ALL Our “Needs” Will Be Met :) – Joy in Giving – PHILIPPIANS (Chapter 4) [11 of 11]

This post wraps up Paul’s letter to the Philippians.

Before Paul explains how we can experience Joy in Giving, he gives his readers a couple of important reminders…

—–  Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. – Phil. 4:4-5

—- Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by 1. prayer and supplication (humbly asking or begging another to provide something) 2. 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. –  Phil. 4:6-7

                                                 worrying

Then Paul reminds his readers that they should focus their mind and thoughts on…

whatever is…

  •  true,
  • honorable,
  • right,
  • pure,
  • lovely,
  • commendable,

IF there is any excellence and IF anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. –  Phil. 4:8

                                       think-on-these-things-poster 

Lastly, Paul thanks the people of Philippi for their generosity.  He points out to them, that no other church gave him financial help when he brought them the Good News.  – Phil. 4:15-16

Although Paul says in verses 11-13,  …  I am not 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. 

Nevertheless, Paul is appreciative and grateful for the Philippians care of him – Even so, you have done well to share with me in my present difficulty. –  Phil 4:14

Let’s flip back a couple of books in our Bible from Philippians to 1 Corinthians.  In 1 Corinthians, Paul clearly sets an expectation for those who are receiving and benefiting from being taught the Gospel.  We have planted good spiritual seed among you.  Is it too much to ask, in return, for mere food and clothing?  If you support others who preach to you, shouldn’t we have an even greater right to be supported?  …The Lord gave orders that those who preach the Good News should be supported by those who benefit from it.  –  1 Corinthians 9:11-12,14

 

SO HOW WILL I EXPERIENCE THE JOY IN GIVING?

Paul says, here is God’s promise to those who are generous.

This same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.  –  Phil 4:19

So God taught Paul two important lessons which he passes along to us…

  1.   How to be content in any circumstance.
  2.   He, God, is the provider of ALL our material and spiritual “needs”.

                                               god supplies our needs

 

IF YOU MISSED ANY OF THE PREVIOUS PHILIPPIANS POSTS, SEE THE LINKS BELOW:

Want to Know a Secret??  –  PHILIPPIANS  (Introduction)  – [1]  –   http://wp.me/p5nZpi-mp

Really??  There Can Be Joy In Suffering??  –  PHILIPPIANS  (Chapter 1a)  –  [2]  –  http://wp.me/p5nZpi-mF

Blessing and Being Blessed 🙂  –  Joy in Serving  –  PHILIPPIANS (Chapter 2a)   [4]  –  http://wp.me/p5nZpi-nA

Yeah, but I’ve Got the “Creds”!!  –  Joy in Believing –  PHILIPPIANS  (Chapter 3a)   [8]  –  http://wp.me/p5nZpi-sk

 

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Faith in “Creds”? or Faith in Christ? – Joy in Believing – PHILIPPIANS (Chapter 3c) [10]

We saw in the the last post, All My “Creds” are Garbage???  –  Joy in Believing –  PHILIPPIANS  (Chapter 3)   [9], http://wp.me/p5nZpi-sC, that Paul had a change of attitude.  A attitude change from forcibly sharing God with people, to lovingly sharing God with people.  Paul realized that neither he nor other people could be made right with God by “doing” or by following “the rules”.  Instead, change comes about through faith in, and relationship with a person, Jesus.

HOW DID PAUL COME TO THIS REVELATION?

“I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ.  For God’s way of making us right with Himself depends on faith.Philippians 3:9b

Look back at this verse.  Paul says, “I become righteous through faith in Christ.”

It is not faith is what, but faith in who.

RIGHTEOUSNESS?

Righteousness, right standing with God, comes from God.  It is not what we “do”, what we force others to “do”, or what makes “sense” to us.  It is the provision of our Creator that has made righteousness available to all people through faith.  For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. –  Ephesians 2:8-9

FAITH IN WHO?

Jesus Christ!!

For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.  –  2 Corinthians 5:21

                 great-exchange

When we put our faith in Jesus, trusting that He took all our sins upon Himself when He was crucified, He then exchanges those sins for righteousness, right standing with God, Philippians 3:9b

So it wasn’t a matter of Paul suddenly forgetting all his education, his knowledge, or his upbringing.  It was a matter of Paul following God’s ways, instead of man’s ways.  No longer putting his trust and faith in himself, but in God.

HAS PAUL REACHED THE GOAL?  HAS HE COMPLETELY EXPERIENCED THE JOY OF BELIEVING?

