Category Archives: Philippians

Quoted from a coffee cup

“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 ESV

I have seen the above verse on coffee cups, t-shirts, bumper stickers, key chains, pretty much anywhere you can stick a verse, I’ve seen this one. It’s a great verse. It inspires you to strive forward, to keep pushing, to go for gold! But is that what Paul really intended when he¬†wrote it? If we look at the verses just before, Paul is¬†talking about being content instead of personal achievement.

“Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:11-13 ESV

Paul is saying because of the strength that God has given him (and us too!) he can face any circumstance, good or bad, and be content. Keep in mind, Paul was in prison when he wrote this letter. He wasn’t on a mountain top, staring at a beautiful sunset, he was in jail! To me, that statement is way more powerful than, “You can do it!” It says that no matter what you are going through, God is with us through it all. He may not bring us out of the storm like we want, but He will bring us through it and He will be by our side every step of the way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blowing on Coals

“No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,” Philippians 3:13 NLT.

Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. It’s funny how certain bible verses come across your life at just the right time. Some people may say it’s coincidence, but I have had waaaaay too many “coincidences” to believe that. I believe it’s God helping me through issues in my life. One of my struggles has been really letting go of some of the things that I have done in my life. I know God has forgiven me, and I know that most of the people that I have hurt along the way have forgiven me. But I am really struggling with forgiving myself. I started reading Philippians because of the verse, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” Philippians 4:13. But if I were to be completely honest, there are so many other verses in this book that really impact me. 3:13 is one of those verses. It’s been six months since I gave my life over to God. I can’t even begin to count all the blessings in my life. Yet my fire has died down, my inferno has turned into a pile of coals. When I first received Christ, I couldn’t put my bible down. I was reading and studying and blogging about God everyday. I just couldn’t get enough! Lately it seems that I have been finding every excuse not to spend time with God. It’s not that my faith is wavering, or I’m starting to question God or anything like that. It’s more so of a priority issue. I can always seem to find the time to play video games or watch a movie, but not to sit down and read the bible or spend some quiet time in prayer. Maybe one of the reasons I like Paul so much is because he really puts it out there. He wrote a lot of these books while being imprisoned in Rome, literally in chains because of his faith! Yet, while being locked up, he still managed to write verses like Philippians 4:4 NKJV, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” That’s awesome! Verse 13 in chapter 3 of the book of Philippians really put things into perspective for me. It doesn’t matter where you have been, what matters is where you are going. I have to stop dwelling on the past, all I can do is learn from those mistakes and move forward. That goes for the recent past as well. “No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.” Philippians 3:13-14 NLT. Thank you Paul, for blowing on the coals of my faith. For poking the fire, for taking a stand for Christ even when it meant your own personal freedom and safety were at risk. I pray that I could be as bold for Jesus today as Paul was in his day.

A lesson In Humility

“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4 NKJV.

I couldn’t have found a better verse for my life right now. It’s funny, when I write these blogs I always pray that they could help someone out there that may stubble across them and be struggling with something. Or for those of you that do follow them, a verse or phrase that could shine a little light in your life and brighten your day. It seems that lately though, God has been using my own blogs to help me through issues. Chapter 2 in the book of Philippians is a very humbling read. Paul says in verse 5, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,” that’s the official “W.W.J.D.” message. In all seriousness though think about how the world would be today if everyone thought as Jesus did. Imagine the change that would take place in our homes, at work, at school, or even in the political offices. It’s not always easy to think with a “Christ-like” mentality though, I’m pretty sure Jesus Christ would not have been as excited as I am about double xp weekends. Chapter 2 was a real gut check. Verse 14 says, “Do all things without complaining and disputing,”. All things? There are a lot of things I can do without complaining, but one thing I really and truly despise, is shopping for home decorations. Maybe it’s because my wife doesn’t let me turn our living room into the batcave, or maybe it’s because it doesn’t take me 4 hours to pick out a lamp. Regardless the reason, I will seriously find every excuse I can possible can to avoid going to places such as The Old Time Pottery Barn. Now if Paul, who happened to be imprisoned in Rome at the time, can tell us to “do all things without complaining” while he was in shackles and chains, I could probably go look at some mirrors for a few hours without saying too much. Right after Paul tells us not to be a Debbie-Downer, he continues in verse 15, “that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,”. Our world was crooked and perverse then, and it’s crooked and perverse now. We as Christians, must shine God’s light on this dark world. Paul describes his brother, Epaphroditus, as a fellow worker, a fellow soldier. That’s the mentality I try to have when I think about my duty as a Christian, the same as Paul’s, a soldier of Christ in His holy army. We fight a battle everyday on this earth. There are dark forces working against us, not trying to sway our beliefs, but to eliminate them all together. Organizations such as the Freedom From Religion group, are doing everything they can to eradicate God in every sense of the word. I’m pretty sure Jesus Christ took a stand for what He believed in when He chased the money changers out of the temple. We can’t just sit back and shake our head when there are groups actively trying to erase God from our lives, and in many cases, succeeding. I pray that we would all start to seek things which are of God, instead of our own selfish desires.

Pray For Me

I think it’s safe to say that most people know Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Even if you don’t know very much about the bible, you have probably seen that verse on a t-shirt, bumper sticker, or wrist band. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to knock the verse. I think it’s a very powerful and meaningful verse, and it just so happens to be written by one of my all time favorite people in the bible, the apostle Paul. Having just finished the book of Luke, I’ve been trying to find a good place to pick back up. I really wanted to read about David, but something kept telling me to keep searching. I happened to find a wristband with Philippians 4:13 on it and I thought to myself, hmmm, all the times I have heard this verse or even prayed and said this verse, I have never really read the book of Philippians. Before I go any further, I want to get something off my chest. Lately, I have been feeling pretty far from God. That raging inferno of passion I had for Jesus has turned into a nice, quiet, cozy, gas log fireplace type of fire. I don’t want to have a nice, quiet, cozy, campfire of passion for God. I want to be raging out of control for God. A fire so intense that it can’t help but be spread to everyone that I come in contact with. Well, needless to say I have been feeling kind of down about the fact that I have sort of drifted off from my daily devotions and prayers. Before I opened my bible today, I prayed that God would give me a message. That He would lay something on my heart that I could put into words to move someone out there that might be reading my blog. I wasn’t expecting to be the one that God moved. When I opened my bible case today, a bracelet fell out. That bracelet had Philippians 4:13 written on it. Being that I hadn’t read it yet, I decided to start from the beginning so could really get the meaning behind the verse. Once I started reading I felt like God Himself were talking to me directly through Paul’s message. “And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1:9-11 NKJV. For some reason this message really hit home for me. Like Paul himself were praying directly for me. If I could ask one thing of my readers, it would be to pray for me. To send out a prayer for “that blogger guy”, that those prayers would fan my flames for Jesus. “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ,” Philippians 1:6 NKJV.