Don’t worry, Just Praise Him – 6-30-22

And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 NKJV

RELATIONSHIP:

Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.

Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.

If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father. 

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

BIBLE READING:

Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! And we pray for the peace of Jerusalem! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is the Book of Philippians chapter 4 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV). 

Be Anxious for Nothing; Think These Thoughts

Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved.

Be United, Joyful, and in Prayer

I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. [a]And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life.

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!

Let your [b]gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Meditate on These Things

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

Philippian Generosity

10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your[c] care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to [d]be abased, and I know how to [e]abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through [f]Christ who strengthens me.

14 Nevertheless you have done well that you shared in my distress. 15 Now you Philippians know also that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me concerning giving and receiving but you only. 16 For even in Thessalonica you sent aid once and again for my necessities. 17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account. 18 Indeed I [g]have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God. 19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. 20 Now to our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Greeting and Blessing

21 Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren who are with me greet you. 22 All the saints greet you, but especially those who are of Caesar’s household.

23 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with [h]you all. Amen.

Footnotes

  1. Philippians 4:3 NU, M Yes
  2. Philippians 4:5 graciousness or forbearance
  3. Philippians 4:10 you have revived your care
  4. Philippians 4:12 live humbly
  5. Philippians 4:12 live in prosperity
  6. Philippians 4:13 NU Him who
  7. Philippians 4:18 Or have received all
  8. Philippians 4:23 NU your spirit

MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:

Acts 4:12-

“Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

STUDY/DEVOTIONAL:

Today we wrap up Philippians but we have only scraped the surface of the depth of life changing goodness in this short, but powerful book. After our last book with ALL of Paul’s corrections and hard words, it has been such a pleasure to bask in the goodness of God without correction – just encouraging and edifying and building us up.

1 Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved.”

Today’s chapter begins with encouragement for a situation with two sisters who are part of Paul’s team. Some say they were not getting along and in some sort of disagreement and Paul is correcting them, and telling the church to help them get along. Another thought is that they had two different works and Paul was telling them to combine their vision and telling the church to get behind this combined work.
No matter which way you view it the Bible was written with narrative / historical parts specific for the original reader and lessons and corrections written for all people.

I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life.”

And since I am not Euodia, Syntyche, or Clement – this is not for me. However the urge to help all who labor in the gospel AND with all whose names are in the Book of Life, is for us. Who do we labor with everyone?! Some ministries we send money to, some we send gifts to, some we physically help by volunteering or cleaning or participating or serving. He is speaking with mature Christians in an economically depressed area – it is more likely they helped any way they could and that usually meant NOT with money.
This urging doesn’t feel corrective to me – but edifying and reminding that if you see something that needs to get done, do it. Especially given the fact that this poor but generous church had taken time to save up and send a generous financial gift to Paul.
Speaking of generous gifts – you and I challenged ourselves to give the best offering in addition to our tithes, 2 Sundays ago. And last week we challenged ourselves to do it again.
I don’t know about you – but when you give while you are in need and not from a place of abundance and your offering really stretches you… it is so easy for me to sit here and say to myself, I could have used that money for this or that. I’d really like eggs (because I can make more things if I had eggs) I should have kept a little of the offering back and bought eggs. Or dishwasher soap so I do not have to hand wash the dishes! Then the dog runs out of kibble and I am back to a real need – but I have some chicken that was given to me and some rice – I can make dog food until God provides and he always does.
My point is that after a generous gift to God – there is always anxiety that tries to creep in and usually it starts with listing all the things I could have done for me with that money instead of giving it to God and letting Him do with it what He wants. I am guessing that after their generous offering – this church probably felt some anxiety as well.

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!”

Even in the need. Even if the anxiety – rejoice in the Lord! So when I start thinking of my needs I stop and thank the Lord for what I do have and for saving me!

Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.”

In our needs, struggles, sufferings, battles… are we remaining gentle? And what does that even mean? Well, “the Lord is at hand” is the point of that sentence – not the word gentleness. Paul is saying we need to ALWAYS behave in a manner that furthers His will and His kingdom. As a teen Youth leaders used to say – don’t forget you represent God, your church and your family so behave accordingly. But the Lord is at hand, has an urgency about it… it is not about us representing God. It is about us furthering God.

I was just interrupted. A friend messaged me that they were in front of my house and it was urgent that I come right out. I came out and they waved and drove off – but there was a bag on my porch. Inside the bag was eggs, butter, olive oil, and vinegar.  PRAISE THE LORD! Everything except the oil were things I needed – God met these needs AND gave abundance, the oil.

I was leading up to making the point that God doesn’t want us to worry – he really does handle it all. Both the big things and the little things. I was believing for $3000 by the end of this month to pay the bills and be able to make more offerings. I have $900 so far, God is SO GOOD. And I am sure Monday, I will be able to share where the rest came from. I made a bunch of new product for my store and I am praying that it all sells and then some of the older products too!

