Paul was reviewing two options in his life but he actually had an inclination toward death. This man was in prison when he wrote to the Philippian church and understood that martyrdom was a real possibility in his life so he is going back and forth on the role that life and death takes place in his journey down here on earth.
"But if I live in this flesh, this is the fruit of my labor: yet what I shall choose I know not." 1:22. What Paul was saying is he felt his labor for Jesus Christ was good. He did not have a problem with his heart (motives) or his performance (A fruitful servant for Jesus Christ). He realized that God keeps His children down here in this world as long as He can so our "Labor" gets put to good use but there are exceptions to this rule. I have seen God prematurity take home really sincere Christians at the height of their ministry. It is not that they did anything wrong but the Triune Godhead had other plans for them in heaven. Of course other factors may have been present but the real truth of the matter is we will never know until we get to the other side in Paradise. We see one or two truths whereas God sees twenty five so this wisdom belongs to God.
What we need to understand here is Paul was in a dilemma between two good things. Not one bad thing (his ministry on earth) and one good thing (being in heaven with Jesus Christ). Many Christians see this scenario as good and evil but Paul sets the record straight and witnessed that both are good if you are living for Jesus Christ. Both are bad if you are not so first we need to make a choice if we have not already done so because being apart from Jesus Christ is never in our best interest or glorifying to God. If we don't see our ministry and journey down here as a blessing we may want to pray to God about this issue and allow Him to turn a bad attitude into a good outlook because everybody will be affected if we don't approach others with a vibrancy for Jesus Christ. People will start to ask if God is dead through our coldness. Remember what is in us has to come out in one way or another.
"For I am in a strait between two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ: which is far better." 1:23. Paul knew that to be in heaven with Jesus Christ meant he could say goodbye to sin, temptation, sorrow and death for all eternity. "Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful to you." 1:24. To do his job in his fullest capacity on earth through the power of the Holy Spirit meant he was meeting the needs of others so he knew he had to be here, deny himself and wait patiently for the comfort of heaven. If we move ahead of God we will be self willed and on our own forgetting that other people need help. Deep regret will lie dormant in our hearts because anything we do has to be with Jesus Christ in His way and His timing.
"And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy and faith." 1:25. God will make the right decision so He can advance His message on earth. Our part is to trust Jesus Christ for this and He will honor our faith in Him. Trusting in Jesus Christ is supposed to be joy; therefore, we as Christians can move forward in the filling of the Holy Spirit because at the risk of repeating myself the more faith the more joy. Less faith in Jesus Christ is more sorrow and grief which we will have to carry in our souls. This is why Paul says, ... "For your furtherance and joy and faith" because he understood the principle that I just explained in this paragraph.
Sometimes it takes tremendous strength and character to have faith in God because of overwhelming circumstances and on other occasions it is simple. We need to go through the tough and easy times with endurance. It does not hurt to pray, "Lord I'm going through a difficult time right now ... can you please help me?
" That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again." 1:26. Notice Paul is moving away from this debate, "Should I stay or should I go." Now he desires to get into the substance of the Christian life. There must have been Godly affection for Paul because they wanted to see him again but understood that all their joys should end in the Person of Jesus Christ, not a man. It is one thing to like a minister but this should be filtered with our "Joy" in Jesus Christ for the servant as the individual labors for God. We can not glory in a person because that honor goes to the Son of God who died for our sins and rose again on the third day. What if the minister falls? Then we say, "Oh know." Do you see where I am going with this biblical precept that comes straight out of the Bible? To God be the glory!
"Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel." 1:27. It is very interesting to me that Paul starts out by using the word "Conversation." Sometimes we say, "I just want to be a good witness for Jesus Christ." We can start with our words even if we are not talking about God. It is amazing what people will pick up about our character in a "Conversation."
Paul did not know if he would ever see the Philippian church again so what does this tell us as Christians? Our faith is not in the hands of ministers but in Jesus Christ Himself. Paul ends this verse in very interesting way because he uses many "Ones." One spirit, one mind and striving together. He says all of this in less than a half of a sentence.
It is one thing to believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ and it is another thing to strive for it in our daily living. I have found that people that do not know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord tend to go through life blind on purpose but true Christians come together in the Person of Jesus Christ in unity. We have to be diligent and disciplined to do this because according to this account we should be striving with each other not against one another.
We need to be fixed in our minds that we are going to be stable in Jesus Christ yet one with another in the gospel. I noticed that when I witness to many people they step back because there is an internal gospel built into them that understands they must abide by this principle. If a Christian fellowship gets caught up in division they will learn but the hard way so we would be best if we just listen to God. This is a truth that goes all the way through the Bible -- trust and obey for there is no other way.
"And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God."1:28. Paul knew that the earnest Christians were suffering and encourages them to have courage in Jesus Christ. Yes oppositions will come but to take the response of fear is a snare that will trap us at the mercy of the persecutors. Remember these people are destined for the bad place in eternity unless they repent to God. This is why Paul speaks of the ... "Token of perdition" ... so understand the Bible speaks of this battle that we must face because it is not an option if we are a true Christian. They are openly opposing the gospel but more to the point are confessing their spirit is against Jesus Christ. On the other hand being persecuted is a mark of true salvation in Jesus Christ if you are truly living for Him. I understand people not genuine in the faith have been tormented but that is not what I am referring to in context of this passage in Scripture. That is an entirely different subject.
If you have not invited Jesus Christ into your heart you may be saying, "This all seems so complicated but what took me many years to learn is people make things hard, God sets up truths that are simple. Take the honest road of eternal value rather than earthly manipulation and accept Jesus Christ into your heart by repenting of all your sins and allowing God to write your name in His Lamb's book of life.
There were some really honest, sincere, earnest believers in the Philippian church who were on the right road to living for God on earth and on their way to heaven when they died in Christ. Do not find yourself going into eternity apart from Jesus Christ. Accept and live for Him on earth and understand you will enjoy the comforts and joys in heaven with the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords for all eternity.
Within the last 8 weeks, I lost my beloved husband of 51 years. My life seems so empty, so lost, so alone and it hurts to the very marrow of my being. I move, I cry and I think.
I am not one that cries and carries on but I feel as if someone came in and cut a chunk of my heart out of my spirit. I can not seem to find this void. It is not as if I do not know where my love is (my husband). He is with the love of his life who is the Lord Jesus Christ in heaven.
The loss is so very intense. I do not want to be alone because I must think about this very difficult pain. If I do this I am heartbroken and I find myself a weeping mess. I ask myself, "How can this be?" How can I feel this great loss when Lee ran the race for the glory of His Lord and finally made the last mile stretch home?
He left me here alone and I want to be with him. He was my partner to fight every battle with me. I have faced death many times and with Lee holding my hand I knew I could not let go. I need him because he has been there by my side for a long time. Even though we had our ups and downs Lee was always there for me or maybe I should say always within the reach of my hand. Now I extend and I feel a great expanse of space.
Do you realize the trip that Satan is playing with me? I do not have the strength to fight him on this one. I always had my helpmate because my leader was always there showing me the direction that I should go in my life.
I can write poems and tell you how great I am doing but that would be the biggest lie of my lifetime. I did not know that I would be a mass of splintered pieces and that sleep would not come. Rest only lasts for a few moments. I am a sobbing mess.
I know it is a pity party for myself but how do I fight this battle in my life? I sit in my home over ten hours a day. There is not a soul to be with or talk to, not even a whisper in the wind. I feel the Lord softly telling me it will be O.K. You can climb this valley but the mountain is so far away.
I just wanted to warn my beloved friends that this is a very strange battle. You have no plan on how to face this dark and dreary world without human contact. I know my Lord Jesus is holding me and teaching me a great lesson. I can share with so many people that this war will be won through the Blood of Jesus Christ that covers me.
I know the Father holds me, rocks me and whispers tender love songs into my heart. God will carry me through this for I can not walk this path alone. Jesus will softly take me in His arms and run the mountains with me on His great white stead.
I will again be free but until then may I never forget the blood that runs from Calvary and Covers me even in my pain. Tears are a language that God understands and for ever one I that shed Jesus sheds one with me. He knows how much I hurt.
