Category Archives: Philippians

I don’t have it all together

(Trying to get back to producing entries regularly. This is certainly not to please the cravings of an extended list of followers, just to get some regularity to my Bible reading. Reading without responsibility does not work well with me.)

“I’m not saying that I have this all together….” Philippians 3: 12 (The Message)

Paul lists some remarkable qualifications. His pedigree is amazing, as are his life experiences.

He is as good as they come. But then comes verse 12 where he steps back to assure the readers that he, like the rest of us, is a work in progress.

We will not ever get it completely right. If we try for perfection, we will always feel inadequate. BUT God does not see us that way.

If I believe that God accepted the sacrifice of Jesus when He died in my place, I have cleared out my inside sinful self. I have moved Christ into the vacancy. He lives in me!

Every believer is on equal footing with God……….we are sinless in His sight. No need to compare ourselves with others. No reason to feel inferior or superior.

God finds me acceptable. Hallelujah!



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Stepping up

“Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you.”  Philippians 1:27-28.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading; Songs of Solomon 5-8, and Philippians 1.

This verse scares me.

I am not comfortable sharing the gospel.  These verses advocate sharing fearlessly.

My fear occurs even before I share the Gospel.  Before it even happens, I’m in full worry!  “What will they think?”  “Will they be mad?” “Could I permanently ostracize myself from people I talk with?”

All of my questions betray me.  How?  On my own strength, interacting with relative strangers is awkward for me on almost any topic.

Then, of course, there is sharing the Gospel with family.  That’s where the potential ostracizing fear comes in.

Sadly, today’s entry reveals to me my need for a serious upgrade in my relationship to God.  I desperately want the relational level that wipes away my fear of presenting the Gospel to others.  I MUST surrender those fears to Him.  I MUST realize that I’m throwing a counterfeit god into my life.  That god is comfortable only where I anticipate/have happy verbal exchanges.

“God, help me.  Fill me with You.  Toss out the counterfeit gods of my life.  I want to rightly represent You EVERYWHERE I am.  Forgive me for my fearfulness.  I love You.  You are over everything that I will ever face.  Help me to stand up for You this day.”

Do you fear sharing the Gospel?  Welcome to the club!

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How can I be more thankful?

“I thank my God every time I remember you.”  Philippians 1:3.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading; Philippians 1-4.

My mind is often cluttered.  Something comes to mind and then it is gone.  Another time that same thought returns only to escape again.

I have discovered that I need to constantly think of things if they are important enough to remember.

I know the names of my neighbors despite nearly never seeing them.  How is that possible?  I pray for them daily by name.

Today’s verse follows the same thinking.  It tells me to thank God for people as I remember them.

This will cause me to think of not only them but also think of why I am thankful for them.  That enlarges the recollection.

I can assure you that I think plenty about folks in my midst.  Sometimes my thoughts have been about why they are a problem for me!  Today’s verse forces on me thankful creativity.  This will be a good thing.

“Lord, I thank You for Your Word.  I thank You for insights into what Godly behavior involves.  I want that now for me.   You have blessed me so much.  Forgive me for seeing things otherwise.  Forgive me for questioning You.  You know best.  Help me to live within the wings of Your Love.  I love You, Lord.”

I can be more thankful to God and to others.

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Lose your anxiety

“The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:5-7.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading: 1 Kings 15, 2 Chronicles 13-14, and Philippians 4.

This is a hard one to live out, don’t you think?

What does our anxiety reveal about us?  With reference to today’s verses, it would imply that we haven’t trusted God enough.

This verse tells me that if I am trusting right, I will have God’s peace.  Note that it doesn’t say that we will always get what we want.

Therein is the hard part.  We present and petition and are persistent…….and then what we wanted doesn’t happen.  We become disappointed with God.  How shallow of us!

God does answer prayer.  He will give us exactly what we asked for OR its equivalent.  I don’t get the new car I wanted but I do get to ride with someone else.  Maybe not having a car or riding where I was going was God’s best for me.  Will I accept His Way?

Paul wrestled in this area regarding what he called, “the thorn in the flesh.”  Probably an ailment that was altering his lifestyle.  Later Paul writes of being content in whatever situation he’s in.  God is with him no matter what is going on.  And God knows best.

Good words for me.  My anxious moments are when I have rejected God’s answer to my prayer when it differs from my projected answer.

“Lord, correct me, I beg.  Forgive me for trusting me to give me peace.  My peace must be in Your Ways.  Show me what I need to do.  Deny me that which corrupts me.  Which lessens my hold on You.  I plead for Your Peace.  Help me to live within Your confines with rejoicing.”

My anxieties reveal spiritual deficiencies.

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Why did that happen to me?

“Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel.”  Philippians 1:12.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: Song of Solomon 5-8, and Philippians 1.

God has plans for us.

Silly us when we try to make our own plans.  We do not know best.

If we cling to God’s leadership He will see that we are exactly where He wants us to be.  It may well not be the place we envisioned being BUT it’s His place.

Paul is in prison.  On at least one occasion, an angel appeared and his chains were removed and he escaped.  That isn’t happening this time but Paul has used the change of plans to please God.  Others in his current midst have been exposed to the Gospel.

