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PHILIPPIANS CHAPTER 4

KJV    NAS

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1-3 Therefore, my beloved brethren whom I long to see, my joy and crown, in this way stand firm in the Lord, my beloved. 2 I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to live in harmony in the Lord. 3 Indeed, true companion, I ask you also to help these women who have shared my struggle in the cause of the gospel, together with Clement also and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life. 

 

Phi 4-1

(97k) Thy kingdom come >> Endurance (Thorn in the flesh) >> Rooted deeply >> Standing firm together in the faith

(123i) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Love >> Spiritual affection >> Being in love with the body of Christ >> Emotional situations

(125d) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Joy >> Joy is the result of investing in the kingdom >> Investing in a life of service – In this life we want other people to serve us, but in heaven everyone wants to be a servant, and ironically the more we serve in this life, the more opportunities we will be given to serve in the life to come, and the more authority we will receive for doing His will. Therefore, our opportunities to serve will be lessened in heaven by our lack of service in this life. We will all receive our place in heaven that we requested in this life based on our willingness to serve. If we determined that rewards were not important, then we will receive a place in heaven and a body that reflects that choice, compared to others who were ambitious in this life for the things of God. Most people in the Church today have as their main goal to just make it into heaven, but the Bible teaches that if we believe in Jesus we don’t have to worry our salvation; that is a given. The question is whether we are willing to serve Christ in our faith. Our mindset should be always seeking what we can do to serve, what we can do to be a blessing to others and how we can use our lives most effectively to promote the Kingdom of God in this world, but this is not the mentality of people in the Church today.

(226b) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Rewards of the Kingdom of Heaven >> Reserved in heaven >> God crowns us with glory for sharing our rewards >> The reward of a crown Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. "But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Mat 6,19-21). Jesus encouraged His people to seek heavenly rewards, yet no one really does. Paul called the Philippians his “joy and crown;” they were his joy on earth and his crown in heaven. Paul was very concerned about heavenly rewards; he actually lived for them. He did everything he could to help the churches grow for their own sake and benefit, but at the same time he had a personal motive; he did everything for the hope of receiving a heavenly reward. Contrast that with what we hear in the Church today; how many people are seeking the rewards of heaven? The reason people don’t pursue them is that they don’t know how God intends to reward us. Perhaps they visualize Him putting a big, heavy crown on our heads, and we say to ourselves, ‘I can do without that.’ Paul said that the Philippian church was his crown, not just them but all the Churches that he personally helped establish in the faith. The people themselves are his reward, who will forever reign in heaven, partly to do with Paul’s input in their lives. God will give him a literal crown for his head that represents these people whom he helped attain the Kingdom of Heaven. Since there is no jealousy in heaven, neither is there any status. There is no one greater than another, unless you want to count servants. The greater the servant the greater the person. Jesus taught that how well we serve is a measure of our greatness, and so the most humble of all are the greatest in heaven. Therefore, to wear a crown on our head does not make us great in the Kingdom of Heaven. It only means that you were a greater servant on earth in this life. However, in heaven those without crowns will serve those with crowns, making the servants greatest in heaven, thus establishing equality between servants and those they serve. 

Phi 4-2

(158d) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Divide and conquer >> Strife >> Disagreements – Apparently these two were arguing; possibly they didn’t like each other, so Paul urged them to live in harmony “in the Lord,” meaning ‘in the faith.’ They were not allowed to express their feelings to each other or among the saints. Paul didn’t ask them to like each other, but to ignore their negative feelings. We are taught this at the workplace to work in harmony with our fellow employees even if we don’t like each other, because if we stir up dissension and strife, we will be fired. Paul asked them to love each other in the Lord and focus on the will of God.