I will stay under His Covering waiting for the day when I also will go home with all of you in the rapture of the Church. It is coming very soon and we must all be watching, praying and ready for the Bridegroom's voice. Take heed my friends the battle is almost over and let us all shout and worship the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
I pray I have written this in the simplest form that people reading this writing will understand what I am trying to convey to you. God is greater than any battle the devil will toss at your feet. Our lives will go on forever in heaven with Jesus Christ.
We will all soon be with Jesus so please dear one run the race as hard as you can and if you see someone slipping just tell that person you love them. Let that individual reach down and grab on to you for awhile.
I will be here for each and every one of you. I know what grief is and it is not easy to deal with in our life.
To God be the Glory because Great things He has done. Thank you for rescuing my precious husband Lee and give him the ability to breathe deeply once again as opposed to what he went through in life. I know Lee is now free from the entanglements of this world.
I am waiting for the sound of the Trump. Please hang on tight and wait with me.
Many of the brethren in the Lord waxing confident by my bonds." 1:14. The mature Christians in the Philippian fellowship who were called to preach or teach did so with extra vigor because they saw he was doing the right thing which inevitably lead them to praise the Lord in a stronger more sincere way. These particular teachers were not afraid of being thrown in prison because they observed Him and had extra boldness in obeying God. Wow this is the place to be and I'm glad the Apostle Paul did everything he could to explain his earthy plight which was nothing more than a heavenly design.
The term ... "Waxing confident in my bonds" means that Paul was actually able to be encouraged even though His enemies meant this for evil. Remember in the Old Testament Joseph told his brothers that you meant this for evil but God turned the whole situation around for good.
I have not been an angel in my life if you know what I mean but every time I endeavored to do something good for the Lord I eventually received opposing resistant evil from people that really did not like Christianity and God always turned it around for good in His way and in His timing. We ask why but God responds," I am going to do something greater because you were the recipient of evil and my plan is going to turn it around for good." The "Good" is usually multiplied many times over than the original commission from the Lord. At the very least these verses are a model for anybody out there reading this article in how God operates in a situation like this in our labor for Jesus Christ.
(15) "The one preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will. (16) The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely to add affliction to my bonds." Philippians 1:15-16. Why is Paul belaboring the point? Because what was happening was big in their world and he wanted to break down each point so there would not be any confusion.
Paul had enemies that wanted to undermine him but there were also people that admired Paul and desired to teach the gospel with the right motives. The enemies were described in the part of the verse that read ... "To add affliction to my bonds." There were others that saw Paul was suffering and preached really powerful sermons because the phrase ... "And some of good will." The Bible says, "But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel." These people that observed Paul standing up for the gospel through persecution became more bold and many converts came forward to accept Jesus Christ into their lives.
In the next verse Paul gives two motives that a person can have when they teach but he still was rejoicing at both scenarios for one reason. "What then notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and I therefore do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice." 1:18.
Paul was saying that the people that had center stage teaching biblical precepts with the wrong motives were completely out of his jurisdiction and he knew that God was going to judge their erroneous reasons for doing what they were engaging in which was the right message with "Me" in their hearts instead of Jesus Christ. Paul was still rejoicing because people were still inviting Jesus Christ into their hearts. Of course he was even more glad in his spirit toward the teachers that had such conviction about themselves for the right reasons.
"For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ." 1:19. In simple terms God can bring good out of evil. At the risk of repeating myself remember in the story of Joseph in the Old Testament he said to his brothers when in charge you meant this for evil but God turned it around for good. Paul knew that God was going to judge evil and turn his whole situation around for a Godly purpose. He was not blind to this but are we able to see this in our own life?
Notice the phrase,..."Through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ." People in the Philippian fellowship were fervently praying to God that the gospel would be expanded through ministers presenting Jesus Christ to others but I don't even think they were expecting people teaching in pretense would win converts over to repentance. By the way the spelling of pretense was spelled different in the first century (Pretence).
"According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death." 1:20. This whole thing is all about giving glory to Jesus Christ. If we are a true Christian this is where our priority and empathies should be in our heart. It is not about us so in these broken down bodies the Son of God is supposed to get the honor but our soul has to be in the right heavenly pure place.
Paul talks about boldness in this verse but we are used to seeing this spirit in the flesh. A boss hammers down on an employee or a fist fight breaks out over there but in the power of the Holy Spirit Jesus Christ gets the honor and the glory. Christians get confused on what hope is but this is the answer. Our hope is to be in the glory of Jesus Christ. If this is truly our goal then this will become a reality in our lives. How many people have this aspiration in their life? Not many but on rare occasion we will be able to notice this in a Christian but we need to start with ourselves.
Notice in this verse Paul did not care if he lived or died because he knew this whole scenario was about the Lamb of God who died for our sins and this Apostle was just a vessel for God. If he lived he was going to labor if he died he was not going to suffer. Either way it was for Jesus Christ. That is why Paul was able to say, "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." 1:21.
The thanksgiving and praise should be at the center of our hearts and at the end of our lives. Notice how Paul went from flesh to spirit. He starts out explaining a very bad situation and now he is in the throne room of God giving praise and glory to Jesus Christ. We need to incorporate this principle in our lives. Yes we have lingering problems but can we see the whole blueprint of God and allow the Holy Spirit to have first place in our focus? When we are going through problems where is our empathies? Is it on our dilemma or do we want to end up thanking and praising God out of the ashes in the fire.
The Apostle Paul was willing to stay on earth to minister to others but knew that if he died no evil would be in the next life for him. Remember he is only speaking about himself.
If you don't know Jesus Christ as your very own personal Savior and Lord it would be wise if you invited Him into your heart by repenting of all your sins and asking Him to come into your life.
As you can see the wise believer incorporates his or her problems for the glory of God. How would you like to be walking with Jesus Christ in the middle of your issues while traveling through life? If you made that all important eternal decision then realize you now have an opportunity to give thanks and glory to God through Jesus Christ when you face issues, problems and dilemmas. This will give glory to God because often times our problems can become an idol in our life. Jesus Christ does not desire this for anybody. He is our Creator and wants to be first place in our life. Do not take life into your own hands because Jesus Christ wants to take our problems so the burden will not be on us. In return we end up praising God because that was the plan all along. What lifestyle sounds more appealing to you?
The Apostle Paul had an affection for the Philippian body of believers. "Inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you are all partakers of my grace." 1:7.
Did you ever know somebody just so dear to your heart? This is how Paul felt because they joined with him in labor and persecution. Togetherness in good and bad is something we can feel in our spirit. It is just present although it is hard to define. It is similar to freedom because it is just there in the sense that nobody can market it, bottle it up and call it freedom. People may be foolish enough to believe it but that is besides the point. Togetherness is something we can recognize and realize because it gives us comfort. This warm emotion is our witness that a body of believers is bound by the spirit of love in Jesus Christ.
It is certainly better than a divided church with seven different doctrines running around and people fighting all the time. People recognize togetherness so in this case Jesus Christ was at the center of this unity. Some of the characteristics are sympathy, concern and availability but it goes deeper than this because there is an openness in the spirit of the family; however, it is always backed up with responsibility and accountability for the welfare of the other person. If this is the case everybody will receive a reward in heaven because life is a test and they probably received an A.
For God is my record how greatly I long after you in the bowels of Jesus Christ.1:8. Not everyone was nice in this fellowship but he even had an affection for them. The phrase ... "In the bowels of Jesus Christ" ... is the soft concern that our Lord has for us as His children. If we can have the same spirit that Jesus Christ has for us toward other people even if our discernment from the Holy Spirit knows the bad in their heart then there is no doubt we are a man or lady in the very heart of God.
"And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment."1:9. Once again we see the most important truth listed first that we are to have in our hearts.
This love comes with an attachment because love is really supposed to abound in all knowledge and judgment. The reason why Paul said this is because he knew that love can not grow without these two qualities. If we do not have biblical knowledge and judgment then love would be blind. If I only had love that is dangerous because people can get hurt including myself. It is certainly not the will of God to just have love without studying the Bible and coming to sound conclusions for your life.
