Good Morning, Siblings!
Today’s readings are Philippians 1-4
- This is one of the letters Paul wrote while in prison and it is believed that this was actually written after Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon.
- This letter is not in response to bad behavior, controversies, or the need to admonish. Rather, Philippians is a letter written to express Paul’s love and gratitude for the fellowship at Philippi. His primary purpose was to thank them for their support, express his love for them, and encourage them to continue on the narrow path.
- It is no surprise that modern believers draw great encouragement from this letter – because that was precisely what Paul intended when he wrote it.
My hope is to keep these brief today. We’ll see how that turns out. 😀
Philippians 1:3-7 is a verse that makes my eyes leak a bit when I read it and that is because it is so fitting to how I feel about all of you. Thank you so much for letting me be here, for letting me study the word alongside you, for inspiring me to be a better daughter of the King, and for encouraging me in His Word.
3 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. 6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. 7 It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. Phil 1:3-7
Okay, it all feels personal except for the prison part. I do hope that doesn’t become the case but if it does, I wouldn’t mind if you kept a loose change jar to cobble together some bail money for me.
Phil 1:12 If you’ve ever bought one of my cookbooks and had me sign it for you, you’ve probably seen this verse right under my name as it is the one I most often add.
Phil 1:21 is a popular verse but if we read it in and of itself, depending on the translation, it may seem confusing. Fortunately, Paul elaborates in Phil 1:23-24. While he would rather depart and be with our Messiah, he was happy to remain on this earth and be able to serve Him for the sake of his brothers and sisters, in hopes of bringing more people to Messiah.
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, Phil 1:27
Question: Are you living your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Messiah? Are we standing firm in the Spirit, not succumbing to or being ruled by our flesh, striving side by side with all of our brothers and sisters, not divided by controversies and politics of this world, with a singular goal of bringing others to the faith?
Phil 2:1-11 gives us the example of Messiah’s humility and how that should affect us, how we should model it, how we should strive after making His humility our standard. The Father has been really bringing me back to this time and time again and I have come to see it as one of the leading symptoms of the spiritual malaise among the body in our time. We are lacking humility and we are not willing to humble ourselves as YHWH has called us to do. I spoke more on humility in a chat video that I will post at the bottom of this. Keep in mind it was a live chat so it will contain a bit of visiting.
Phil 2:14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing.
This is a tough one, I admit, but tough things teach us how to strive more.
Phil 3:8 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
The Father has blessed me with great opportunities to see what the world has to offer – and then He has allowed me to hold that up to what He has for me instead. I have been on some of the biggest tv shows in the country, I have traveled to distant lands, I have had hundreds of people line up to get my autograph, I’ve had bestselling books and been on magazine covers, I’ve filmed television series, and I’ve had those moments where assistants were on standby to fawn over my every need.
Now, the people, the people were special. Getting to look in their eyes, connect with their hearts, hear their stories, that touched and changed me. But the experience of all those things that the world leads us to believe are the pinnacle of success – it is emptiness. I’ll never forget some of the haunting encounters I’ve had with famous people envied by the world. There is a pain that can’t even be spoken of that fills in the loneliness of being in a position where you must always strive for more, where value is determined by being noticed, and the rise and fall of popularity can leave you destitute. I’ve had conversations with folks who couldn’t even bear to talk about their loneliness, who were baffled at seeing a mother close to her children, who marveled at the thought of being able to wake up and not try to impress someone that day, who had lost touch with even the idea that a day could be lived through without medication, drugs, or a mix of both. It is excruciating to see or be close to, I can’t even imagine living it each day.
If you are envious of someone today, if there is a lifestyle you think you’d want, I want to encourage you to let go of that. It is all rubbish. The Father has planted you in His garden and if you look around and see bleakness or darkness, consider that you putting in the time and effort to bloom may be what that garden has been waiting for. The greatest diamond the world has is a sad lump of coal compared to the least of what our Father gives us. Our every hope and joy is in Him.
And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you. Psalm 39:7
Phil 3:13-16 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. 16 Only let us hold true to what we have attained.
Have you learned a lot in this reading cycle? Let us hold true to what we have attained. Let us strive to be hearers and doers. Let us strain forward, press towards the goal, and continue to grow closer to the Father and His will each day of our lives.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. – Phil 4:4-9
Oh goodness, that will preach. The original word for “reasonableness” here means gentleness, mildness, humility, fair mindedness. Are we living in such a way that this is known to everyone about us? Are we demonstrating anxiousness? Agitation? Uncertainty with the world as if we don’t serve the King of the Universe? What are we thinking of each day? What thoughts occupy our minds? Are they true, honorable, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, worthy of praise – knowing that each of these draw their source in YHWH’s word and the nature of the Holy Spirit? Or are we so caught up with the cares of this world that we’ve relegated thoughts to the Father’s will for us to live in the Spirit to one day a week, ten minutes in the morning, or a few seconds spent saying a hurried prayer before a meal?
I leave you with this:
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. – Phil 4:11-13
And with that, we have completed another book. Rak Chazak!
Coffee Chat below ⬇
Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21
We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!
May YHWH bless the reading of His Word!