Phi 4-2,3

(131l) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Having soul ties -- These verses go with verse 22

Phi 4-3

(101k) Thy kingdom come >> Ambitious to promote the Kingdom of God >> Building up the body of Christ – Some say that Paul had a negative attitude about women, but we don’t see it in this verse. Paul thought it was important to reward those who have helped him in the cause of the gospel that they should benefit in this life from their devotion and commitment and that they should be treated with honor and made sure their needs were met. When they returned from the field to be refreshed, women always came to the rescue. They had the gifts and the talents needed to support the missionaries and those who risked their lives for the cause of the gospel, who returned from dusty roads and from a world full of animosity for those who had faith in God. The women fed them, clothed them and showed them hospitality, and Paul wanted to return the blessing, and requested that these women be treated with every consideration.

(130h) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Committed to caring for the needs of the body >> Commitment stimulates intimate bonding -- This verse goes with verses 15-19

(165k) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Hardship >> Struggles of this life

(219hh) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> The elect >> God chooses us as we choose ourselves >> The Lamb's book of life – Note that those two he named he could not testify were in the Lamb's book of life, but those who worked with him side-by-side in the advancement of the gospel he could guarantee their names written, being confident in their faith as he was in his own, which is really saying a lot! How many people do we have great confidence in their faith? Hopefully we can name a few; Paul was able to name a few. Their salvation was sure, and the reason he knew that was because of the sincerity of their hearts and their investment and service in the things of God. The oppression and suffering they endured for the cause of Christ that knocked the faith from the wayward had come against these faithful ones, but their faith didn’t budge. This is how we know we believe, and it is how we know others believe, by their sincere heart and by the suffering they endure for their faith.

(254d) Trinity >> Holy Spirit’s relationship between Father and Son >> Jesus is the life of the Spirit >> We live because He is life >> God gives life to our faith in Jesus

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

4&5 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.

 

Phi 4,4-9

(81k) Thy kingdom come >> Pray without ceasing >> For the Church >> Giving thanks

Phi 4-4,5

(125h) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Joy >> Joy is the result of obedience Rejoicing for our salvation is the theme of Philippians. This is a popular little verse. It has become lyrics to many songs; it is often quoted and it is obviously a very joyful verse. It brings a sense of hope. Paul is saying that regardless of our circumstances we are to rejoice. When we get to heaven, our circumstances won’t matter anymore, so rejoice that one day the heavy burdens will be taken off our backs. They will fade away like a fog lifts with the morning sun, so rejoice. All your problems will be gone but you will remain a child of God forever in His kingdom, so rejoice. We have been appointed for eternal life; God called our name and we responded, and now we belong to Him, so rejoice. No matter what happens to us; no matter how bad things get, rejoice in the Lord, and again I say rejoice, for we have eternal life dwelling in us. We are to rejoice in disregard of the circumstances, not allowing them to govern how we live and walk, but to remain the same person throughout our trials and temptations, so we come out the other side unscathed with our faith wholly intact, singing and making melody in our hearts to the Lord. This is not an option; nor is it a commandment; Paul is telling us to rejoice because this is what Christians do. If we live this way, it proves we know God, because nobody else rejoices in difficulties and hardships.

Phi 4-5

(89a) Thy kingdom come >> Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom >> Being sensible is always appropriate

(99k) Thy kingdom come >> Perseverance (Working to keep in motion) >> Persevere in doing good

(108g) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Balance >> Do all things in moderation

(126k) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Patience >> Have patience for the return of Christ >> The physical return of Christ – If you want to broadcast something about yourself, broadcast your gentle spirit. When he says the Lord is near, he is referring to the last days, which is linked to evangelism, so let a gentile spirit of patience be your message, as we draw closer to His appearing. If you want to reflect the fact that you know God, they will see Him in you, not through some boisterous proclamation of the gospel or through your sociability, but through your gentle moderation before all men.

(128e) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Gentleness >> Be gentle in all your ways >> Put gentleness in your character One of the ways we communicate the gospel is with a gentle spirit. What did Jesus say about gentleness in the Beatitudes? “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth” (Mat 5-5). We can communicate the gospel with a gentle spirit without speaking a word. People know we are Christians just by looking at us, but what they don’t know is that everything will be taken away from them and given to us if they don’t repent and be saved. If they do, they can inherit the earth with us through gentleness.

