June 20, 2019

BIBLE READING: Philippians 4

6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

“In everything”
Do you pray about everything? I’m sure that most of us would have to answer no, but should we be? Isn’t this what God’s word is teaching us? Isn’t this teaching that prayer should be our first step, not our final desperate step? Shouldn’t prayer be our first action instead of our final reaction> Shouldn’t we talk to God first about things instead of quickly talking to so many others before ever mentioning it to the Lord? We shouldn’t wait until we are so burdened down with the care of circumstance before we finally and desperately go to God in prayer?

It almost seems as if the act of going to God in prayer fixes more than the answer God may give to the prayer. I have often found that God may not do anything that I had asked, but it sure did help me to go to him in prayer. In fact, verse seven says that the peace of God will keep your hearts and your minds. It never says that the prayer would be answered the way in which you requested. It doesn’t say the “provision of God” will keep your hearts, it says the “peace of God” will.

So, the principle of keeping your heart and your mind stable through Christ Jesus centers more around prayer than the answer to the prayer. God’s answer may or may not change your circumstances but praying and going to God will change you. I encourage you today to try your best to go to God in prayer about everything that comes your way, such as an unexpected happening, a conflict, or any little decision. Just try for today and see if you can bathe everything in prayer. Prayer brings peace, even if the prayer doesn’t bring changes.

June 19, 2019

BIBLE READING: Philippians 3

1 Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord………

What a simple encouragement from Paul. Now Paul was getting ready to let them know of some things that they’re going to have to watch, fight against, and stand firm through in the following verses. Paul was going to be sharing with him that the journey with Christ is not always an easy one and there are struggles that come our way. But Paul also wanted them to remember to rejoice in the Lord.

What does the word rejoice mean? It means to replay, rehearse, or rebuild a joy that was already there. It means that there is a joy that God puts in our life at the moment of salvation, but many things can happen along the way to overshadow that joy. Circumstances can get us to the point where we no longer remember or practice the joy that we have in Christ. So, Paul reminds them once again to rejoice in Christ.

Notice also what Paul did not say. Paul did not say to rejoice in circumstances. That would be OK if they were good circumstances, but if they are bad circumstances, then there would be no reason to rejoice. I am very thankful that I do not have to rejoice in my circumstances, because my circumstances are not always good.

Paul did not say rejoice and be mean. Now there are certainly people in our lives that bring joy to us, but there are also some people in our lives that will kill the joy in our lives. People can really disappoint you. People can really break your heart. People can really let you down. Therefore, we are not to rejoice in people, because if we did, our joy would not last.

Paul did not say rejoice in your accomplishment. Now there are some accomplishments in your life I’m sure that brought you joy when you accomplished them. But if you’re like me, I’ve also had many failures in my life. And if my accomplishments dictated my joy, then there would be many times in my life where joy would be missing.

I could obviously give you more examples, but Paul said to rejoice in the Lord. That means that even when circumstances are bad, I can have joy. That means even when people let me down and hurt me, I can have joy. That means even when I have failed and I have blown it, I can have joy. Because our Lord never changes, we can always have joy in our life, even when everything else going wrong.

June 18, 2019

BIBLE READING: Philippians 2

2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

Paul lets the church of Philippi know that they could bring joy to his heart and fulfill the hopes and prayers that Paul had for them. They could do this by working together for a common cause, and that cause was unity in Christ. By the way, that is a cause that each of us should be working towards.

As Paul gives them a list of a few things, Paul says to have the “same love”, “one accord”, and “one mind”. Paul says you do this in verse two by being like-minded. Then in verse three encourages them to be lowly-minded. It seems like it could be an impossible task, and it is certainly not an easy one. But Paul says that it would give him joy if this church would be like-minded and would learn to be lowly-minded. Being lowly minded prevents us from doing things through strife, or contention, or vanity. Lowliness of mind makes us esteem others higher than ourselves. When that happens, it sure is easier to have the same love one for another, and to dwell in one accord with one mind.
I guess we will never be truly like-minded, until each of us learn to be lowly minded.

Paul knew what that meant. Paul said he had learned whatever state he was in, there with to be content. Paul also said that he learned how to be abased and to suffer need. And even in those conditions, Paul was an individual that esteemed others better than himself.

I encourage you today, put others first. Put your wife first. Put your husband first. Put your coworkers first. If we do, it might be that that not only would we “fulfill” Paul’s joy, you and I might find that it “fills” our joy.

June 17, 2019

BIBLE READING: Philippians 1

6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
7 Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace.

I believe verse seven in this passage is where the term “y’all“ began. When Paul said “Ye all”, those of us Southerners just turned it into one word. However, in the south, that could mean one person, or a bunch of people, or it can mean everyone in the world. When someone says I hate “y’all “, it can mean I hate you, or it can mean I hate all of you. LOL. Well enough of that!