"That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ."1:10. We need to understand the laws of God through His Son Jesus Christ, settle with them in our hearts and apply them to our life. How many Christians go to church and do this in their life? Not many but it is a practice that must be done daily if the sanctifying process is to take place in our lives through the power of the Holy Spirit.
The reason why Paul uses the word "Sincere" is because God wants us perfected and honest before Him and other people If this is not happening in our hearts and lives the last part of this verse will not come true because we will be with offence. It is a good idea to always be mindful not to offend God or people. Can Jesus Christ be offended by something we do? The answer is yes and I think it is more than obvious that we can do something to another individual that hurts them either on the inside or outside.
If you do not know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord then consider repenting of all your sins and inviting the Son God in your life. You may be saying, "I'm not a bad person" but we all sinned before God so we need a new birth through the Lamb of God who shed His blood for the remission of our transgressions.
The truths that the Apostle Paul is sharing in this passage is for believers in Jesus Christ for the purpose of being sanctified through proper application to the word of God in their lives. You can also pursue this excellence in Jesus Christ by first accepting Him into your heart and then apply what the Bible teaches for your journey on earth. Even the greatest Christian often falls short of living the Christian life through the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit. I read the Bible and talk to the Lord about my shortcomings all the time. The struggle is evidence that we are truly redeemed through Jesus Christ. It is the person that says, "Yes O.K maybe I will get to that one of these days" and just goes about his or her business. May I say that is the easy way out and I learned the hard way that nobody gets away with anything. That is not the way God programed the universe. If we just obey Jesus Christ we would save ourselves much hardships.
"Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God."1:11. Let me ask you a question. When you walk through life do you feel you are filled with the fruits of righteousness? Answer honesty. Being fruitful is being useful for God but we can only receive it from Jesus Christ so we should ask God directly for this because this can not be conjured up on our own. We do not have one ounce of righteousness in and of ourselves. If we could do this on our end the last part of this verse will never come true which says ... "Unto the glory and praise of God." We would just give ourselves the trophy. We obey by faith and God grants us the fruits of righteousness.
"But 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. Paul was concerned that his imprisonment in Rome would be a stumbling block to the people that got saved through his ministry. He wanted this church to explain that the message that Jesus Christ redeems people from their sins is expanding because of this confinement he was now facing.
I noticed something very interesting. Every time I see a sincere Christian get martyred in one way or another (it does not have to be physical death) I see the gospel being expanded in a different form. It is like God is saying He is honoring that "Death" and life is given to people that don't even know Jesus Christ. The antitheist of what evil intended to do is taking place and God is getting the glory.
"My bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace and in all other places."1:13. Did you ever notice that people are just curious by nature? Individuals started asking questions and groups were getting answers about the gospel of Jesus Christ.
That is my prayer for this ministry and others that people will start asking questions about Jesus Christ. He died a horrible death on the cross for you and rose from the dead on the third day. Jesus Christ is the perfect sacrificial atonement for our sins and I just hope anyone out there in internet land will make sure they are right with God through His Son Jesus Christ.
The book of Philippians has so much wisdom from the Holy Spirit that it just staggers my mind that God would be able to say so much in only four chapters. I'm going to start from Philippians chapter one verse one. I am going to quote the verse but I am not going to keep typing Philippians 1:1 and then go to verse two and say Philippians 1:2. I need the space.
Stay with me on this verse by verse analysis because this book in Scripture is so simple yet incredibly profound. Believe me you won't be disappointed. There is no doubt a supernatural blessing from God Himself will transpire in our life if application is applied through faith and obedience in Jesus Christ. We need to listen to what the Holy Spirit is trying to portray to us as Christians in this amazing set of four chapters.
" Paul and Timothy, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are in Phi-lip'pi, with bishops and deacons: 1:1.
The order of this verse is very interesting to me. Paul uses the word servants right away. Remember a superstar and a servant have nothing to do with one another.
As believers in Jesus Christ if there is ever a time we don't see ourselves as servants to everyone even if we are the leader then something is wrong. The result will be human strength as opposed to a transparency that emanates from our spirit that is available to meet the needs of others.
Very few people have this quality about themselves but I can notice it every single time. I certainly recognize when I don't have this attitude about myself but always try and correct this by becoming a man that is available to people.
The body of believers in this fellowship are mentioned first because the bishops and deacons are for the church. The highest call is to be a servant and this principle will be a reality throughout eternity in heaven.
If you will notice the phrase ... "Saints in Christ Jesus" we need to understand that everybody was included from the most spiritual to the infant Christian. We need to make sure even the least feel included because they are part of the kingdom of God. If everybody overlooks him or her it would be very "Spiritual" if we extended our hand to make the lowest feel warm. If you feel deep inside they are not a true Christian this is the perfect opportunity to give them the gospel of Jesus Christ in a very clear but meek way so their names can be written in the Lamb's book of life.
"Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ." 2:2. Some people refer to this as the apostolical benediction because this introduction is written in almost every epistle. This is the free favour from God and it is because of His goodness. We as Christians are the recipients of both grace and peace. We do not deserve this so remember your friend who does not know the Lord will not have this divine sustenance working through him or her as they travel through life. They have to fill the void inside them with something worldly which is usually some sort of sin.
I remember talking to one of my doctors who has multiply degrees in so many different subjects. He understood there is a void in everyone's heart and asked me, "How do you fill the void in your heart?" I responded the Holy Spirit gives me His supernatural peace because I accepted Jesus Christ into my life. He said a couple of sentences and then replied, "I don't know what you are talking about." I tried to share Jesus Christ with him but sensed he had many preconceptions about the subject. Remember a person has the choice of accepting or rejecting God in his or her life.
I noticed this man throughout the years jump from one thing to another and never seemed to be satisfied. Everyone has emptiness but only Jesus Christ can fill the void because that is the way God created us on the inside.
The world has so many choices for this emptiness but none will ever satisfy. I can not even count the times when young kids fresh out of high school and into college said," There are so many choices yet nothing." That is kind of interesting and I believe it ties into what I am talking about but realize that nothing but a strong devotion to Jesus Christ will meet our needs and desires.
"I thank my God upon every remembrance of you." 1:3. Paul was mistreated at Philippi yet that did not seem to be an issue to him. When people say, "I will pray for you" but don't really put much thought into the person how sincere is that when nothing but words are uttered? When we care for someone we put some thought for or about the person or group even if we are busy.
I remember buying some cards for family members and said, "Just buy anything because nobody reads these words anyway." I received this response from a lady who said, "Yes we do." I never knew that but I did not forgot what she said because sincere individuals do think about words and people. Paul thought and prayed. My time is very limited so this message is at the very least for me. I need to remember this principle.
"Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy." 1:4. Joy is something so rare in this world. This comes from God so we should specially pray for this to be an intimate part of our life. Notice the word "Request" in this verse. Making specific requests before God is far more powerful than most Christians will ever realize. This is not the very fiber of who we are as believers in Jesus Christ but it is something that should be incorporated in our prayer life. The request could be intimate or altruistic (for the bigger and greater good of a person or group) and God hears them all and will give us the desires of our hearts in His way and timing.
"For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now." 1:5. It is always of tremendous comfort when a minister sees a new Christian continue in the truths of the Bible. Then Paul goes into one of the most popular verses in the entire word of God. "That He who has begun a good work in you will perform it unto the day of Jesus Christ." 1:6. This verse is an example of the grace of God. It is a good work that makes us more like Jesus Christ Himself. The very moment we invited Jesus Christ into our hearts God started beginning a good work in us but this is an unseen process that the triune Godhead executes in our life.
If you don't know Jesus Christ then understand there is a dead nature in you that is sinful. Everybody at one point was dead in trespasses and sins and no person in this condition can raise themselves to life. This is why you have to accept Jesus Christ into your life as your very own personal Savior and Lord by repenting of all your sins and invite Him into your heart for the remission of your transgressions. God will then transform you through His Son Jesus Christ from being dead in your sins to being alive in Jesus Christ.