(142d) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Witnesses of Jesus >> Having a good reputation >> A reputation of good works

(237d) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Transferring the kingdom >> The Church is transferred to the kingdom >> The rapture >> Receiving the kingdom in God’s time – We are to always rejoice and put our gentle spirit on display for all to see, because the Lord is near; even in Paul’s time the Lord was near. It was not a lie or a deception. The Lord is always near; He is always about to appear. Of course we think in terms of time; we count the weeks, months and years, but God lives in eternity and He has an eternal perspective. He understands a sequence of events, disregarding time between each event; it is irrelevant to Him. In God’s mind the Lord is near, but in our mind it has already taken 2000 years before His return. We look at Paul writing this and say he was wrong; he expected the Lord to return in his lifetime and He didn’t come, but this doesn't discount the fact that the Lord is near. Paul renewed his mind every day; he thought like God, having forced his thinking into conformity with the mind of Christ, so in Paul’s mind it didn’t matter if the Lord came in his lifetime or not; the only thing that mattered to Paul was doing the will of God with the time that he was given.

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

 

Phi 4,6-13

(8n) Responsibility >> Prevent sin from coming between you and God – Here is the solution to preventing the sins of the mind, which lead to sins the body. God wants us to live in communion with the Holy Spirit. The way to do that is to saturate your mind with the word of God so you are dwelling on good things when bad things happen.

(117b) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Rest in Jesus (Sabbath) >> Rest in His yoke through obedience

Phi 4,6-9

(28k) Gift of God >> God is our advocate >> God protects us through prayer

(30l) Gift of God >> God favors you through your prayers

(87f) Thy kingdom come >> Ministry to God through obedience >> The obedience of prayer

(126b) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Peace >> God is at peace >> The Peace of God – Occasionally, when we find His presence, we discover Him in a way that defies comprehension. We only know that we were with Him and that we partook from His presence. This is what God’s peace can do for us: what we possess from Him we can now use in other similar circumstances. When we experience peace, we don’t value it as we should, but a person who is in constant turmoil longs for peace. The kind of peace that man understands is the opposite of war, but God’s peace is a spiritual state that is virtually incomprehensible to the natural mind. God has basically invited us to come and dine with Him in fellowship and become immersed in Him and forget our fleshly existence for a time, and those experiences are something we can use in other times of great turmoil. This will give us hope to trust God, not just to get us through our circumstances, but to help us realize that heaven is worth our suffering in this life. Eventually we will enter His peace that will remain with us throughout eternity, peace with God greater than any man has known in the flesh. The irony is that Satan likes to use tribulation to pull us from God's peace, but tribulation is an environment where we are most receptive to the Holy Spirit. We will receive His peace during times of difficulty, though a man can enjoy his life and enter peace with God. So, His peace is not hinged on our circumstances but is defined as one of the attributes of God, that is, one of the fruits of the Spirit, which are promised to those who obey Him. His peace is something we can enjoy throughout our lives, but there are other moments with God that are impossible to describe. Those who had these experiences have also had difficulties in this life, for God uses these moments as a way to boost His people to a higher level to overcome their circumstances.

