Showing posts from April, 2010

Philippians 4:19 – Budget and Sacrifice

And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. --Philippians 4:19 NASB At first glance this verse would appear to be a general statement about the provision of God. But while we acknowledge that God is able to provide for us and sustain us through whatever we may face, this particular verse has a more specific meaning. The primary reason for the Apostle Paul's letter to the church at Philippi was to thank the believers for their support of his work through the gifts brought to Paul by Epaphroditus (Philippians 2:25; 4:18). Philippi was not a wealthy church, but its members gave sacrificially out of what they did have to support Paul who, though imprisoned, was still preaching and teaching. The “and” at the beginning of verse nine indicates that what followed was an outcome of the Philippians' their sacrificial giving. Paul is telling the Philippians that because they allowed themselves to be used by God to meet the needs of His se

Philippians 4:12-13 – Learn the Secret

I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. --Philippians 4:12-13 NASB The Apostle Paul had become very familiar with extremes. He was one of the best educated and well respected Jews of his day (Philippians 3:4-6), yet it is his conversion by Christ (Acts 9.3-9; Acts 22.6-11) and his ministry in the cause of Christ that we remember. Paul had once sought out and persecuted Christians on orders from Jerusalem, even playing a supporting role in the stoning to death of Stephen (Acts 7:54–8:1). Yet in the end, as a follower of Jesus, Paul was persecuted, imprisoned and eventually executed. But at this end of Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi the extremes of his life are not the focus of his words. Rather, it is the great secret of dealing with these ex

What We Should Think and Be

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. --Philippians 4:8-9 NASB You have probably heard the computer expression “garbage in, garbage out.” Basically, it means you get out what you put in. This principal is quite appropriate for people as well as computers. What goes into us is what comes out of us. Since God made us, He knows this all too well. God also knows that if we do not keep the right things within us, we are likely to drift away from Him, thereby becoming useless to God, to others and to ourselves. To avoid this, the Apostle Paul gives us some advice that will help us keep to the right path. Paul tells us what we should think about. The referenced Greek word i

Anxiety Helps No One

Be anxious for nothing, 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 comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. --Philippians 4:6-7 NASB When we are anxious about something, whether it is something really good or something really bad, we desire a resolution of that something to the point of distraction of everything else in our lives. Anxiety is very powerful in that way, affecting us mentally, emotionally and physically. Mentally, we tend to focus all our resources on that object, whether they can have an affect or not. Emotionally, we hang all our current and future joys and sorrows on that object. And physically, our bodies take the toll by going along on the highly charged ride that our minds and emotions have created. Anxiety is different from the mechanism of fear. Fear occurs in the presence of an observed threat, and that fear can trigger specific

Being Gentile is Hard

Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. --Philippians 4:5 NASB This verse may seem easy enough, but it can be a real toughie in execution. Let's break it down a bit by looking a three key words. The first word is the Greek epieikés ("ep-ee-I-KACE"), which means seemly, equitable, or yielding. In other words, open to give and take. Of course, no one can truly know this about anything except by their experience with it, or by its reputation. In other words, you have tried it yourself and know it to be yielding, or you have heard from sources so reliable that you accept it as true. The second word is the Greek ginóskó ("ghin-OCE-ko"), which means to come to know, recognize, or perceive. Basically, to be exposed to something so much that you can recognize it instantly. And rather than seeing something once or twice, recognition usually requires a lot of repetition. The third word is the Greek eggus ("eng-GOOS"), which means t

Remember to Always Rejoice

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! --Philippians 4:4 NASB The Greek word, transliterated chairó, ("KHAH-ee-ro") means to be glad with the same intensity that we would have greeting a friend or loved one who has been away, or who is about to go away. At those times of meeting and parting we seem to cook down all of the joys, sorrows and experiences of that relationship into those fleeting moments. Like a well-made sauce that a chef has slowly, carefully and lovingly reduced down from its basic ingredients, the flavors are real and intense. You don't need to guess at what is there--you know. And those around you can also tell what is there just by the expression on your face. There is no hiding it because it is genuine. That moment, that instant of time, is how we are suppose to express our relationship with our Lord--not just for a moment, but all of the time. We are not to walk around with a big plastic grin on our face, but rather we are to wear

Alonso Theatre Department Does Great!

Hey, friends. I'm taking time out to promote another blog. The Arts Council of Hillsborough County posted an article on the fantastic achievement of the Alonso High School Theatre Department, in the selection of their One-Act competition piece to represent the state of Florida in the 2010 International Thespian Festival in June. Please check out today's blog and spread the word! -

Whatever Our State, We Must Give Glory

Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped. He said, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I shall return there. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD." --Job 1:20-21 NASB These were the words of Job upon hearing of the loss of all his children and property. The Book of Job wrestles with an age-old question: If God is a God of love and mercy, why do the righteous suffer? In the book, Job's three friends gave essentially the same answer: all suffering was due to sin. Though one friend, Elihu, put a spin on this in that he declared that suffering was often the means of purifying the righteous. Elihu therefore reasoned that God's purpose was to strip away all of Job's self-righteousness in order to bring him to the place of complete trust in God. We cannot deny that an absence of material goods and concerns does allow us greater opportunity to focus on God. Howev

The Servant Suffered for Us

Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. --Isaiah 53:4-5 NASB Isaiah 52:13 through 53:12 is one of the most treasured and important Scripture passages in the Old Testament. These verses present God’s Servant suffering vicariously for the sins of mankind. Traditional Jewish interpretation understood this passage to be speaking of the Messiah and Christianity recognizes this to be Jesus, the Christ. The passage of Isaiah 53:4-6 expresses the passion of the Servant. He was innocent of guilt, but God allowed the Servant to suffer for the sins of others. In verse 5, the expression of being “pierced through” is quite appropriate imagery for the crucifixion death that Jesus suffered. Some would look to this passage as a

We Need to Abide

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the farmer. Every branch in me that doesn’t bear fruit, he takes away. Every branch that bears fruit, he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already pruned clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I in you. As the branch can’t bear fruit by itself unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you, unless you remain in me. I am the vine. You are the branches. He who remains in me and I in him bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If a man doesn’t remain in me, he is thrown out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them, throw them into the fire, and they are burnt. If you remain in me, and my words remain in you, you will ask whatever you desire, and it will be done for you. “In this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; and so you will be my disciples. Even as the Father has loved me, I also have loved you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will rema