Archive for April, 2008

Theme of Philippians

April 23, 2008 Leave a comment

Paul summarized his message to the Philippians well in 3:12-14.

Life is a marathon, not a sprint, and it is our job to focus on the prize. This is similar to Steven Covey’s concept of beginning with the end in mind.

Do I live each day, do I approach each interaction, with the end in mind? Am I focused on what is truly important?

I particularly struggle with this concept within the context of work. There are pressures from below to support the faculty whom I represent. There are pressures from above to honor my superiors and trust their judgment, even when I’m not sure their decisions are the right thing.

Lord, I pray that you will give me wisdom and insight into this issue as I struggle to serve both my colleagues and my supervisors with a Christ-like, unselfish attitude.

Categories: bible

Theme of Philippians

April 22, 2008 Leave a comment

1:9-11 sums up Paul’s purposes in writing this letter:

I pray that your love will keep on growing and that you will fully know and understand how to make the right choices. Then you will still be pure and innocent when Christ returns. And until that day, Jesus Christ will keep you busy doing good deeds that bring glory and praise to God (CEV).

Read these verses, and then read them again.

Now close your eyes and imagine Paul reciting this prayer aloud, just for you.

Categories: bible

Transparent Paul

April 21, 2008 Leave a comment

Philippians feels incredibly personal. Paul shares openly from the deepest places in his heart.

1) Who cares about the motivation of people who teach about Christ? 1:15, 18

2) Who cares if I live or die? 1:21-26

3) Who cares if I’m a righteous Jew? 3:7-9

4) Who cares if I’m in need? 4:12-13

Paul states clearly that Jesus will take care of him, and by implication each of his followers as well.

Do you follow Jesus, dear Reader?

Categories: bible

From Prison, With Love

April 21, 2008 Leave a comment

One of the most important background details relating to Philippians is Paul’s imprisonment.

In 1:12-14, (cf. Acts 28:11-31), we learn that Paul is writing to the church at Philippi while under house arrest.

This is significant context as we continue our study of this prison epistle (see Gene Taylor’s excellent study guide, pp. 20-28).

Categories: bible

Outline of Philippians

April 19, 2008 Leave a comment

I. Paul’s Greeting and Prayer
II. Paul’s Example from Prison
III. Be As Humble As Christ
IV. Stay Focused Upon the Ultimate Goal, Serving Christ

Categories: bible

Where I’ve Been…Where I’m Headed

April 18, 2008 Leave a comment

Seven weeks ago, when I started my study of 1 John, I didn’t know any Greek.

Now I’m on the road to learning how to read the New Testament in its original language. My mom generously donated her college primer and Greek NT to the cause. Thanks, Mom!

This worked out particularly well because John writes in the simplest language of all the NT writers.

By next April 10, I would like to be able to read the entire NT in Greek.

What is your Bible study goal for the next year, dear Reader?

Categories: bible

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!

April 17, 2008 Leave a comment

The word “lie” appears exactly twice in 1 John (NIV).

If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth (1 John 1:6).

I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth (1 John 2:21).

What I appreciate about this image is that it is not immediately obvious that the word “liar” is written in script.

I’ve experienced this in my own life. Even in the midst of telling a lie, I’ve convinced myself that it isn’t really a lie or that it’s for the other person’s good.

But in reality, when I lie it’s for selfish motivations. I just try to put a good face on it.

Categories: bible
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