Phi 4,6-8

(4k) Responsibility >> The choices you make >> Accountable for your thoughts

Phi 4-6,7

(24f) Sin >> Poverty (Forms of fear) >> Anxiety >> Worrying about the things you need – The book of Philippians is nearly defined by these two verses. People emphasize them because there is so much anxiety in the world, and these verses are offering a solution. Is there really a solution to anxiety? Isn’t anxiety a knee-jerk reaction to our circumstances, which looms beyond our control, as opposed to a logical response? We are physically built for reacting to threatening circumstances, though what is threatening is more an interpretation of our problems than a realistic outlook on the situation, especially when we allow fear to become our interpreter. That is, we readily perceive our problems as a threat even when they’re not. For this reason it is good to logically itemize our problems and properly categorize them as either threatening or non-threatening. God does not want us to let fear run our lives. Although it helps to itemize our problems, it is not the biblical solution that Paul is presenting here, because what do we do with circumstances that are legitimately a threat? This life is often scary, yet anxiety is never legitimate, not under any circumstances. Anxiety is not a response to our problems or even a conscious decision, but is one of many torturers of our fleshly mind. The fact that Jesus was never anxious adds information to the issue of anxiety – it is completely unnecessary. If He can sleep on the bottom of a boat that is about to sink in the middle of a raging sea that is being pummeled by a typhoon, so His disciples needed to awake Him (Lk 8,22-25), then it is safe to say that Jesus was never anxious. Based on that, it is also safe to say that anxiety is a sin. It’s debilitating. Anxiety gives the sensation of being stuck in the mud while a monster is stalking us. Our wheels are ferociously spinning, but we’re not going anywhere. Anxiety is the feeling we get after we awaken from a nightmare, our panic dissipates as consciousness fills our mental space, making us realize we are not in trouble with our dream-state. Similarly, the day we pass from this life to the next and enter heaven, all our anxieties will melt away, because they will no longer be relevant. Anxiety is therefore based on a sense of personal accountability to our problems, but are at a loss as how to solve them. God's answer is to wean us off accountability to our problems and onto accountability to our relationship with Him. 

(58h) Paradox >> Opposites >> More you pray the less anxious you are -- These verses go with verses 11&12. What do we do to quell anxiety in this life? Paul said, ‘Don’t be anxious but pray.’ If you are extremely anxious, then pray extremely hard. What is he saying? Pray in proportion to our anxiety, adding thankfulness. Don’t just talk to God about all your problems, but give Him thanks that He cares about us and is willing to act on our behalf. Pray with thanksgiving as a way of paying it forward, which is another term for faith. “Let your request be made known to God, and the peace that passes all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Let peace replace your anxiety, knowing you put your problems in God’s hand.

(79f) Thy kingdom come >> Renewing your mind through prayer – What about solving our problems that caused our anxiety in the first place? It wasn’t even mentioned here. Anxiety is the real problem, not our circumstances. If we can get our anxiety under control, we will be able to solve our problems, but we cannot solve our problems in a state of anxiety. A person who is anxious is frozen in fear. If we have unsolvable problems, we need to take them to God, who alone can do the impossible, but only in His time, which itself has a way of changing our circumstances. Think of a time in your life when you were dealing with enormous problems, and now where are they? They found their way in our rearview mirror, a mere speck that eventually disappeared. Anxiety can become a way of life if we don’t learn to control it, so we remain anxious even when there’s no problem. Anxiety saps our energy, but God wants us to live and walk in a state of peace. He wants to impart a supernatural peace into us, one that transcends our human comprehension. There are people at peace with themselves, but this is not what Paul is talking about; He’s talking about experiencing a peace that comes from heaven that is not contingent on our circumstances.

(82a) Thy kingdom come >> Three elements of prayer >> Direction (Attitude) >> What to pray for

(103l) Thy kingdom come >> Purifying process >> Purified by circumstances >> Purified Through hardship

(118l) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Freedom >> Law of the spirit >> Spirit delivers you from the desire to sin – If the peace of God is beyond our comprehension, then this is the case with all the fruits of the Spirit, and if they are beyond our comprehension, then the Scriptures are commanding us to walk and live in the realm of the supernatural. If these things are incomprehensible to us, then what is our role and involvement in them? We’re not involved, “we” meaning first and foremost our flesh, and secondly our natural mind. The fact of it being incomprehensible indicates that it is the work of God; He is the one involved; He is the one doing these things in us. We work with Him, but our role is more like the gopher (go-for) who hands the master plumber the next tool He needs to do the job and makes trips to the truck to get the right fittings. We are the plumber’s helper; we do not understand the technical end of the profession. Sometimes our faith in Jesus leads us into some pretty raunchy places to do some dangerous jobs. Preaching the gospel of the kingdom to a violent world that hates God can lead to compromising situations regarding our health and well being. Hard as we think we are working to sustain our faith and spread the knowledge of the kingdom, God is working seven times harder and accomplishing a hundred times more.