Here’s what Paul has to say about his faith journey, I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to make it my own because Christ Jesus has made me his own.” –  Phil. 3:12

No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead… – v.13

Paul’s end goal to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. – v.14

                                  Finish-Line-Sign-iStock_000022670217Small-e1410809431890

THE JOY OF BELIEVING – AN ONGOING EXPERIENCE —

As we press ahead in our daily lives, temptations will arise, and we may even stumble from time to time.  But Paul reminds us that we are forever maturing if we obey the truth we have learned already.Phil 3:16  So don’t beat yourself up because you’re not “perfect”, pull yourself up by your bootstraps, get back on the horse. Seek God’s guidance and direction for all that you don’t know, and continue applying daily, all that you do know.

Paul experienced Joy in Believing.  Not in himself and his “creds”, but in the saving power and Lordship of Jesus.

We’re not alone on “the journey”.  We have the Holy Spirit’s guidance, the Bible, and as Paul reminds us, we have a community of believers to tangibly support, comfort, and guide us.

“Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example.”  –  Phil. 3:17

Our joy doesn’t come from our circumstances, relying on what we have obtained or accomplished, but rather, joy comes from our reliance on Christ within us.  See, “I Just Wanna Be Happy!!”  (Part 1), http://wp.me/p5nZpi-kK

Experiencing Joy in Believing is an ongoing process.  We now know that the first step towards experiencing the joy Paul speaks about is putting our faith in Jesus vs. ourselves.  If you would like to take that next step, and put your faith in Jesus, see The Cornerstone… in the above tabs, http://wp.me/P5nZpi-bJ.

                             Martin-Luther-King-Jr-Faith-is-Taking-the-First-Step-Quote-Picture

 

LET GO AND LET GOD…

                                                    hand-letting-go-balloons

< KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR THE FINAL CHAPTER OF PHILIPPIANS, CHAPTER 4, THE JOY IN GIVING  —   ALL Our “Needs” Will Be Met 🙂  –  Joy in Giving –  PHILIPPIANS  (Chapter 4)   [11]http://wp.me/p5nZpi-ul >

 

< IN CASE YOU MISSED PARTS 1 & 2 OF PHILIPPIANS CHAPTER 3… >

Yeah, but I’ve Got the “Creds”!!  –  Joy in Believing –  PHILIPPIANS  (Chapter 3a)   [8],  http://wp.me/p5nZpi-sk

All My “Creds” are Garbage???  –  Joy in Believing –  PHILIPPIANS  (Chapter 3)   [9], http://wp.me/p5nZpi-sC

 

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All My “Creds” are Garbage??? – Joy in Believing – PHILIPPIANS (Chapter 3b) [9]

I ended the last post, Yeah, but I’ve Got the “Creds”!!  –  Joy in Believing –  PHILIPPIANS  (Chapter 3a)   [8], http://wp.me/p5nZpi-sk, with a seemingly hopeless statement from Paul as he reflected on his academic and religious accomplishments.

He said,  “I once thought all these things were so very important, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done.  Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.  I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I may have Christ and become one with Him”…  – Phil. 3:7-9a

Although it seems like Paul is throwing “everything” away,

                           9-Man-throwing-garbage-bag-1024x769

this isn’t exactly the case.

It wasn’t a matter of Paul suddenly forgetting all his education, his knowledge, his upbringing.  No, it was Paul’s realization that no matter what he did, or how “religious” he was, he could never “earn” himself a spot in heaven.

What he believed caused him to take matters into his own hands.  Caused him to imprison and attack Christ-followers in the name of God.  Caused him to judge, and force people to follow what he believed to be correct.  A dangerous approach, if you ask me.  However, isn’t it easy to find ourselves falling into that same pattern.  “I know what’s better for you…”

Throughout his life, Paul, was relying on himself.  He truly wanted to please God.  He truly wanted all people to follow God.  He believed that through knowledge and will-power he would be able to follow the “law”, and therefore be considered righteous in God’s eyes.  However, The law simply shows us how sinful we are.  –  Romans 3:20  For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws.  – James 2:10

Do you remember Paul’s message to the Corinthians – If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.  –  1 Corinthians 13:33

What a change in Paul’s approach!!  He retained his knowledge, education, and upbringing so he could teach, but instead of coming at people with an iron fist,

                                          ironfist

he came from a position of love.

                                     cute-love-quotes-373

 

WHAT CAUSED THIS SEISMIC SHIFT?

Let’s look again at verse 9, and add in the second half of the verse.

“I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ.  For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.”Philippians 3:9b

FAITH?  FAITH IN WHAT?

