Saturday, February 22, 2014

Philippians Ch.1-Lesson 1 and 2

Wonderful church sign in Mt. Holly. “I have found Mr. Right and He is Jesus.”
A bad attitude is like a flat tire. You won’t go anywhere until you change it!

Have you ever been lost? Well those that know me can tell you that is my modus operandi (MO.) Family and friends ask constantly if I have a GPS. Not to worry I can get equally lost with a GPS, just ask Glenda. Wednesday on my twice weekly trip to Denver, Hwy. 273 just beyond Mt. Holly was blocked because of a big wreck. The direction from the officer was; “Turn here and take a right at the stop sign” What he failed to mention was there were three more choices to make out in an area I had never driven.  Yes, I have a maps app on my phone; I pulled over and located where I needed to be and where I actually was. I find a 2” screen inadequate to be much help. Not the right the time to learn how to use the app. Needless to say I got lost and found myself in Alexis. A good-humored fellow sent me back down the road to the stop sign and gave me directions to Old Plank Rd. Another turn and I was in familiar territory.

Since I frequently take the scenic route whenever I leave my home county, my attitude is adventurous. To my delight I found the East Lincoln Race Track, Gold Hills Missionary Baptist Church and the Bat Cave, an indoor training facility for baseball and softball. Laughter and Joy can change a disaster into an adventure.
As a youngster in church we learned how to prioritize our lives to have JOY.
Jesus is first
Others second
Yourself last
Let me give you an example. You are running into the grocery store for one or two things on the way to meet friends for dinner. You are waiting at the “10 items or less” register and the person in front of you mistakenly chose the wrong line because her buggy is overflowing.  Do you let that steal your joy?
It is Thursday afternoon, ready for the final print of my teaching and PowerPoint notes and the printer is out of ink, or it has a paper jam or the wifi network goes out. Do I still possess joy? Those are little petty instances in our lives, can steal our joy. Now who do we know who loves to steal the joy of God’s children? The Bible says Satan is a thief that comes to steal, kill and destroy. Whenever I take my eyes off Jesus and allow circumstances to determine my feelings, I can lose my joy. Be Joyful!
James 1:2-3 Consider it pure JOY, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.
Letter to the Philippians is short book, 4 chapters, but every chapter contains wonderful  lessons, notable verses we could spend weeks studying. This letter from Paul is instructional for a joyful life amid the trials and circumstances of our life. Paul founded the church of Philippi on his second missionary journey eleven years before this letter was written about 62 AD. It was written with Timothy’s help from house arrest in Rome.

The letter start out, Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons:
2      Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I chose this outline from Warren Weirbe’s commentary entitled Be Joyful
·        Fellowship of the gospel 1:1-11
·        Furthering of the gospel 1:12-26
·        Faith of the Gospel 1:27-30
Fellowship -means to have in common. The Greek word for fellowship is Kiononia.
Phonetic Spelling: (koy-nohn-ee'-ah) Definition:  (a) contributory help, participation, (b) sharing in, communion, (c) spiritual fellowship, a fellowship in the spirit.
3      I thank my God in all my remembrance of you,
4      always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy,
5      because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.

Paul tells the Philippians they were on his mind (remembrance), v.7 they were in his heart, they were in his prayers. Perhaps the most wonderful thing you can do for a person is include them in your prayers.
 The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. James 5:16
Can you feel when someone is praying for you?
Be Joyful! Share your joy with others!
6-And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Do you believe that? That is my hope- that God’s not finished with me yet
C. H. Spurgeon (England's well-known preacher of the nineteenth century)
“Where is there an instance of God’s beginning any work and leaving it incomplete? Show me for once a world abandoned and thrown aside half formed; show me a universe cast off from the Great Potter’s wheel, with the design in outline, the clay half hardened, and the form unshapely from incompleteness.”
Verses 9-11 provide us with a Grocery List for the Christian Life
9And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment,
10    so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,
11    filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

That is my prayer for each of us as Christian women, as students of the Bible, to love the LORD and His Word and grow in wisdom and knowledge to maintain a personal relationship with Him. That is why we must strive for excellence in CBS, to be the best servants of Christ that we can.