This good work that is talked about in Philippians 1:6 will begin to take place in your life but please do your part by reading the Bible and trying to obey the precepts in the word of God. This way it is a two way relationship (you and Jesus Christ working together) and that void that I was telling you about in the beginning of the article will be filled the Godly way. If we try and fill it any other way we will remain empty in one way or another.
If you made that all important eternal decision remember the working of the Holy Spirit is not through with you because if God begins a good work in you He will have to complete it because it would forever go unfinished.
It is truly amazing to me because God is teaching me patience. When I'm just anxious and sitting in limbo I know God is working in me even if I can not feel His presence. No matter how much pain you are in remember there is resurrection on the other side through Jesus Christ.
There will be dry valleys and tall victories in our life but walk through both knowing with confidence God has begun a good work in you and will finish it but don't try and write the script for your life. This is the role and function of God because He is the only one who sees our life from beginning to end.
I was just told by a dear lady in the Lord that Jesus spoke to her verbally about me being primed for this particular job of writing before the rapture of the church. I don't know when the Lord is coming but we are certainly in the general vicinity of His return for His bride. Here I am writing articles just as the Lord prophesied years ago because at the risk of repeating myself God sees our life from beginning to end and then we go into eternity available to be a willing vestal for Jesus Christ in heaven. I challenge you to desire this for your life and forever will be a good ending as opposed to the other place which has no purpose because being eternally separated from God means that Jesus Christ will not be in your existence. No beginning, no middle and no end.
If you desire that closure in Jesus Christ like I do then accept Him and live for God knowing that He will do a good work in you. Have a silent confidence of faith that this particular biblical principle is a daily reality in your life and it will enter into the wideness of eternity.
As you all know by know I lost my husband on Saturday and made his reunion home to spend eternity with His heavenly Father. I will get Bob D. article up in a day or so as things calm down but wanted to let you all know. Thank you for your love and kindness over the years. Agape Zelma
How many people take the person of Jesus Christ serious in their lives and follow Him? “For God so love the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16. This is the most quoted verse in the Bible.
Most people read this and have no idea what it really means to be saved through Jesus Christ. One thing I can say is if I am talking to someone about the Lord he or she will usually acknowledge that they are a child of God. This is very hard to keep to yourself. If they just kind of look at me or remain silent more than likely there is no personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Most people will read other books which are not inspired by God. Why? The Word of God is truth and Holy Spirit inspired; however, other books are not what they claim to be in most cases and I sort of get the impression that people either want to believe a lie or they just don't care.
I know God desires me to "Care" about His Son Jesus Christ and not only understand the principles of the Bible but apply them to my life. I empathized this word because most people have God so low on their priority list that books like these come very natural or common for them to read.
Many people read other books to the exclusion of the Bible. By the way this could also mean being obsessed with sports, movies or some other worldly pursuit that has nothing to do with Jesus Christ. These people tend to have sins in their life and are very relaxed in this lifestyle.
All religions besides true Christianity have a common factor because most of them are rituals of some sort or works. This has absolutely nothing to do with what the Bible teaches about true obedience to God. I also noticed many of these same people feel they have the freedom to do their own thing without any thought for Jesus Christ.
I see self will as opposed to the will of God in their life. A trained eye will be able to see a bent desire in the heart to follow and serve the Lord Jesus Christ. It is very rare in a secular setting to see a person love the Lord Jesus Christ with all their heart.
The average person likes this because for the most part they do not want God telling them what to do in their life. Most people don't want to be responsible or accountable for anything but they go through the motions in life because they are intelligent enough to understand this is not very realistic.
This is a big reason why they shy away from the Bible because they do not want God to change their life with His principles in the Word of God. They are happy only through circumstances which can change in a matter of minutes. They will never have true peace in their life.
There is hope for these people but they need to realize that ... “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." Matthew 7:14. If you are in a marriage and did your own thing at the exclusion of your partner do you love him or her? The answer would have to be obvious.
For all practical purposes most people just live their life without God. They commit sins everyday in life just like a dedicated Christian does but the latter struggles with his or her transgressions against God. The first type of person does not care because they are living their life without Jesus Christ.
There is no relationship with God so of course they are going to pursue worldly things as opposed to the precepts in the Bible. If they did this the Person of Jesus Christ would be revealed to them but so would the darkness in their life. As a result they would have to repent to God for their sins.
This is why we can talk to a person like this and get on the subject of eternity and he or she will not care. Deep down there is an internal gospel in them and the individual would have to be submissive before God and allow Jesus Christ to change them on the inside which will manifest on the outside. Why do that when you can do your own thing?
Some people do not believe in the deity of Jesus Christ and they only accept the Father as being God and Jesus just being a man that walked on the earth approximately 2000 years ago. "Jesus saith unto him, have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father, and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?” John 14:9.
“I and my Father are one.” John 10:30. The Bible is so plain on this matter that a child can understand this but I have shown this portion of Scripture to people and other verses in the Bible and saw nothing but struggle with this reality in the Bible. I had one person tell me that if the Scripture says that then we have to go on to other verses in the Bible to see if this is true.
This is avoidance of the truth but these people are no different than the group that just want to live their life apart from God. The core of their being is to suppress the truth but Romans chapter one has some things to say about these people. I don't have the time or space to show you the verses in Romans but if we hid from the truth to embrace a lie then we are not on the narrow path of salvation through Jesus Christ.
There are many verses in the Bible that tell us Jesus Christ is the way of salvation but we must come on His terms. Of course the way is narrow because people want to come to God their way. We must accept Jesus Christ by faith into our heart by repenting of our transgressions based on the fact that Jesus died for our sins. My real question in context is which Jesus are you coming to if you are just going to live life your way and on your terms?
Romans 1:16 says, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto Salvation to everyone that believeth : to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Anybody that believes in Jesus Christ will receive the wonderful gift of true salvation in the Son of God. People all around the world are placing their faith in Jesus Christ. There are revivals in some countries and my prayer is more people will have a hunger for the gospel.
1 Thessalonians 5:9 says, “For God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.” What a comforting verse of Scripture that God gives to those who believe on His name. When the wrath of God comes upon this world (and there may not be to much time) the Bible says we will be spared this horrible punishment that is coming on this earth because of the overwhelming sins of mankind and their unbelief in Jesus Christ.
We do have this promise from Scripture but my fear is some people are claiming these verses of the Bible but are not on the narrow path of salvation through Jesus Christ. I see them sinning and they just don't care so their conscience is seared. These are the same people that are so sure they are going up in the rapture.
When I look at this I think of the laws of gravity. The weight of their sin will hold them down and they will not go up in the rapture of the Church. Narrow is the way and this same rule will apply to the Blessed Hope (Rapture). I would urge Christians not to be left behind because of silly sins. Don't be left behind because you just want to live your life your way. Don't be left behind because you want self will in your life as opposed to the will of God.
2 Timothy 3:15 reads, “And that from a child thou has known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Jesus Christ.” This verse is true because children understand the Bible very well if taught the right way. Maybe this is why Jesus said ,"And said, verly I say unto you, except ye be converted and become as a little child, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. "Matthew 18:3.
I have seen so many children "Grow up" and forget their faith in Jesus Christ. If this describes you please come back to the Lord. Time is short and narrow is the way through Jesus Christ. Our character is being tested by God so let us have courage in Him and move forward by faith in Jesus Christ. Do not take the easy way out and just live your life without God.
Even though we were saved by grace through our faith in Jesus Christ the narrow way is the hard way. Our faith, obedience and courage must be in Jesus Christ. If you think this is easy please take a second look and ask God through prayer if He will show you the whole situation regarding life in comparison to your eternity. In the game of soccer a halfback (if he or she is good) will see the whole field.
It is hard because there is a lot of responsible and accountability. The way is narrow through Jesus Christ because we have to see the will of God for our life and understand it is going into the wideness of eternity (The whole field). Then we have to count the cost and walk in obedience with Jesus Christ.
