Joy · New Testament · Philippians · Unity

Philippian Bits – 1:5

For this series in Philippians, I am going to limit each post to one verse, and hopefully produce a short, succinct read for my friends who follow.

1:5   because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.

Partnership. Fellowship. Joint Participation. Koinōnia

A sharing with someone else. I believe this verse hints at Paul’s thankfulness for a very specific partnership the Philippians participated with Paul in. I think he is broaching the topic of dirty mammon, filthy lucre, cold hard cash. (For my reasons for thinking this way, consider the post Conditional Security – Philippians 1:3-11)

If my thinking is correct, Paul is speaking of a very real world need in a beautifully wrapped phrase which the Philippians would understand without him having to blurt it out. Classy. Subdued. Humble and gracious.

This verse speaks of the Apostle using a specific word with intent meant for the audience. Only after getting involved with the book, and Paul’s intimate history with this church, do we understand what the Philippians understood.

Grace in our speech. A message to his loved ones, expressing gratitude for their real world gifts.


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Joy · New Testament · Philippians · Unity

Philippian Bits – 1:4

For this series in Philippians, I am going to limit each post to one verse, and hopefully produce a short, succinct read for my friends who follow.

1:4   always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy,

Prayer

Paul prayed for his church. No, that statement is not true, if I understand Paul.

He prayed for his friends. He prayed for individuals that were on his heart. I do not understand Paul as thinking of the church in Philippi as an organization that needed to meet some arbitrary budget, or that his authority in the church needed to be stengthened, or that the expansion plans were not hitting goals.

Nope. He prayed for people. And in those prayers, the predominant theme he naturally expressed was that of joy. Joy is the theme of this letter and I find it interesting, even revealing that it is associated with prayer at it first occurrence.

Pray for people, and remember the joy of loving those you pray for.


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Joy · New Testament · Philippians · Unity

Philippian Bits – 1:3

For this series in Philippians, I am going to limit each post to one verse, and hopefully produce a short, succinct read for my friends who follow.

1:3   I thank my God in all my remembrance of you,

Thankfulness.

I was sitting with my favorite the other night and began to tell her how thankful I was for the many things she does for me, and for her strength and love. I didn’t let her reciprocate, since it was naturally coming from my heart. It was a very enjoyable chat for me, but after a while I sensed she became a bit uncomfortable.

Many reasons are possible for her discomfort, but I think primarily that she is one who gives without thinking of receiving. Maybe I just haven’t been the thankful husband she deserves.

Either way, it was a bit surprising to me that she became uncomfortable, and it made me think of believers thanking God. I do not think God is ever uncomfortable in receiving thanksgiving, for He truly is the source of all good things.

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. It is an enjoyable experience to give thanks!


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Joy · New Testament · Philippians · Unity

Philippian Bits – 1:2

For this series in Philippians, I am going to limit each post to one verse, and hopefully produce a short, succinct read for my friends who follow.

1:2   Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

As mentioned earlier, Paul is writing to a church that has planted itself into his own heart, and that he wants to establish in grace and peace. Throughout Paul’s writings, he emphasizes grace and peace to the churches, (and adds mercy when writing to preachers like Timothy and Titus)

Paul’s emphasis on grace and peace would do us well to be remembered, for we may often think of how we disappoint, frustrate or displease the Lord of Glory, while all the time, the grace of God is there to encourage, strengthen and admonish us to be His people, and do better things for Him.

Grace and peace. Grace is unmerited favor, favor of the Lord that we do not deserve, that we cannot earn, and that is dependent on the character of Jesus and not own frail efforts.

I often consider peace to be somewhat equivalent with wholeness, or balance, or restfulness. A sense that God is taking care of those things that are beyond our strength. As we get older and hopefully wiser, we begin to realize that our strength is a weakness, and that God has been in the midst of it all. With this realization, the peace we experience becomes a settled condition.


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Joy · New Testament · Philippians · Unity

Philippian Bits – 1:1

For this series in Philippians, I am going to limit each post to one verse, and hopefully produce a short, succinct read for my friends who follow.

1:1   Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons:

Paul loved this church and knew each of the founding members, along with those who joined as the church grew and he visited. He was there in the beginning, like so many of the churches he writes to in the New Testament, and I dare say, this may have been the church that settled in his heart the deepest.

He sends this letter of joy to the saints in Christ Jesus, along with the church leadership. I find this challenging, since my background would expect a church planter and apostle to send directions directly to the leadership, and allow them to disseminate the instructions to the laity.

It seems this structure is not at play in Paul’s mind.

Should a hierarchy be accepted in our mind? What thinkest thou?


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