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

My heart IS full of thankfulness and my belly will soon be full of eggs! Lol So it is with confidence in my loving and generous father that I thankfully pray for what I do not yet have but believe he will give as well as what I have been given!

But anxiety, and a little, is a hard thought process to break. And for those who suffer with clinical anxiety, it is even harder.  BUT GOD HAS AN ANSWER!

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.”

The answer is to think on those things –AND to do the things Paul has taught us, following his example.

If you have not practiced the giving exercise – get to it and plan an offering for the Lord. Do these things as we are reading and learning.  We are going to see some crazy thing in the next month – we will need the peace that comes from knowing the word of God and obeying it / practicing it daily.

Philippian 4:8 is one of the most difficult verses I ever had to memorize. And it is the only verse I remember working on memorizing. I remember because the meaning of it is deep and meaty. Each thing to think on is attached to a fruit. I memorized it in the King James Version because it has more rhythm, and I think that makes it easier. AND I worked on memorizing it every time I was anxious about something, anything.
Therefore, every time I have anxiety or I am anxious, I try to recall this verse and all the things to think on in the right order – and my anxiety goes away and I am thinking on the right things.
Anxiety and ‘what if’s are monsters from the enemy in a way. He whispers ‘what if’ and our flesh is a monster that reels us down a path to out of control – so he can come in and take control. UNLESS we stop, start working on or quoting this verse and surrender all the ‘what if’s to God for His glory.

10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity.”

We read earlier this year of the church who loves to give, but has to sell things and work hard to earn it in order to give – It is suspected that it was this church. They did such a great offering for the church in Jerusalem that it took them a while to earn enough money to give to Paul. This offering was to help with his legal fees and cost of living – the Roman prison system did house arrest because it cost the government less money, the prisoner (unable to work while under arrest) was still responsible to provide his own food and life needs.
Paul is saying he understands that it took them a while and he is praising the Lord with them, knowing that every cent possibly came from a miracle and answer to prayer.

11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

It is ok to go through needy times as well as bountiful times – God gives us the strength to get through it and the grace.

14 Nevertheless you have done well that you shared in my distress.”

It is quite possible that they shared, because they experienced needing and knew what it was like and what was needed. We go through hard times and suffering sometimes so we can become generous to those with those same needs.

I knew a wealthy lady who came from nothing. She has long passed – but she was born of a prostitute and in squalor. Through marrying a man better off than her and he put her through nurses’ school – she died with not only her own money but his, a beautiful house, nice car, and everything people want. Her three children came to the funeral and very few other people. The adult children did not even bring their children and they fought with each other over the money and the estate. Although she knew what it was like to be needy – she never helped anyone else in need. She was stingy and greedy. No one liked her, not even her kids, who had to make their own money like she did.
I am sure God’s heart broke for her – she was supposed to learn from overcoming poverty and turn around and help others out of poverty. She did not even have to give all her money away, she could have started a charitable organization that gave scholarships to needy girls who wanted to be a nurse.
When we are in distress – learn from it so we can share in someone else’s.

15 Now you Philippians know also that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me concerning giving and receiving but you only. 16 For even in Thessalonica you sent aid once and again for my necessities.”

What beautiful praise – these people have learned to be generous from the beginning. They learned not just how to be a Christian in their own small circle of life – but they were on board with the big picture and gave and helped with the spreading of the good news.

17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account.”

When we both give and receive – we should pray for the fruits and for God meeting their needs.

Back to us giving our generous offerings – when we stretch and pray for God to give us money to give that money is already a miracle when it lands in our hands! Then the miracle can multiple into the offering plate – to whatever ministry God has you give it to.

18 Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God.”

Money, offerings that were blessed and came from sacrifice and God’s answer to prayer, hit the offering plat differently. They sound like the widow’s mites and smell like the broken alabaster box. They bring to remembrance all of the sacrifices and all of the provisions of all time. They are a direct reflection of God’s great sacrifice and gift to us on the cross. And because he loves us so much he did that he also sustains us:

19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

According to His riches – the silver is his and the God is his and He owns a cattle on a thousand hills.

20 Now to our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.”

Don’t worry – Just praise Him.

21 Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren who are with me greet you. 22 All the saints greet you, but especially those who are of Caesar’s household. 23 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”

And that concludes this book. I hope you have let the word get inside you and change you.

Tomorrow we begin a new quarter of the year and a new book. We start each quarter with one of the Gospels – so we will begin this one with the Gospel of Luke. Looking forward to spending more time learning about Jesus!

***

Thank you for reading in 2022 – a Year of Wisdom and Salvation
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

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