desire that all faithful follows of Your Son Jesus aspire to. May we remain faithful to Him and to His word that we may be counted among those who will be resurrected to glory on the last day. I ask this in Jesus name, amen.

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Posted by: robert0199 | September 18, 2018

Righteousness Through Faith

1 Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you.
2 Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. 3 For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh— 4 though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless.                                                                                                                                                                    (Philippians 3:1-6 ESV)

Paul is encouraging the Philippians to rejoice in the Lord. He says it is no trouble to write them and that it is safe for them. He warns them to look out for evil doers and those who mutilate the flesh. He says we who worship by the Spirit of God and Christ have no confidence in the flesh. He admits that he has confidence in the flesh because he was circumcised of the tribe of Benjamin, that he was a Hebrew of Hebrews, as to the law, a Pharisee; so zealous he persecuted the church; and righteous under the law, blameless. This is quite a testimony for a man who laid it all aside to become one of the foremost evangelists of his day.

Heavenly Father, As Paul points out many who are saints in your church today who have set aside fame, fortune and comfort to bring others into Your kingdom. May those who have done so be continually provided for and have the assurance that You are with now and through eternity. I ask this in Jesus name, amen.

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Posted by: robert0199 | September 17, 2018

Epaphroditus

25 I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need, 26 for he has been longing for you all and has been distressed because you heard that he was ill. 27 Indeed he was ill, near to death. But God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. 28 I am the more eager to send him, therefore, that you may rejoice at seeing him again, and that I may be less anxious. 29 So receive him in the Lord with all joy, and honor such men, 30 for he nearly died for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was lacking in your service to me.
(Philippians 2:25-30 ESV)

Paul is commending Epaphroditus who has served well with him. He is letting the Philippians know that though he was ill and near death, he as recovered and he is being returned to them. They are asked to receive him with joy as he nearly died for the work of the Lord. He risked his life to fulfill what was lacking in their service to Paul.

Heavenly Father, When we are commending someone who is a servant of yours to a group that is far off may we take Paul’s commendation of Epaphroditus as a good example of how to do so that the person may be honored but that You will be honored and glorified. I ask this in Jesus name, amen.

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Posted by: robert0199 | September 15, 2018

Timothy

19 I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you. 20 For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. 21 For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22 But you know Timothy’s proven worth, how as a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel. 23 I hope therefore to send him just as soon as I see how it will go with me, 24 and I trust in the Lord that shortly I myself will come also.                                                                                                                                          (Philippians 2:19-24 ESV)

Paul is hoping to send Timothy to the Philippians that he may gain news of them. He says there is no one else who will be genuinely concerned for their welfare. He says they are all seeking their own interests, not those of Christ. He reminds them that they know Timothy’s worth, that he serves with Paul in the gospel. Paul hopes to send him as soon as he knows how things will be with him and hopes that he will be able to come also.

Heavenly Father, there are times in our lives when we hope to be able to visit those we know to be our brothers in the faith but for one reason or another are unable. May we use the modern means of communication to stay in touch and encourage them in the faith, and to help them grow closer to you. I ask this in Jesus name, amen.

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Posted by: robert0199 | September 14, 2018

Lights in the World

12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing, 15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. 17 Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. 18 Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.
(Philippians 2:12-18 ESV)

Paul is telling the Philippians that they are to work out their own salvation with fear and trembling. He is saying that God works in them for His good pleasure.                                                                                                                    Paul encourages them to do all things without grumbling that they might be innocent, children of God without blemish shining a light to a wicked and twisted generation. He tells them to hold fast to the faith, that in the day of Christ he might be proud that he did not labor in vain, with them. He says they should also be glad and rejoice with him.

Heavenly Father, May we rejoice that we are holding onto the faith that was given to the church by its earliest leaders such as Paul and may we rejoice that he did not labor in vain but brought of disciples that have held firm to the faith once delivered throughout the ages. I pray this in Jesus name, amen.

