Prayer for Others

This morning we are going to begin a verse by verse look at the letter that Paul wrote to the Colossians.  You can easily google the city of Colosse and find out its importance in the time of Paul’s writing.  It was an important city but some have noted that the church there was one of the least important churches to who Paul wrote.  Paul apparently had not visited Colosse before he wrote this letter; having heard about their faith; rather than witnessing it firsthand.  However, it is likely that one of Paul’s disciples took the gospel to Colosse.  This […]

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Another Verse Often Taken Out of Context…

Yesterday I wrote about the often misapplication of the verse, “I can do things through Christ who strengthens me”.  The letter to the Philippians ends with another one of those sentences that is often plucked out of its original context.  The sentence is:  “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Sounds like an amazing promise isn’t it?  Sort of like a cookie jar with a never-ending supply of cookies…God will supply all your need.  But how is this promise given?  Well, the context is that the Philippian Christians had sacrificially […]

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Oh, That’s What That Verse Means…

One of the most oft quoted Bible verses is “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. You’ve probably heard that many, many times.  It sounds pretty good doesn’t it?  Of course, you know that it doesn’t mean you can leap tall buildings in a single bound or run a 10 second 100 meter dash.  It doesn’t mean that you can compose a symphony or paint a masterpiece. So, if it’s not a guarantee for God to “do anything we want”, what does it mean and how do we apply it?  As we begin a new paragraph in Philippians chapter […]

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You Can Have a Worry Free Life

If that sounds like an unbelievable headline, like a promise that is made on a commercial for a “Made for TV” item that you know won’t deliver…even if you order now and get a second one free, then you are likely not familiar with the next two verses from Philippians chapter 4.  Here they are: “6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”  Perhaps you might want to read it again…and again…even […]

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Joy and Gentleness

Paul starts out this section of his letter with the following words:  “Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved. 2 I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. 3 And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life.  4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!  5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.  Philippians 4:1-5”  A lot has been written about the two women […]

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How Did He Do That?

I think most of us have had the experience of watching a magician do a trick literally before our eyes and saying out loud or in our heads, “How did he do that?”  We don’t understand how the trick was performed…it seems impossible.  Those are the words that come to my mind as I read Philippians 3:21:  “who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.” This verse is describing God’s activity with the human body to prepare it […]

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Dual Citizenship

Most of you who read this are citizens of the United States.  Some of you may also hold citizenship in other countries.  My prayer is that those of you who read this also hold citizenship in heaven.  In describing those who are the enemies of the cross of Christ, Paul describes them as those “who sent their mind on earthly things”.  He then writes this in verse 20: “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ”.  We know from other passages that citizenship in heaven isn’t granted to everyone […]

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A Negative Pattern

Not all patterns are good patterns.  Not all examples are good examples.  After having asked the Philippians to follow his example, Paul writes about those who they should not follow.  Here are verses 17-19 of chapter 3: “17 Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. 18 For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things.” Paul certainly must have encountered his share of false teachers and […]

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A Positive Pattern

Christianity is not meant to be done in isolation.  We are to live in community with others.  Sometimes that means that we help, counsel or teach others.  Other times, that means that others do the same for us.  One of the best ways to help someone is to be a good example for how to live.  Paul emphasizes this in Philippians 3:17:  “Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern.”  Paul is exhorting the Philippians to follow his example, to use his life as a pattern for living.  He […]

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Can You Be Like-Minded?

Paul closes this section with the following words:  “15 Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. 16 Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.”  Paul had just exhorted the Philippians to press toward the goal of following Jesus, forgetting those things which are behind. Paul had a singular focus to move toward what God had planned and to forget about the things that he had to give up. The same Holy Spirit who equipped Paul to do this is […]

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