< Faith in “Creds”? or Faith in Christ?  –  Joy in Believing –  PHILIPPIANS  (Chapter 3)   [10],  http://wp.me/p5nZpi-t9 >

 

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How Can I Have an Extraordinary Day??? – Joy in Serving – PHILIPPIANS (Chapter 2d) [7]

Before Paul tells the Philippians how they can experience the fullness of joy in their daily service, he encourages them with these words…

Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. –  Phil 2:12

These words resonant with me as a mom, and teacher.  It is my deep desire, as I’m sure it is for those who share their knowledge, experiences, skills, wisdom, etc. with others, that what has been taught/”caught” will be implemented when we’re not around to correct, redirect, or point out alternative responses.

Paul sets us straight in the second half of this verse, clearly stating who we should follow, and obey.  He doesn’t say follow me, Paul, or your mom, your dad, your Grandma or Grandpa, your teachers, coaches, etc.  No, Paul is very clear.  He says, obey God!!

So it doesn’t matter if your mom, or other mentor, isn’t around at every moment of your day, because God is.  He is there to guide, support, encourage, comfort, and direct our steps.

                       BhwLf0qIUAAAFqP

 

HOW DO WE KNOW WHAT GOD WANTS US TO DO?

We could simply let our conscience be our guide.

                      conscience

However, our consciences are subject to change, depending on where we get our information.  Therefore, it is important to have an unchanging/timeless/accurate source of truth.

WHERE DO WE FIND AN UNCHANGING/TIMELESS/ACCURATE SOURCE OF TRUTH?

Absolute truth is found in the Bible.

                            bible77

It is particularly important to read God’s Word for yourself verses just listening, or reading what God has taught others, or being an inactive observer.   Although listening and reading what others teach can provide great insight, independent reading of the Bible allows God to personally speak to you and to your situation.

                Reading-Bible-pd

 

WHERE DO I GET THE DESIRE TO READ AND LEARN GOD’S WORD?

GOD!!!

For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.  –  Phil 2:13, and it’s not simply reading the Word of God, but you must do what it says –  James 1:22.

As promised from the last post, Follow the Leader??  –  Joy in Serving  –  PHILIPPIANS  (Chapter 2c)  [6], http://wp.me/p5nZpi-ot, here are some practical ways Paul gives us to serve God and others in our everyday lives.

 

PRACTICAL WAYS TO SERVE IN OUR DAILY LIVES…  PHILIPPIANS 2:14-16

  1.  In everything you do, stay away from complaining and arguing – v.14
  2.  Live clean, innocent lives as children of God – v.15  Paul realizes this won’t be easy as the second part of this verse says, in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation. – v.15       [Keep in mind that Paul is writing this letter to the Christians in Philippi, and believers everywhere.  It is these people who Paul is referencing when he says, children of God.  Children of God are those who have been born again, all people are not children of God. But to all who believed Him and accepted Him, He gave the right to become children of God.  They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.  –  John 1:12-13] 

<See upcoming post for more on – Are All People Children of God?>

3. Let your lives shine brightly, as lights, in the world – v.15

4. Hold firmly to the Word of Life, the Bible – v.16

 

HOW TO APPROACH OUR DAILY INTERACTIONS…

  1. Don’t expect to be served
  2. Look for opportunities to serve others, your faithful service is an offering to God  –  Phil 2:17

Choose to serve, and watch your ordinary day turn into an extraordinary day 🙂

                         the-difference-between-ordinary-and-extraordinary

 

 

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Follow the Leader?? – Joy in Serving – PHILIPPIANS (Chapter 2c) [6]

At the end of my post, My Attitude!! My Rights!!  –  Joy in Serving  –  PHILIPPIANS  (Chapter 2b)  [5]   http://wp.me/p5nZpi-o2, I mentioned that when we humble ourselves, and choose to follow God, as Jesus humbly choose to come to earth in human form, we still retain ourselves.  Jesus, although in human form was still God, and people who profess they are Christians are still sinners. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard  –  Romans 3:23

You may hear people call themselves Christians, “the tree”, yet when you observe their  actions/interactions, “their fruit”, the two don’t seem to match up.  For example, when I see an apple tree, I expect to see apples growing on it.

                              Apples_2

I don’t expect to see socks growing on an apple tree!

        tree socks

 

Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.  –  Romans 6:16

It’s because of our tendency to sin, regardless if we’ve asked God into our hearts, see The Cornerstone… in menu tab for more info, that we so desperately need a leader.  We need to follow someone who has faced all of the same testings we do, yet did not sin – Hebrews 4:15.  Someone who knows the way to JOY, and wants to help us experience it in our lives.

WHO SHOULD WE FOLLOW?

JESUS!!!

HOW DO WE FOLLOW JESUS?

To follow someone or something means that we conform to, imitate, copy, and give our allegiance.