Paul uses 16 references to mind, think, and remember.  Being Single-Minded is our goal on this earth. When we take every thought captive and we can be joyful in all circumstances. Guard your mind from negative thoughts that will steal your joy.
11 May you always be doing those good, kind things that show you are a child of God, for this will bring much praise and glory to the Lord. TLB
Furthering of the gospel 1:12-26
v.12 I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel,
During this time Paul wrote Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians. His time was not wasted during the Roman imprisonment. God never wastes our time, though we may waste it by not sensing God’s purpose for our lives at the moment.
How can Paul further the gospel being in prison?  Verse thirteen tells about the Imperial guards. Paul was chained to a guard at all times; if they changes guards every six hours that meant he was in the company of at the very least 4 guards a day. What did these guards observe during this time? Paul praying for the various people, writing letters to the churches, being visited by seekers interested his ideas.
Another contact would the officials of the Roman courts. When he was brought up on charges, the officials would probably have to study his letters to others and the gospel message that he preached. Can you think of a greater city of influence than Rome?
Also seeing the faith of Paul will imprisoned others became more bold about speaking the Good News in their everyday conversations. They saw that Paul was joyful in the midst of such a trial. God had cared for Paul in his circumstances and God could still use Paul even when he was imprisoned.
v. 15 Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will.
Rivalry was not his concern. “Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.”
How are you advancing the gospel? Is there a special interest or area of ministry that you are passionate about? God calls each of us to a purpose for His kingdom. Are you answering the call when Jesus places someone or something on your heart?
 Everything happening to me in this jail only serves to make Christ more accurately known, regardless of whether I live or die. They didn’t shut me up; they gave me a pulpit! Alive, I’m Christ’s messenger; dead, I’m his bounty. Life versus even more life! I can’t lose. MSG
A familiar phrase from Paul:21For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
Paul had no fear of death, to him it meant departing this world and entering another. Departure  is a military term for “take your tent down and move on.”
In his letters to the Corinthians, Paul describes our bodies as tents, temporary homes.

2 Corinthians 5:1 For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 
Can you be Joyful about that?
The older I get the more I identify with this verse. Our bodies are not made to last forever.  Our bodies are wasting away day by day. Praise God he has a mansion built for us in Heaven. Are you ready tonight to go to your new home? Have you made sure your loved ones are ready? Paul was ready to go or to stay. However the decision was the LORD’s.  Paul was need by the Philippians as they strive in faith 25“for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus,” Be Joyful!

SLIDE 11 Faith of the Gospel 1:27-30

1.     Conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel
2.     Whatever happens you stand firm in one Spirit
3.     Strive together as one for the faith of the gospel
The verb conduct Paul relates to our word for politics. As Christian we not citizens of this world, we are just passing through. Philippi was a Roman colony, citizens of Rome, protected by Roman law. WW. “The church of Jesus Christ is a colony of heaven on earth.” Behave like citizens of heaven worthy of the Gospel.
KJV 27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: The old English word for “conversation” means walk not talk. The Gospel is the good news that Jesus Christ died for our sins was buried and rose again. (1 Cor. 15:1-8)
Are we walking worthy?  What does the world around us see?
You are writing a gospel,
A chapter each day,
By the deeds that you do
And the words that you say.
Men read what you write,
Whether faithful or true:
Just what is the gospel
According to you?

29            For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake,
Godliness brings suffering, expect it! If we understand and expect persecution for our faith, we won't be surprised by it.

James 1:12  Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. NIV

Faith in Christ is the gift of God, so is "the fellowship of his sufferings." It is not a burden, but a privilege:" In all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us."

10   If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love.
11   These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
John 15:10-11

Will you choose to Be Joyful?