(250e) Priorities >> God’s prerequisites >> Sequence of priorities >> In all things ... >> Give thanks for all things

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

7-10 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. 9 The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. 10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity.

 

Phi 4-7

(228h) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> God working in you >> God works in you to keep you in His will – Each of the passages regarding this topic: God working in you must be compared with the key verse: Phi 1-6, “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” It appears that our will has been removed from the equation of God working in us, when in fact we know it hasn’t, but there is an aspect of our salvation that God absolutely controls. This is more than a perspective; it is a reality. In Jd-21 he charges us to “keep yourselves in the love of God.” Also, Jesus commanded us “abide in my love” (Jn 15-9,10), which is another example of the Scriptures requiring us to remain in Him; nevertheless, we maintain that God is keeping us in His love. If it weren’t for Him working in us, we could never get saved or stay saved or see one day in heaven. We would go astray, every one of us, and we would never return, because the world, the flesh and the devil together have an influence on us that is insurmountable from a human standpoint. Nobody could live a life of faith in God if it weren’t for Him working in us.

Phi 4-8,9

(69ba) Authority >> Discernment >> Discerning the knowledge of God >> Discerning true motives

(69f) Authority >> Righteous judgment >> Meditate on discernment >> Judging what is true

(95i) Thy kingdom come >> Attitude >> Having an obedient attitude >> Attitude of a servant

(103h) Thy kingdom come >> Purifying process >> Cleans yourself

(155h) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Witness of the believer >> The Father bears witness of the believer

Phi 4-8

(78j) Thy kingdom come >> Renewing your mind by the word of God >> Study the Bible – Paul gives this long list of whatever's, telling us to dwell on them. He could just as well have said, ‘Don’t watch TV,’ because what’s on is often the opposite of this list. Jesus said to be careful what you listen to (Lk 8-18), and Psalm 101-3 says, “I will set no worthless thing before my eyes.” To sit there staring at the screen is to dwell on it. No doubt I am preaching to myself. I am convinced that America would still be strong if an idiot box were not in every house designed to dumb us down. Paul is referring to renewing our minds in the word of God as he said in Rom 12-1,2. He is calling us to immerse ourselves in the things of the Lord. He doesn’t want us to be influenced by things that are contrary to God’s nature, because the more we pay attention to them the more power they have to influence us and the harder it is to walk with the Lord. So, those things that are contrary tend to impede our walk with the Lord, and Paul wants us free from them. If we fill our minds full of junk, it has the power to make us look back on our faith and wonder what we were thinking, but if we fill our minds with the word of God, we can look upon the world and wonder what it’s thinking, and that is how God sees the world.

Phi 4-9

(11j) Servant >> Paul is our example of how to walk with God – Paul says, ‘Use me as an example of how you should live.’ How many of us can prescribe our own walk with the Lord as an example for others? Paul often said this, because he knew he was an excellent example of Christianity. Paul’s example was especially important in that to read that he obeyed Christ, means we can too. It is possible to put down our flesh and pick up the things of God. Paul’s message to the Church has always been that not only is there an eternal reward waiting for us in heaven; there is even a more immediate hope in this life in serving the Lord. We are like pigeons more than we would like to admit; we need a fairly immediate reward for our obedience. We can’t just sacrifice our lives in hope of eternal life. There is reward in this life for serving Christ! Paul's big message has always been this; however, that reward can only be seen and tasted through the unity of the body of Christ. Consequently, a lack of unity is the reason we don’t see many people using Paul’s example and fervently serving the Lord these days.

(72l) Authority >> Hierarchy of authority >> Authority makes you accountable >> Parents are responsible for their children – Parents are the standard of behavior for their children, as Paul was the standard of behavior for the Church. He was confident about himself, knowing how he walked with Christ, confident enough to say, ‘Whatever you see in me, “do likewise and the God of peace will be with you.”’ How many of us are confident enough to endorse our behavior as the standard for the Church? God has challenged all fathers to live flawlessly in front of their children, making the saying, ‘Do as I say and not as I do,’ laughable. He requires all fathers to be an example with as much confidence as Paul, for children emulate their fathers, who are the authority figure in the home.  