In this passage Paul meant all believers. Specifically, he meant all the believers at this church in Philippi, but it applies to all believers everywhere. Paul said he was “confident” that God would be faithful to complete in a person’s life what God had begun. Paul is saying that when you place your faith and trust in the Lord, you can count on the fact that God will ‘never leave you nor for sake you’ and that nothing could ‘separate you from the love of God’.

This word “perform” means to fulfill, to accomplish, to complete, and literally to do it. Paul is saying that whatever is needed in your journey of serving the Lord, God will supply it. Whatever burden you cannot carry; God will bear it. Whatever task is too great for you, God will do it. Paul was confident of this, and you and I should be also. How horrible would it be to be saved, to try to serve the Lord, and then not have His help to do so. We would have no chance.

So how is all this done? Well, we have to go back to our good southern word. The reason Paul was so confident that God would do this in the heart of every believer is because Paul was convinced that “Ye all”, or “y’all”, “are partakers of my grace”. Paul is saying that he believed every believer had access to the same grace that Paul had access to. And Paul believed that God’s “grace is sufficient for thee”.

I believe with all my heart that because you and I have access to the grace of God, we have everything we need to do what God has asked us to do. We have everything that we need to live this life in this world with a pure heart. Remember today, “His grace is sufficient for thee”. Be “confident” of that.

June 14, 2019

BIBLE READING: EPHESIANS 6

6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;
7 With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:
8 Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.

“Doing the will of God from the heart”
You can always tell the difference between a person who is doing something from the heart, and a person who is doing something out of obligation. When I was a teenager, one of my jobs was to always wash my dad’s vehicle. I did not enjoy that at all. I love my dad, but it really was not my car so I would do it, but I would not say that I did it from my heart. In fact, I would cut every corner I could to try to get done as fast as I could. Of course, my dad would make me go back and do it right and I would have done it much faster if I would’ve done it right from the start, but we all know how teenagers are. but when I got my first car, I washed it just about every day. And I loved to clean up that car and make it look sharp. I would take my time, be meticulous, and loved every second of it. I guess because it was “my car”. My heart was in it.

It is not enough for you and I to do the will of God. We must do the will of God from the heart. Otherwise, we really have not done the will of God. When it comes to God’s will, our attitude is just as important as our action. That’s why this passage teaches that whatever we do, we must do it for the Lord. If we do it for people, then we’re going to hate it and resent it at times, because people will agitate us. We will think that some people don’t deserve our efforts. But if we do everything to the Lord, and not to men, then we will always give our best because why in the world would we not give our best to the Savior who died for us?

This passage teaches that we should always remember that whatever we do for another person in the name of the Lord, God always returns that back to us. We often don’t know how or when, but God always rewards obedience. Give it your best today. Try to be imitators of Christ today. And remember, do it “as to the Lord, and not to men”!

June 13, 2019

BIBLE READING: EPHESIANS 5

1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;

There are so many wonderful things in Ephesians chapter 5. There is a lot of wonderful marriage material that you would think I would have concentrated on in this chapter, but I think before any of the marriage advice would work, this simple command in verse one must be followed. If we are not really followers of God, then we certainly will not follow His Word. We must determine that we will be followers of God, not changers of men. We must determine that we will be followers of God, not criticizers of others. We will not submit ourselves to each other, as this chapter asks us to do, if we will not submit ourselves to God. Husbands will not love their wives, wives will not submit to their husbands, and we will not be led by the Spirit of God if we are not followers of God.

This word followers, in verse one, is the Greek word “MIMETES”. This word means to imitate, or to follow. It’s where we get our word mimic. Mimic describes someone who imitates characteristics or actions of another person. It’s also where we get our word “mime”. These are individuals with painted faces that never say a word but follow around other people and imitate them. Now if you’re like me, mimes freak me out. But that is another story. So, if we are followers of God, it means that we will try to imitate God. We will try to do what He would do, and think what He would think, and say what He would say.

Paul then says that we should follow God like an obedient child would follow a parent. “As dear children” literally means a child who is greatly loved by his parents. That word “dear “is a Greek word that comes from the Greek word agape. We are to follow God like a child who knows from the bottom of their heart that God loves me as his child, and because of that I trust God with my life. By the way, God is our father, and he dearly loves us as his children. Because we know we are loved so much, that should make us want to imitate our Father.

Dear friend, you are dearly loved by God today. For our relationships, and marriages, and purposes, and families, and life to not just be blessed but to be used for God’s purposes, we must determine that we will be followers of God. Who are you following today?