Philippians 1:19 says, “For I know that this shall turn to my salvation, through your prayers, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.” Prayer is a very powerful opportunity that the Lord gives us so we can give it back to Him. Our prayers go straight to the throne room of God. We can praise God, we can ask a request, we can pray for the sick, our fellow Christians to grow in grace and knowledge of the truth but in the most intimate way we can pray for a stronger fellowship with our Lord. How are we going to be on the straight and narrow path if we don't have intimacy with Jesus Christ?
Hebrews 9:28 says, “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear a second time without sin unto salvation.” Wow what a God we serve. He is coming back for His children after He shed His blood on the cross to take His people up in the rapture who believe on Him. There is no other religion in the world that gives this promise of a Blessed Hope.
Jesus Christ will put an end to all this evil in this world. He will then rule for 1000 years on earth after His judgment is finished and make a new heaven and earth at the end of the millennium.
Revelation 12:10 says, “And I heard a loud voice saying in Heaven, now is coming salvation and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accuses them before God day and night.” I will be so glad when this comes to pass but for now it is happening and this should give us more incentive to be living on the straight and narrow path for Jesus Christ. If not we give the devil or some of his minions legal ground to make their case in the courtroom of Jesus Christ against us and cause havoc in our life. Do not give the devil anything.
If you have not accepted Jesus Christ into your life please do so and allow Him to put you on the straight and narrow way in His loving grace through your faith and obedience in Him.
In one article I wrote about how to abstain from sin. Did you know Jesus Christ is our forgiveness? Are you feeling guilty, impure or just downright low? These are not uncommon thoughts that serious Christians have because they want to be perfect before God. Holy God, imperfect child is something true believers go through all the time especially with besetting sins.
(6) "To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the beloved. (7) In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace." Ephesians 1:6-7. I think it is interesting that this verse talks about the grace of God before technical information is given to us about our forgiveness in Jesus Christ. We are accepted in Jesus Christ because of the grace of God.
The only reason we have redemption is through the blood of Jesus Christ. This is why our sins are forgiven but even I am amazed that verse 7 once again ends with ... "According to the riches of His grace." In verses 6 and 7 we can see bookends of the grace of God through Jesus Christ.
The first bookend refers to the grace of God as praiseworthy for His glory but the second bookend refers to the grace of God as rich. The only reason we have redemption and forgiveness in Jesus Christ is through His blood. When Jesus died on the cross for our sins He shed His blood for us so we could be forgiven but it was because of His love for us.
I like when the Bible says, "Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin. Selah." Psalm 85:2. Not just some of their sins but all of their sins. When we truly repent before God, "As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us." Psalm 103:12.
Why do you think Paul was able to say, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." 2 Corinthians 5:17. Our sins were forgiven and we became a new man in Jesus Christ.
John takes this subject to the believers in Jesus Christ. "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." 1 John 2:1. Wow this is great news. If I transgress as a believer going to Jesus Christ to confess my sin/sins is what I'm supposed to do and my Lord is faithful to forgive me. Sometimes I say, "Lord I don't even know why I did that" but God usually says, "I know why you did it." Still in the dark but Jesus understands His children. He is our light.
I never heard a true believer say that they really wanted to sin against God. A child of Jesus Christ struggles with his or her sin as opposed to an unbeliever who does not wrestle with transgressions against God. Whatever category you are in remember, "For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more." Hebrews 8:12. If we earnestly confess God forgives and in His mercy He never brings the sin/sins up again because they are removed. "I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins." Isaiah 43:25.
Does God want us to make a conscious choice to forsake our sins? Yes. Do we have to change our thoughts to righteousness? Yes. If we are on the wrong path do we have to return to the Lord? Yes. Is there a reward in the end if we do this? Yes it is called pardon. "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon." Isaiah 55:7. "And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their inquities whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me." Jeremiah 33:8.
We live in a country over here where everybody seems to be getting in trouble. I can't quite put my finger on this punishment/law mentality but if these people would put half their time in getting right with God through Jesus Christ then maybe we would not need all these prisons. Jesus came to set the captives free through Him. I noticed this reality starting at 9/11 and progressively getting worse every year.
We need to also understand that because God forgave us we in like manner need to forgive other people. Let's face facts because people offend us all the time in a world where human beings just don't care about each other. That is why I believe Colossians 3:13 says, "Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye." Forbear means to be loyal to that person as a friend even if there is a disagreement or offense.
I still can not believe Jesus Christ forgave me of all my sins because I have many but He had mercy on my soul. Thank you Jesus! The very least I can do is forgive other people for the offences they committed against me. This is a test of character and God wants to see this trait in our life. The other person that committed the offence might even come to know the Lord because of our forgiving spirit because there will be transparency in the love of Jesus Christ coming out of our heart.
The Bible does say pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17) but there is one condition in the Bible. "And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses." Mark 11:25.
It is impossible to pray to God with an earnest spirit while holding a grudge against someone else. It takes a little courage to forgive but it is worth it because our relationship with Jesus Christ depends on our choice not to harbor bad feelings towards another person. We would be better off if we just prayed for them and showed them love.
They may have committed an offence against us but we were dead in our sins before we received salvation from Jesus Christ. Now we have a relationship with Him because we were forgiven of our transgressions. "And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses." Colossians 2:13.
I think the case is pretty clear that we should forgive people through the Person of Jesus Christ. I used to think this was an option now I see it as a command. When I make this choice to forgive other people God removes the burden from my soul and it is light rather than heavy.
I don't exactly know when Jesus is coming back but we are in the general vicinity of the rapture of the Church. No serious Christian wants to sin in this late hour. Our sins being forgiven is a gift from God. We need to check our spirit everyday to see if we are right with God. (1) "Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. (2) Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. Psalm 32:1-2. Just look at that word guile. It sounds like something or somebody we would want to run away from yet that describes us at one point in our life. Inspection rather than avoidance is what we should be doing in our life.
If you have not accepted Jesus Christ into your heart as your Savior and Lord then today/tonight repent of your sins and remember the Bible says, "I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins." Isaiah 43:25.
When I go to the judgment seat of Christ I am not going to say, "Judge me by the law" or "Remember every one of my sins" because I am forgiven and God is not remembering my transgressions because they are blotted out so I am receiving mercy. This very same thing can happen in your life for an eternity in heaven with Jesus Christ. Pray that prayer today/tonight so Jesus Christ can forgive you and impute His righteousness in your spirit.
In our age the believers in Jesus Christ are crying because they don't like what they see in the world. There is never a time when the Lord does not hear our prayers but he does not always deliver us right away. God will rescue us in His timing and His way.
Many Christians are down in this world because of everything they see around them but God wants to pick us up. "The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles." Psalm 34:17.
God may be the author of your persecution. Let me ask you a question. What if God were to tell you your situation is going to get worse but my grace will become even stronger in your spirit? How would you respond? Would you say no way or O.K ?
Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy." 1 Peter 4:12-13. I look at the first sentence of this verse and it is very interesting that the word strange comes up twice.
Every time I hear somebody say," That was strange," confusion is always present. We ask why but the Bible already gives us the answer. We are being tested or as the Bible says ..." The fiery which is to try you" ... 1 Peter 4:12. We are to expect it but why do we put our hope in this world wishing everything will be right?
The Bible teaches that this present world system is beyond redemption. "Beloved, think it not strange" ... so we might as well just program ourselves to expect the trial that is out of the ordinary in our daily routine. We sometimes get so shocked when our life falls apart. We may be doing something right if you know what I mean.
I know this is just the opposite of how our mind works but the Bible actually tells us to rejoice. If we are living for Jesus Christ we are going to be partakers of Christ's sufferings. Some people may be asking, "Do you expect me to be glad?" You may not be at that point yet but as this verse progresses the Bible says ... "When His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy."
We are not really glad until His glory is revealed. A question may arise, "When does that happen?" I don't like to give a one size fits all answer on this question. For some people it is a lesson on earth but for others this promise is for heaven. I can tell you that our trials especially the deeper ones are to test us on earth but the wideness of our pain goes into eternity as a learning process.
When we are assigned tasks in heaven we will never forget what happened to us on earth until one thousand plus years later after the earthy reign of Jesus Christ. "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." Revelation 21:4.