(78n) Thy kingdom come >> Putting your heart on display >> The result of a renewed mind

(92c) Thy kingdom come >> The narrow way >> Trail of good works >> Practice walking a straight line – Paul had tremendous confidence in his walk with God; it would be nice to have that level of confidence, but there is a price to pay for it; we must walk the way Paul walked, blamelessly (Phi 1-10). Not sinless, that is unattainable; none of us are without sin. Jesus said we are to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect (Mat 5-48). We are not to be perfect as the word “perfect” means; Jesus came to deliver us from sin, and if we were without sin (perfect), there would be no point in Him dying for our sins. So, to be blameless and perfect means something else. To be perfect means to be without contradiction, and to be blameless means to be innocent in the sight of men. God loves righteousness with a perfect love and hates sin with a perfect hatred, and this is how we also should live, without hypocrisy. The difference between committing sin and practicing sin is being in bondage to it. Paul said in 1Cor 6-10, “All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.” God does not want us in bondage to anything but to be completely free, except as slaves of righteousness (Rom 6-18). If we are under bondage of any kind to sin, we must seek to become free of it. We are not to tolerate bondage of any kind, though we all commit sin. We are to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect. If we overcome the various forms of bondage to sin that plague us, the God of peace will be with us. That is the promise that Paul has given us. There is no peace in the life of a person who practices sin.

(93i) Thy kingdom come >> Following Jesus >> Through men >> Follow the example of others – Paul promised the Philippians that if they used his walk as a model for their own Christianity, the God of peace would be with them. How many of us are confident enough in our behavior to prescribe it to others? If someone followed us throughout the day, it probably wouldn’t be long before he heard and saw things in us that he shouldn’t say and do. Paul was a man of tremendous faith and sincerity of heart; there was not a single aspect of his life that was not surrendered to the authority of Christ. That doesn’t mean he never sinned; he was a sinner like the rest of us, but he was not in bondage to anything. He had to partake of 1Jn 1-9 like us all, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” He taught that we are free of all things yet not be mastered by anything (1Cor 6-12). Paul taught that we should both be free and slaves to righteousness at the same time. The Church today likes the word freedom, but when we start talking about being slaves of righteousness, we get timid. However, the only way we can follow Christ is to become slaves of righteousness, since our sinful flesh will not obey the will of God unless we force it. Righteousness does not come naturally to us; rather, sin does, and in order to overcome the bondage of sin, we must become slaves of righteousness.

(142e) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Witnesses of Jesus >> Having a good reputation >> A reputation of being trustworthy

Phi 4-10

(125g) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Joy >> Joy is the result of unity

(247e) Priorities >> God’s priorities >> God’s interests >> Concern >> Concerned about your well being

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

11 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.

 

Phi 4,11-13

(96h) Thy kingdom come >> Attitude >> Having an attitude of humility

(121a) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Contentment >> Content with your way of life >> Content in any circumstance – Contentment ties in with anxiety, which Paul addressed earlier in this chapter. We tend to be anxious about our needs, but instead of being our provider of material things, God will often endow us with something even more valuable than food or clothing or even a roof over our heads, and that is contentment. To be content with macaroni and cheese, or with a smaller bed and blankets with holes in them, or with a smaller house or a roof that leaks, instead of complaining about them, we say, ‘it is sufficient for my needs, for my only real need is God.’ This is the language of contentment: ‘Yes, I have needs; they are not physical, but spiritual.’ When we are in a state of contentment, we still have needs; perhaps we have needs greater than before we were content, but after contentment our needs have become more spiritual in nature. Contentment realizes that all we really need is God. So, contentment is a way of prioritizing our lives. Contentment is a spiritual experience in itself; it is a gift, something that we strive to achieve and at the end of it we find God in a richer and fuller way, who is our reward. Contentment is one of the most valuable gifts we could ever have, especially when we lose the power to supply our own needs, for it guarantees our survival regardless of the circumstances.