Whether it is in the childhood game of follow the leader,

dressing like our favorite celebrity personality,

or giving our support, financially and/or emotionally, to a particular cause

If we say we follow ______, we’re saying that we want to live like that particular person or imitate their particular life-style.

If you read the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, in the New Testament of the Bible, you will get a first-hand account of the life of Jesus.  You’ll see how He interacted with all sorts of people.

                  Jesus Loves Me

                                           Jesus_heals_many_people

And you’ll also see how He depended on God for strength to endure the trials He faced as a human.  Jesus often withdrew Himself to quiet places and prayed – Luke 5:16.    

                                               jesus-praying-in-the-garden

When we put our trust and lives into God’s hands, we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear – Hebrews 13:6  For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.Phil. 2:13

God wants everyone to experience the Joy that comes in serving 🙂

In the next post, we’ll look at Philippians 2:14-16, where Paul gives us some practical ways to serve God and others in our everyday lives.

 

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Want to Know a Secret?? – PHILIPPIANS (Introduction) – [1]

My last post series was called “I Just Wanna Be Happy!!”,http://wp.me/p5nZpi-kK.

In that 4 part series, I touched on the difference between joy and happiness.  I suggested that it is better to experience joy, which perseveres and is ongoing, verses happiness, which is temporary and fleeting.

Today I’d like to introduce the Book of Philippians.  I have chosen this book to follow the series “I Just Wanna Be Happy!!” because it reveals the secret to experiencing joy.

    Magician__s_Hat_by_rbryant

 

The Book of Philippians was a letter written by the Apostle Paul, in approximately A.D. 61, to a church, in the Macedonian city, of Philippi.  Paul had a special relationship with the Philippians. This letter expresses how much he cared for them, as well as, to thank them for the gift they sent him.

Keep in mind as we read this letter, that Paul wrote this letter while imprisoned in Philippi.

    PhilippiPrison

 

Paul started the church at Philippi on his second missionary trip to the area.  Philippi was located in Greece, and was the first church established in Europe.  Below are ruins from Philippi.

    ruin philippi

 

After Paul’s conversion, dated approximately A.D. 33-36 on the road to Damascus, he dedicated his life to serving the Lord. To read more about Paul’s conversion, https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts+9%3A1-22&version=NLT.

On his journey he experienced terrible poverty, great wealth, and everything in-between.  No matter what his circumstance, Paul learned to be content. He says in Philippians 4:12, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need…

 

Keep an eye out for my next post, and discover the secret to Paul’s joy.

telling-secrets-big-e1379620235254

 

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“I Just Wanna Be Happy!!!” – (Part 1 of 4)

“I just wanna be happy!!”

After reading this post, I’m not so sure you’ll settle for just being “happy”.

“What?  Of course, I want to be happy!!  Who wouldn’t?”

 

HAPPINESS DEFINED:

Merriam Websterthe state of being happy, an experience that makes you happy.                  

Bible  –  a fleeting feeling that depends upon temporal factors, like circumstances or other people.

HAPPINESS EXAMPLES:

Everyday life – “I’m bummed out. I think some ice cream, with chocolate syrup, will be just the thing I need to make me happy!” –  At least for the moment…

    20100830-woman-ice-cream-happy-300x205

   stomach ache

BibleWhen Leah saw that she had stopped having children, she took her servant Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as a wife. Leah’s servant Zilpah bore Jacob a son. Then Leah said, “What good fortune!” So she named him Gad. Leah’s servant Zilpah bore Jacob a second son.  Then Leah said, “How happy I am! – Genesis 30:9-13

To read more about this intense “boy baby producing” competition between Rachel and her sister Leah read – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+30%3A1-13&version=NIV

    aztramp

————————————————–

JOY DEFINED:

Merriam Webster – to feel great delight, to be glad                                                                          

Biblecontentment that comes from internal factors, like our faith in the Lord.  It is everlasting and not dependent upon circumstances. 

 JOY EXAMPLES:
Everyday LifeWhen life gives you lemons…
lemons-wide1
Bible –  Paul says, I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:12- 13, 19
SO MAYBE YOU’RE THINKING…
“I like this concept of joy.  I can be content with my life, I can appreciate the ‘present’, I don’t have to allow circumstances to dictate how I’m feeling, and it lasts forever.  Wow!!  Seems good to be true?  Seems like I’m on a seesaw.  Some days up, some days down.”
            kids-on-see-saw-black-white                                                                                                                    

IS HAVING “TRUE JOY” IN MY LIFE REALLY POSSIBLE?

FOR THE ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION, KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR “I JUST WANNA BE HAPPY!!!”  (PART 2), http://wp.me/p5nZpi-kY

SEE ALSO:   
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