God used the “inconvenience” of jail time to spread the Gospel there.  It wouldn’t have worked otherwise.

“Lord, You know best.  Forgive me for being troubled by “inconveniences” that come along.  You have Your Own ways of getting my attention.  Thank You for that.  Help me to trust You second by second.  I love You, Lord.”

God has a plan for my life.  Will I let it play out?


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Prayer connects

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”  Philippians 4:6.

Today’s Scripture reading was Revelation 18-22.

Prayer is an “every” arrangement.

Life is one situation after another and prayer must be part of every situation.

Is that the way it really is with us?  Not likely.

When I am not connected to God, I am sorting things out in my own strength.

If I am connected to God, I have access to His strength and will not be anxious.

When I don’t pray, I limit God’s involvement in my life.  I exclude Him.  What am I thinking when I do such a thing!

I need God every second of my life.  How am I going to keep that connection 24/7?

Brother Lawrence’s solution is practicing the presence of God.  Can I see Him where I am?

God has given me so many good gifts.  How about just being thankful for everything in my midst?

“Lord, I need You.  Forgive me for loosening our connectedness.  Prick my conscience when I am wandering off apart from You.  I love You, Father.”

We are excluding God from our lives when we are not mindful of Him.


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No matter what

“Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.” Philippians 1:27.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: Philippians 1-4.

We belong to God and the world is watching.

Why is the world watching?  They know that we have standards by which we live.  They may not understand what those standards are or even approve of them but they want to see us live them out.

I wonder how believers would live if they had to wear a certain uniform.  If we had to identify ourselves visually with what we believe.

That uniform thing would be challenging for sure.  How often do we behave in an ungodly manner?  But maybe we would realize that we are on-call for God and act accordingly.

“Lord, forgive me for misrepresenting You.  I do it among those who know I’m a believer.  I do it among those who know nothing about what I believe.  Fill me with You.  Prick my conscience when I’m messing things up.  I love You, Father.”

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Thinking Godly

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”  Philippians 4:8.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: 1 Kings 15, 2 Chronicles 13-14, and Philippians 4.

Where’s your mind?

If you wallow in the mud you’re going to come out dirty!

There are so many things to consider.  So many things to observe.  So many things to fill our minds with.

Paul offers some thinking thoughts.  Try thinking about these things, he says.  Why?  If you look at the list of suggestions it is not too hard to imagine the consequences of concentrating on them.

We are easily drawn into other thoughts: Look at the evil that person did.  Why does that person get away with what they’re getting away with?  Negativity abounds and it can flood over us.  We become immersed with it.

I find that if I get saturated with bad thoughts, the repercussions will show up in my dreams.  I find myself in the midst of evil.  Sometimes I resist evil and other times I end up caught up in it.

“Lord, You know me.  I want my life to honor You.  I want everything I think to be Godly.  Even in bad times I can imagine You in charge.  Help me, Lord.  I love You, Father.”

What are you thinking about?

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Be a shiner

“Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’  Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.”  Philippians 2:14-16.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: 1 Kings 12, 2 Chronicles 10-11, and Philippians 2.

How does a person have a Godly shine?

I must have a right relationship with God.

I do not think that we intentionally set out to give a Godly impression.  I think that in living a life filled with God we will naturally radiate Him.

I am not avoiding the first part of the verse……..although it would make things easier!  No grumbling and/or arguing?  Who can live like that?

If my life is filled with God I will become uncomfortable doing either of them.  I will even become uncomfortable when I hear other people doing it.

My problem is that I have a good ear for the arguing and grumbling of others.  Not so much my own!

My “logic” is that my arguing and complaining is legitimate.  What a fool.

I must be walking close to God at all times.  I will be able to handle adversity in that arrangement.  Too often I handle things apart from God.  Not shining much of a light under those conditions.  Too often, way too often.

“Lord, take me over now.  Clean me up.  Forgive me of godlessness.  I want You directing me.  I want to rightly represent You in my midst.  Prick my conscience when I am off course.  I love You, Father.”

Arguing and grumbling are ungodly.


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Prayer for a graduate

“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ – to the glory and praise of God.”  Philippians 1:9-11.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading: Song of Songs 5-8, and Philippians 1.

I have a granddaughter graduating from private school this afternoon.

My Bible reading brought me into today’s verses.  Interesting how God leads, isn’t it?

What would I want for someone who is facing new surroundings?  An uncertain future?

I see the word “discern” in these verses and that brings me directly back to Solomon’s desire for discernment to guide Israel.  God was pleased with that request.

I believe that I can intercede for others.  If I can ask God for discernment, then I can surely ask that others I pray for can have discernment too.  When the paralytic man was lowered before Jesus through a roof by his friends THEIR faith was recognized.  And so my faith can be recognized as I plead that she will have discernment as she makes choices ahead.

God is omnipresent.  He will be where I am not.  Knowing that He is in my granddaughter’s midst in the uncertain days ahead is comforting.

“Lord, take over my granddaughter’s life.  Help her to cling to you for discernment.  Help her to notice You in in her midst.  I surrender her to you.  Thank You, Lord, for what You will do.”

Plenty of great advice in today’s verses.

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