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Posted by: robert0199 | September 13, 2018

Have This Mind

5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,1 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,2 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,3 being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:5-11 ESV)

Paul is encouraging the Philippians to have the same mind as Christ, who though he was God did not try to be equal with God, but took the form of a servant born in human form. Once He was human Jesus humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death on the cross. Therefore, God honored him and gave Him the name that is above every name, so that at His name every knee should bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord, to the Glory of the Father.

Heavenly Father, Jesus example of humility and obedience to Your will is not easy to emulate. We are too often puffed up and full of ourselves. Jesus was neither of those but a servant to all. May we as we follow earnestly seek to become like Him in all ways that we might bring honor and glory to Your name. I pray this in Jesus name, amen.

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Posted by: robert0199 | September 12, 2018

Christ’s Example of Humility

1 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
(Philippians 2:1-4 ESV)

Paul is asking the Philippians to have the same love that Christ had and to be of the same mind as He was. He exhorts them to do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but to count others more significant than yourselves. He charges them to look not only at their own interests but also to the interests of others.

Heavenly Father, When Christ came into the world he set aside the attributes of God that he had and became just like one of us. As He lived out what He came to do He showed compassion to all who came to Him healing all who needed healing. May we as His followers have the same mind and have compassion toward all. Helping them to come to know Christ as savior and Lord and our healer. I pray this in Jesus name, amen.

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Posted by: robert0199 | September 11, 2018

Only Let Your Manner

27 Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, 28 and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God. 29 For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, 30 engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.
(Philippians 1:27-30 ESV)

Paul is encouraging the Philippians to make sure that their lives are worthy of the gospel of Christ. He writes this so that whether he is with them or absent he will hear they are standing firm in the faith, and not frightened by opponents. This will be a sign to them of their destruction but of their salvation from God. He is saying that they are engaged in the same conflict as he is, and that they will suffer for the sake of Christ.

Heavenly Father, In many parts of the world those who follow Jesus are persecuted and suffering for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ. These are reminded in this passage that their suffering is not in vain because they are part of the conflict that has been proceeding since the time of Jesus. In every age believers have been persecuted and have suffered. Let that suffering be a goad to the persecutors that they might come to faith as well and help to grow the kingdom. I pray this in Jesus name, amen.

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Posted by: robert0199 | September 8, 2018

To Live Is Christ

Yes, and I will rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, 20 as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. 24 But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.
(Philippians 1:19-26 ESV)

Paul is telling the Philippians that through their prayers and with the help of the Spirit it will be for his deliverance. He says that it is his hope that he will not be ashamed but will honor Christ with his body, whether it is alive or dead. Paul says that for him to live is Christ and to die is gain. If he is to live he will have fruitful labor but when he dies he will be with Christ. He says that his desire is to depart and be with Christ, but that it is necessary for him to remain in the flesh to continue teaching for their progress and joy in the faith, that they will have ample glory in Christ when he returns to them.

Heavenly Father, Paul’s letters to the various churches have provided much necessary teaching to Christ’s church through the centuries till our present day. We give you thanks that Paul honored his call and was committed to helping all who came to faith to grow in the Lord and ultimately to join You in Your kingdom giving you praise. May all who come to faith remain true unto their salvation. I pray this in Jesus name, amen.

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Posted by: robert0199 | September 6, 2018

The Advance of the Gospel

12 I want you to know, brothers,5 that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, 13 so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. 14 And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
15 Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. 16 The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. 18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.
(Philippians 1:12-18 ESV)

Paul is telling the Philippians that the gospel has been advanced in the Roman guard due to his imprisonment. Also the brothers in Rome are speaking the truth because of Paul’s situation. He says that some proclaim the gospel for personal gain and others out of love for the truth. He rejoices that Christ is preached in every way even when it is by a person who is preaching for selfish ambition.

Heavenly Father, In our culture there are those who preach the gospel out of love for you and to bring sinners to salvation. There are others who preach for personal gain. I rejoice that the gospel is preached but ask that it is those who are doing it our love for you whom you will support and advance. I pray this in Jesus name, amen.

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