(137i) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Maturing in Jesus is hard work >> Maturity is a training process

(206b) Salvation >> God makes promises on His terms >> Conditions to promises >> Conditions to living in the spirit >> Conditions to participating in the spirit – God does not need to be powerful in our lives when our vats are filled with all good things. When our materialistic needs are met, we tend to forget God and ‘enjoy the reward of serving Him,’ we say. It’s easy to attribute our prosperity to God, but to whom do we attribute our poverty? We can attribute that to Him too, but under the position that poverty is not evil or even negative, but is natural and normal among men and beasts in this life. There are a lot of people who are very materialistic but do not serve the Lord, so our things are by no means a measure of our spirituality, as some misguidedly purport. However, is our spiritual prosperity an accurate measure of our relationship with God? Yes it is, in that no one but God can reward us on a spiritual level; this is something that only God can do because God is Spirit and men are of the flesh, “sold into bondage to sin” Rom 7-14. This is one reason the spiritual reward is more significant than the material one, because we know it’s from God.

(231b) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> Mystery of godliness >> Solving the mystery of godliness >> The mystery is solved in contentment – “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me,” after contentment. What Paul is saying is, ‘I can do all things through contentment.’ Through the avenue of contentment God strengthens us to do all things. We can almost say that without contentment God cannot strengthen us. There is a level of suffering in the process of contentment, but what does this suffering do for us? It ushers us into the power of God, who strengthens so we can do all things, including the ability to get along with less. America is steeped in materialism; most people cannot visualize being without their many things, but it is inevitable that America will lose its grip on materialism, and we will become like all the other nations that have to struggle to survive. The question is, are we ready to embrace contentment? If we let God lead us into contentment, He will replace our things with Himself; He is able to replace our weakness with His strength, so we won’t need all those things.

Phi 4-11,12

(58h) Paradox >> Opposites >> More you pray the less anxious you are -- These verses go with verses 6&7

(100i) Thy kingdom come >> Diligence >> Diligence in protecting your heart from greed

(171l) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Outward appearance of circumstances

(189k) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Masochism (Self-made martyr) >> Fasting >> Fasting is a state of mourning – Paul can be filled with the Spirit while he goes hungry. In fact, you could say the two of them go together; they call it fasting. Fasting simulates hard times. God, for whatever reason, is a little closer when we fast. He is trying to show us not to be afraid of hard times. We ask God through our fasting that He transform our lack into substance, which He does by transforming our physical hunger into spiritual satisfaction, especially when we fast by compulsion, that is, when we have nothing to eat. When our cupboards are bare, how much more willing are we to go to God and ask Him for help, and how much more is God willing to help us? How much more are our ears attentive to His voice?

Phi 4-11

(74e) Thy kingdom come >> Heart is man’s central value system >> Where man interprets worth – Contentment is perhaps the most vulgar word in the English dictionary to those who love their material possessions and are unwilling to give them up. They consider contentment to be blasphemous by their own standard. For God to ask materialistic people to trade their things for contentment is tantamount to believing God is evil, but those who serve God and love Him with all their might are willing to give up their things for the gift of contentment, because they know their God and they know that whatever God asks them to do will lead them deeper into His presence and into greater revelations of His truth, wisdom and understanding, and will expand their relationship with Him. But those who are materialistic do not value the things of God. Rather, they value their things.

(120i) Contentment (Key verse) – Contentment is one of the greatest earthly gifts anyone could ever receive from God, perhaps greater than the gifts of the Spirit, since they depend on your devotion to Christ, which contentment guarantees. With contentment you won't become materialistic but have more time to spend on your faith. Contentment has eyes that see better than the lustful eyes of materialism, which falsely believes things have the power to make us happy. Contentment instead knows that the inner being is most important, that things can't make us happy, and that our exterior will some day peel off, leaving the inner core of our spirit that will live forever with God. Preparing to live with God is what everyone should pursue, and contentment is just the way to do it.