If we die before the return of Jesus Christ or are raptured we are going to remember our lives when we are in heaven. The way we lived and what we went through will not be erased from our memory. Most Christians think they are just being sifted in their character down here but we are also being trained for our roles in heaven so we can meet the needs of others in eternity.
Then we will be able to give more glory and praise to God in heaven.There are so many passages in the book of Revelation where we see everybody praising God with passion. One of the reasons for this is because of the trials we are assigned to on earth. We remember what we went through and what we learned.
That is why amazing grace how sweat it sounds will be able to just come out with understanding. Just like 1 Peter 4:12-13 says we won't just be glad but exceeding joy will be in our spirit or..." Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." Psalm 30:5.
If we are going through something one of the best decisions we could ever make is to wait on the Lord. "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." Isaiah 40:31.
Waiting on the Lord and having our strength renewed go hand in hand. Look at the part of the verse that says, ... "They shall mount up with wings as eagles." Did you ever see a dedicated Christian just walk through walls everywhere he or she goes no matter what is taking place in his or her life? I have but I don't see it often. When I do they either make lemon into lemonade or when everything is going well they just mount up with wings as eagles.
They have the mind and heart set that they live once and are going to live for Jesus Christ while there is still time on earth. Most are not rich but are very wealthy in the eyes of God. If you are going through a trial the best thing you can do is, "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time." 1 Peter 5:6.
We have to be patient because God will exalt us in His time. If you are an unbeliever you need to understand that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. We should be coming to Jesus Christ the humble way with sincerity now while we are on earth. I hope you make that all important eternal decision to accept Jesus Christ into your heart as your very own personal Savior and Lord by repenting of all your sins and inviting the Son of God in your life. If a problem to big or a sin to strong is hurting you pray about the issue and give it over to God.
(9) "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name: (10) That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; (11) And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Philippians 2:9-11.
Did you ever just get really lonely? Sometimes I work so hard at my job that suppressing this emotion comes normal and yet when life slows down appreciation for a heart to heart with Jesus Christ is my innermost desire. I start to talk to Jesus and feel His wonderful peace and love. Sometimes I can sense this fellowship while engaging in labor but for me reflecting is letting God put things into perspective for my life.
If we listen to this world ten different points of view will come our way and that can be very confusing. The Apostle John had the privilege of talking to Jesus Christ on a one on one level. He never forgot those experiences and was able to write, "That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ." 1 John 1:3. If we don't put drawing close to God through His Son Jesus Christ very high on the pecking order then we may want to ask where our priorities are in our walk with the Lord.
We are called to fellowship with Jesus Christ. "God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ." 1 Corinthians 1:9. I know there is the all important message that we are to remain steadfast for Jesus Christ but what if we reversed the whole scenario around and just focused on how incredibly faithful God is to us? This verse starts out "God is faithful" and then urges us to have fellowship with Jesus Christ.
This next verse won many souls for Jesus Christ but it is a passage for Christians. "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me." Revelation 3:20. All we have to do is open the door because Jesus is knocking. Not only is banging coming from the outside but He is speaking and more than likely the words are different depending on who He is talking to so we need to listen, open the door, abide in Him and have fellowship with Jesus Christ.
This does make sense because we can imagine a friend knocking on our door and he is saying some words. We tell him to go away. Believe it or not we have all done this with God at one time or another. We get upset with something, depressed or want to do something else. I am amazed that God gave us a will to choose but in His wisdom that is the way He designed us so we need to respect this and understand we can say no for a variety of reasons. If we do that to much our heart will become hardened and now we are really distant from God.
"Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him." John 14:23. This is a very warm verse but it comes with a condition. The passage is saying ... "If a man love me, he will keep my words" ... so here God is giving us the choice to read, study or memorize the Bible with the right motive or to just be passive and neglect the word of God. If we take the second option God the Father will not let us feel His love and Jesus Christ will be very limited in what He can do in our life based on our decision. At this point God may apply some pressure in our hearts and lives to get our attention usually through circumstances.
When I am around people I know who is receptive to talking about Jesus Christ and who has nothing but walls around their spirit. For me it is more than obvious. To gather with two or more Christians who love Jesus Christ is something special and the Bible does promise that the Son of the Living God will be in the midst of their fellowship. It has to be done with the right spirit of peace and truth but our Lord does say, "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." Matthew 18:20. There is also a reference in the Old Testament very similar to this passage of Scripture which says, "Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord." Zechariah 2:10.
Of course I probably don't have to mention this but obeying God is connected with having fellowship with Jesus Christ. "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me: and he that loveth Me shall be loved by my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him." John 14:21. If we are listening to God and trying to take heed there is something about our obedient response that touches the heart of Jesus Christ. If this be the case He promises to manifest Himself to us with His love. If we try walking through life without the grace of God a tremendous void will be in our souls because that is the way God designed us so what concerns me is how people try and fill the emptiness which is almost always some kind of sin/sins. This is why you will hear a strong Christian say, "Be sold out for Jesus Christ."
It is interesting to me that in John chapter 14 Jesus is just getting started but when He gets to John chapter15 He really gets far more detailed in our fellowship with Him because it is the great abiding passage. I wrote an article in 2016 called, "How to abide in Jesus Christ" so I won't repeat myself but I just desire to look at one verse. "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me." John 15:4. Walk outside your place of residence and observe if there are any fallen branches. What I'm trying to convey is we are nothing unless our minds and hearts are rooted in Jesus Christ. A branch has to be heavy in the vine or it will fall to the ground. The best defense is a good offense. Be strong, stay strong in Jesus Christ.
If I were to tell you that fearing God and being His companion are in the same verse in the Bible some people would not believe me unless I presented proof but sure enough the Scripture says, "I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts." Psalm 119:63. Do you really want to be close to God? Reverential fear and obedience with the right motive (earnestly for God) is when Jesus Christ shows us His love.
This is an interesting verse because it is touching on our fellowship with other people in connection with our relationship to Jesus Christ. When two people clash do you think they feel spiritual? Did you ever just say, "Oh man I have to deal with this person? I have because some people are just difficult to connect with for one reason or another. The Bible tells us what to strive for with other people especially our brothers and sisters in Christ. (1) "If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the spirit, if any bowels and mercies, (2) Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind." Philippians 2:1-2.
It is actually our responsibility to make the initiative of applying these verses with other individuals. It is like we are waving the peace flag even though this person or group may have offended us so we have to go to Scripture to determine why the Holy Spirit gets very specific.
Consolation in Christ and comfort of love basically mean the same thing but it is phrased different because there is a lot of strife in this world and we are the ones called by God to step in and be the peacemakers through the divine unity of the Holy Spirit. Since most people want to fight in one form or another the word of God is saying we must take the leadership role in showing this Godly emotion through Jesus Christ.
First we give comfort then we offer our hand of fellowship. If there is an issue in their life we show mercy. The purpose of this reaching out is to be likeminded in Jesus Christ so we can be bound by His love, accord and mind. The end result is joy. Every true believer in Christ desires this final outcome but we can not skip steps because if we do some sort of strife will still be dormant in the souls of everyone concerned.
This is not to say we wink at sin or even agree with all their opinions but our main goal is to be one in Christ through His love. This is a steppingstone with our relationship to God because we want Jesus Christ at the center of our fellowship with other people. We are not trying to win a debate; however, Philippians 2:1 has the word "If " in this verse four different times. We do our part in obeying this verse but the other person has to meet us half way. If they don't the power of prayer is very effective. By the way this is not a one time activity but a lifetime of treating other people the right way with Godly comfort so Jesus Christ can be at the center of our hearts.
Isn't it interesting that our fellowship with Jesus Christ involves being good to other people the Bible way especially brothers and sisters in the Lord? Our true fellowship is with other Christians because an unbeliever in Jesus Christ does not know the Son of God in their heart. This is something a discerning believer can sense in his or her heart. I get a little weary of a so called believer in Jesus Christ that feels extremely comfortable with a person that does not even know the Lord. One is walking in light (the believer) and the other is walking in darkness (the unbeliever). I question his or her salvation but I do not judge because this is reserved for Jesus Christ Himself.
