Highlights In Today's Reading:
Paul's vibrant first-person action verbs (16 or more in chap. 1) show divine hope and enthusiasm fixed firmly on Jesus. In one accord (2:2). Bow and declare (2:10-11). We need to know Him (3:9-11,20-21). You are encouraged to memorize 4:4,6-7,13,19.
Philippians is a triumphant letter from Paul to the Christians living in Philippi. Joy, rejoice, rejoiced, (and) rejoicing, are mentioned 19 times within these four chapters.
Why all the rejoicing? Did Paul receive an award or special recognition? Were crowds gathering to hear him preach? No! For some time Paul had been in prison for preaching the Gospel. But he could praise the Lord because he was enjoying something far more precious than possessions or a pension.
Paul had the utmost confidence that his present circumstances were for the good pleasure of God (2:13-14) and furthering His purpose. With joy he wrote: I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the Gospel (1:12).
It is often through difficult experiences that the Christian can exercise faith in the Creator and find pleasure in what pleases Him. This comes from within by the power of the Holy Spirit. God works in us before He works through us, and He prepares us through His Word, strengthens us by the Holy Spirit, and is available to us by prayer (I Thess. 2:13; Eph. 3:20). To express discontentment because of adversities is an insult to our Lord's perfect judgment, for it questions His love and wisdom. God can always be trusted for He says: We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28).
Oh, what satisfaction comes through trusting the Lord in all circumstances — disappointments or delights. Paul testified: Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound; every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need (Phil. 4:11-12), knowing that God can and will make all things work together for good in accomplishing His will!
Be careful for (worry for) nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:6-7).
Thought for Today:
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee (Is. 26:3).
For Phil. 2:7: See Is. 42:1.
1:7 meet =might; 1:8 my record =my witness; bowels =affections; 1:14 waxing confident =gaining confidence; 1:22 wot =know; 1:23 in a strait betwixt two =hard pressed between the two; 1:28 an evident token of perdition =evidence of impending destruction; 2:3 vainglory =boasting, empty conceit; 2:22 the proof of him =his trials have proven his sincerity; 3:1 not grievous = never get tired of telling you; 3:2 dogs = antagonists, legalists; 3:20 conversation =citizenship; 4:6 Be careful for nothing =don't be anxious; don't worry; 4:14 communicate with =express your concern, share; 4:18 I have all = am fully satisfied; 4:22 chiefly =especially.
Pray for International Broadcasts in honor of Rick Hash • Government Official: Rep. Rodney Alexander (LA) • Country: Namibia (1.6 million) in southwest Africa • Major languages: Afrikaans and German • Religious freedom • 89% Christian; 10% Traditional; 1% Other (Muslim, Jewish, Baha'i) • Prayer Suggestion: The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips (Prov. 16:23).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 18:33