"And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour." Ephesians 5:2. When we live for Jesus Christ at the center of our hearts especially in the form of prayer the Bible seems to suggest that a perfume is formed in heaven based on our faith and obedience to Jesus Christ on earth. "And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand." Revelation 8:4. We read words like "Sweet-smelling savour and incense which is in direct connection with faith in God and prayer.
There is another passage in the Bible that talks about our conversation of living which is our lifestyle. There is a direct connection on how we walk through our life and an intimate fellowship with Jesus Christ. (5) "This then is the message which we have heard of Him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. (6) If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: (7) But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleaneth us from all sin." 1 John 1:5-7.
The first point is ... "God is light" ... which tells us that the Triune Godhead is without sin. The second point is we must not walk in darkness (sin) as a lifestyle and say we have fellowship with Jesus Christ because we will be liars. The third point is we are to walk in the light who is Jesus Christ Himself and share that communion we have with God and fellowship with other people.
The very last phrase of this passage reminds us that true Christians have this promise ... "And the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin." If you don't know Jesus Christ as your very own personal Savior and Lord repent of all your sins today/tonight and invite Him into your heart so you can be a child of God through His precious blood that He shed for all of us on the cross. He died for our sins and rose from the dead on the third day so we can be redeemed from our transgressions and have fellowship with Him on earth and for all eternity.
We live in a world that is very dangerous and as a result security has enhanced to the point where big brother is very active in life. Some of it is real and some of it is for fear and control.
I hear many people talk about the good old days but now that big brother is "Big" the joy has been taken out of life in many cases but of course that issue never applies to all people.
When I was growing up government did what they had to do and society went about the business of work and personal life. Now they are intertwined almost as one. We are not quite there yet but the Bible says it is coming. This is just one more sign that Jesus is coming very soon. When I was young we never talked about this subject because it was never a problem.
Scripture tells us that Jesus Christ is our security. This is not to say that we should not have common sense in our lives about the dangers of life but without understanding some key pivotal verses in the word of God we all will be lost regarding who is our protection. This also goes for the subject of money. As you will see through the passages in the Bible I am going to show you money is destined to die.
(3) "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. (4) To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you. (5) Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time." 1 Peter 1:3-5.
When we accepted the Lord Jesus Christ into our hearts God showed so much mercy on us that we could never measure the depth of love that was bestowed on our life and eternity. We have an inheritance in heaven but it never gets corrupted and nobody can tamper with it because it is reserved for us by the power of God.
Notice the last part of the verse ..."To be revealed in the last time." While I am on this earth do you know what verse I think of when I read these words? "Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." Philippians 1:6.
We are the children of God through His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit is not giving up on us because our inheritance is in heaven. The real question is are we going to continue to abide in Jesus Christ. God will do His part but this is a relationship so we have to be willing to love, obey and have faith in Jesus Christ as we journey through life.
This makes me want to glorify God and serve Him while I am still in this flesh on earth. Our reward will be based on what we did for the Lord Jesus Christ in our life but our motives will be analyzed on the day of judgment. What we did and why we did it then what is left will be our reward.
What we worry about on earth has very little to do with eternal rewards in heaven. We need to stop worrying and start laboring for Jesus Christ. We see in the news messages to start worrying and have a little more fear. Let me make you a deal ------ you fear and I will do something constructive for Jesus Christ. Fretting over issues is not going to add one inch to my height.
There is nothing new under the sun so I would just like to express my feelings that almost every media outlet is saying there is something new under the sun. If anything they keep saying the same thing over and over again.
To be fair about this issue if something really serious happens to our country, another country or the world I will be vexed in my spirit but to blitz fear as a religion is something I will resist as a Christian because our call as believers in Jesus Christ is to have faith in God.
To be honest with you my heart is already vexed because of the evil in this world. Many readers of this article feel the same way I do but we serve a God who is our security even when demons are running all over the place. "But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil." 2 Thessalonians 3:3. Jesus Christ is so faithful to us and He wants to make us strong in Him and shield us from evil so we don't fall into sin.
Some people may be asking, "What if I get caught up in some kind of evil in this world?" We don't have to travel to far for that to happen but we need to be looking to Jesus Christ." (24) Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy. (25) To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen." Jude 1:24-25.
Jesus Christ knows how to protect us from the evil in this world. Through Him we will be presented faultless in the presence of His glory. I am looking forward to that and I do not believe there is a whole lot of time left in this world as we know it because our Lord is coming very soon.
There will be exceeding joy and we will be able to see and experience the different attributes of God. Jude mentions glory, majesty, dominion and power but there are more described in other portions of Scripture.
We are surrounded by evil but God does not want us falling into sin. Most people do but as Christians we need to understand that we are eternally secure in Jesus Christ and we are sealed but grieving the Holy Spirit through sin in this evil world is a very dangerous position to be in so stay pure in righteousness. "And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." Ephesians 4:30. Don't you find the order of this verse very interesting? The more we sin the more we gradually move away from the security of Jesus Christ and blend in with the god of this world who is the devil. 2 Corinthians 4:4.
We want to stay pure in Jesus Christ because by living this way 2 Corinthians 1:22 becomes real in our life. "Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts." This is true security in Jesus Christ.
The world can not and will not give this to us because only God can give us true protection in our life. Being persecuted is a different subject for another article but I can say God will never give us more than we can handle and He will work all things for our good if we love God and are called according to His purpose. "In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise." Ephesians 1:13. There are different interpretations as what this sealing means but I have enormous comfort in my heart that this is a reality in my heart.
If we want to experience our sealing Romans 8:16 says, "The Spirit Himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God." What good is our "Sealing" if we can not experience this wonderful truth with the witness of the Holy Spirit in our heart.
If you do not have this testimony in your life it is healthy to question your own salvation. We need to be a little curious and ask questions because we care about our relationship with Jesus Christ. If we don't then we are obviously a little misguided. We need to be honest regarding our evaluation about ourselves regarding our redemption in Jesus Christ.
Questions are fine but if we are always asking about our salvation in Jesus Christ then something is wrong. If this is the case we need to get back to the basics with Jesus Christ ... read the Bible, pray, have fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ, witness to people about the plan of salvation and use our talents for God while there is still time. We should "Know" our security is in Jesus Christ. I empathized the word "Know" because if we don't then our life is not right with God.
If we got saved through Jesus Christ and are living for Him how could we possibly question our security before God because we are in the very presence of the Holy Spirit? Why would the Bible say, "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever." Psalm 2:6.
I look at this world and let me tell you something they are not giving me goodness and mercy. While I live on this earth there is always pretense that something bad will happen. I would rather go with what God says in His Word and live for Him.
I want goodness and mercy. I want to dwell in the house of the Lord on earth and forever. We should not be taking a bunch of pretense from the world and "Worry" that something bad is going to happen. If we do this then we are laboring for meat that will perish." Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for the meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed." John 6:27. We don't know what is going to happen to us in our life. As far as I'm concerned two seconds could ruin our life. The main theme is focus on the kingdom of God as opposed to fretting on earth. Worry is mediation to the devil. He does not even care about us.
As I read many passages in the Bible the one thing God does not want us to do is be slothful or lazy to inherit the promises of Him. Obedience and reward are always connected with each other. For example the Bible says, (11) "And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end. (12) That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises." Hebrews 6:11-12. It could not be any more clear --- we need to be working for Jesus Christ.
God knows exactly who we are because we serve an all knowing God but we also serve a mighty God who is unlimited in power. If you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord God will never fail you if you accept Him into your heart today/tonight. It is built into us that we have to serve somebody so it might as well be Jesus Christ. Anything else is temporary at best. It would be wise to repent of all your sins and invite the Son of the Living God into your life. This is an eternal decision that you will never regret but rejoicing for all eternity.
If you made that decision this is a verse you may want to think about because it involves you. "Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number : He calleth them all by names by the greatness of His might, for that He is strong in power; not one faileth. Isaiah 40:26.
I am called by Jesus Christ through the greatness of His might because He is the All Powerful God. Jesus Christ not only knows your name but He wants to write it in His Lamb's book of life. This is true security in Jesus Christ as opposed to the world system that can not promise you one thing. If we do receive a promise in this world it can be taken away tomorrow.
This is the very last article in this verse by verse analysis in the book of Philippians. I remember I was about to start a verse by verse study on Revelation chapter one and the Lord interrupted me and directed my review to the book of Philippians. I understood that there were people on internet land that needed to understand these four chapters because there is a tremendous need for Christians to apply the principles of this particular biblical content to their lives. I hope I was able to make this precious book more clear and break down the points Paul was trying to convey in a simple way with the motive of serving you (by the way it is always my pleasure) so you can apply these truths to your life in your church and on your job or where ever you are in your path down here on earth.
In the first article which was titled, "A wonderful reunion" it was quite obvious that Paul and the Philippian church went through much together and he was just so happy to be reunited with this very special body of believers even if it was just in the form of a letter. I look at some of these "Reunions" in life and some are, "Well let's get together" but there was a lot of heart and soul with true Godly affection in this come together. Did you ever just like someone or a group of people and your heart just melts at seeing them again? This is the kind of love God desires us to have for our brothers and sisters in Christ because He has tender affection for us.
The second article I wrote was called, "Godly love and expansion" and the main theme here involves these two verbs. Paul desired them to have love but with knowledge and judgment. He did not want their love to be blind. For example we should be reading the Bible and making Godly conclusions for our life. When Paul was in prison while writing this letter he knew people were proclaiming Jesus Christ with the wrong motive but all the Apostle cared about was the expansion of the gospel. Right reasons, wrong reasons if people were coming to know the Lord that is all that he longed for but let this be a lesion to every one of us that our motives better be right when we endeavor for the Lord Jesus Christ because there will be no reward in heaven if why were doing what were doing is for the wrong reason.
The third article I wrote was called, "To the glory of God through Jesus Christ." Paul makes a transition from examining Christian leaders and their motives because it became apparently obvious to him but not necessarily understood by the people listening to these teachers but they were still inviting Jesus Christ into their hearts. He then goes vertical with his personal relationship with God and empathies giving Jesus Christ the praise and glory. Just one word of advise because we need to be listening to Christian leaders on where their "Empathies" is first and foremost because this observation is going to determine if they are biblically sound and heading in the right direction. If they are off on some tangent with their empathies then the listeners like sheep are going to follow because Jesus Christ is not at the center of the congregation and the body of believers listening are not going to be grounded in the word of God.
The forth article I wrote is called, "Should I stay or should I go." Paul goes over this dilemma on whether it would be better if he stayed on Planet Earth or went to heaven. He knew full well that there would be no more temptation of sin in heaven with much joy but he finally settled on the fact that this Apostle needed to stay because the needs of other people were great. We do not determine when we are born nor do we determine when God will take us on home to be with Him for all eternity. This was understood but he was torn between the two and I am one that much appreciated his opening up of his soul being split two different ways because I have faced the same struggle in my path on earth.
In the fifth article I wrote, "How to love one another" and I would have to say this may be a good writing to review because there were enough specifics to go over because God places a high empathies on this subject. We can do something without love and as a result all kinds of bad noise comes out of our spirit and hurts other people in a bad way. The domino effect takes placewhere they encounter other people and this just goes on and on until someone actually makes a conscious decision to express this type of affection to everyone around them because he or she is making the right choice by obeying God and being in His will.
Article number six is called, "The essence of Jesus Christ" which has amazing content in it because Paul is reviewing the horizontal (how to love one another) to the very essence of who Jesus Christ is but notice he did not delve into this subject until he explained the horizontal and then Paul goes very deep into the heart of who Jesus Christ is especially in relation to us as Christians. What good is keeping our focus on Jesus Christ without being able to relate it to our lives? Exploring the essence of Jesus Christ is wise so if you have to review this article it is posted and Paul does get very specific in the verses. This should touch our soul when we go on a journey in understanding who Jesus Christ is and His resurrection power especially on how it relates to us in our Christian journey down here on earth.
Article number seven is called, "Rejoicing and mourning" and this is so true to our lives but Paul was one of the few people I ever encountered that knew how to blend the two together into one. We will mourn in this world but to just stay there is counterproductive because rejoicing is to be incorporated with our grief. This is when we can just thank, praise and glorify God in pain and hardships. It is an expression to the Triune Godhead that in the middle of our problems we are putting our faith in God, giving praises to Jesus Christ for who He is and what He is going to do in our life because we do love Him and our called according to His purpose.
Article number eight is called, "Persecuted or the persecutor." Paul describes the types of Christians that are prone to persecution because of their strong stance for Jesus Christ. They are on the right side of true faith and obedience to Jesus Christ. These individuals would never even dream of persecuting anyone because they are in a position before God to stay the course and endue for Him until the end. The persecutors are very earthy in their thoughts and rely on their own strength which produces pride and often goes to the next step into persecuting true believers in Jesus Christ. This is history and it is also what the Bible teaches will happen in the last days. We are in the general vicinity of the rapture and the seven year tribulation period which the world will soon have to go through but true believers are promised a snatching away before this time period starts so make sure you are right with Jesus Christ or you will be left behind.
Article number nine is called, "Living for Jesus Christ and the hope of heaven." I can always tell if a person is living for Jesus Christ. Most decent people do not and it is sad to see them allow the cares of life rob them of their relationship with the Son of God who died for their sins. On the other hand I can always tell if a person is living for Jesus Christ. When I see this there is always the hope of heaven attached to their devotion to the Lord because we are just passing through this old world but our true hope is in heaven because that is our ultimate home. We are not staying down here but are living for Jesus Christ because this is our only true option. He is preparing us for heaven.
Article number ten is called, "Reaching and pressing with hope." Paul desired to put his empathies on two words which are reaching and pressing but it was for the high calling in Jesus Christ. How serious do we take the high calling we have in Jesus Christ? It should be our number one priority but we should strive with Godly hope. People reach and press when they run a race and this is what we should be engaging in our Christian life. This high calling involves reaching and pressing to know Jesus Christ and His resurrection power. We are laboring for Him for the right reason of pointing to the Son of the Living God, not ourselves because it is all about Jesus Christ. We are just the vessels in the hands of God.
Article number eleven is called, "The peace of God keeping our hearts and minds." We as Christians are granted a very special promise that if we trust in God through His Son Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit the peace of God will guard our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. The fear and anxiety will not be there because this peace will transcend over our excessive cares in life and work through our spirit by experience. I shared a very touching story of my grandmother who got saved by reading Philippians chapter four every night before she died and finally got saved through Jesus Christ. It just goes to show us we really don't know what God may use in the life of a person to bring him or her to Him.
Article number twelve is called, "A special word in observation but content in Jesus Christ." I let loose in the beginning of the article explaining the main problem I was seeing in the average person I observed or talked to which is they never got the sin condition settled before God in most cases because of the cares of this world. Remember demons have about six thousand years of experience in making sure said person has apathy about the truths of God and they probably won't bother you if they know they have you in their possession. Just because everything is fine in your life does not mean you are going to heaven. Unfortunately there is only one other place and that would be hell. This is a horrible existence but if you do nothing then how can you possible expect to go to heaven?
I would like to extend an invitation to you to accept Jesus Christ into your heart as your very own personal Savior and Lord by repenting of all sins and inviting the Son of the Living God into your life by living for Him. This is a decision for your life and eternity and it will be the wisest choice you ever made in your life because it will last forever.
In article twelve Paul expresses how content he was in Jesus Christ. We can not feel at peace through something worldly or earthy because it is temporary and subject to change.
Finally at the end of the book of Philippians Paul says his goodbyes to a wonderful body of believers. In verse twenty, "Now unto God and our Father be glory forever and ever, Amen." He just kept giving glory to God and that is what we should be doing in our life.
When Paul said goodbye to this church it is obvious that he had a genuine love for all good Christians. Then of course he ends with, "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all, Amen." Well I say the same thing to you so ...