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

12&13 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

 

Phi 4-12

(54m) Paradox >> Opposites >> As having nothing yet possessing all things – This is the big contentment passage in the Bible. Paul said, “I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.” He knew how to get along with humble means and he also knew how to live in prosperity. He learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, having abundance and suffering need. Paul just gave away the secret; he said there exists a paradox in contentment. He said we can live humbly and live in prosperity at the same time, but how? We may not always have enough to eat; we may not always be clothed properly; we may not always have a roof over our head, but our spirit always prospers, perhaps even more so during times of dire straights. Our lack drives us to God for help in supplying our needs and for help in our suffering. So, God becomes even bigger in our lives in times of deep poverty. The more we sink to the bottom of our resources the closer we get to God, as though God were waiting for us there at the bottom of our barrels.

Phi 4-13

(9e) Responsibility >> God strengthens us from our weaknesses – If God has called us to do difficult things, we can know that they are not barriers but bridges to Him who strengthens us. The beauty of doing God’s will is we know from the beginning that we can be successful, not in the things we choose to do for Him, but the things He has chosen for us to do. No matter how difficult, no matter how complicated, no matter how much time and effort is required, we know we can do all things through Him who strengthens us. We will succeed, because He will give us the strength and the determination to finish the course. Some of the greatest accomplishments were performed through sheer determination, things that required too much time, too much effort, too much sacrifice to be a reasonable goal, yet we did them anyway, and the payoff will be tallied in heaven. All these things we can do through Him who strengthens us if we are working according to His will. We Christians don’t get to pick and choose how we live, for God has a purpose and we are obligated to press into it. If we say that the will of God is not attractive, then pray until it becomes attractive. God’s purpose and calling is a perfect match with the natural and divine gifts God has given us.

(70jb) Authority >> Believer’s authority >> We have been given authority over all creation >> We have authority over the elements

(93c) Thy kingdom come >> The narrow way >> You will find your ministry along the narrow way – Did Paul say he do all things he set his mind to do, or did he say he could do all things that God set Paul’s mind to do? We can do all things along the trail of good works that God has prepared for us before the foundation of the world. As we walk on that trail, we find our purpose and calling in life; these are the things that God has created for us, and in so doing them we will become the person He had in mind before the beginning of creation. It is common in the Church to not know our calling, indicating that neither do we know who we are in Christ, for who we are and what we do are inexorably linked. Many people spend their whole lives searching for God’s calling and some never find it, or at least they think they haven’t found it. Every person has a different experience in their pursuit of God, who promises that if we seek Him with all our hearts, we will find His purpose. When we look back, we will see a trail behind us that was ordained by God, even though while we were walking we weren’t sure if we were going the right way, but if we don’t seek God with all our hearts, nothing is guaranteed. If we live out our days without really feeling confident that what we did was God’s purpose, when we get to heaven, God will open our eyes to the many things we did that created a chain of events that changed people’s lives, because our works were seasoned as it were by grace, because we sought God with all our hearts. In this way God anoints our works along the narrow way, transforming them from mere acts of men to the works of the living God. He is the one who anoints our works and words to really mean something to others. Our lives can have a profound impact on other people if we are seeking God with a whole heart. That is the key, but if we are merely doing our own will, our spiritual impact on others will be negligible.

(113n) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> The anointing >> Our weakness proves it is the power of God

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14-17 Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction. 15 You yourselves also know, Philippians, that at the first preaching of the gospel, after I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving but you alone; 16 for even in Thessalonica you sent a gift more than once for my needs. 17 Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account. 

 

Phi 4,14-19 

(7c) Responsibility >> Protecting the gospel >> Defending the word of God >> Protecting the men who carry the gospel

(30d) Gift of God >> Prepare to receive from God >> God supplies our needs under certain conditions – The statement, "And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus," summarizes the entire forth chapter of Philippians. Not only does God reward us in heaven, but He also wants to reward us in this life by supplying all our needs in a state of contentment. It doesn’t mean that we can raise our standard of living because we gave to the ministry. Rather, through the process of prayer regarding our anxiety about our lack of resources, we develop a certain level of contentment that lowers our standard of living, and as we give to others in that state of contentment, God will promise to give us an eternal reward that we can begin to enjoy in this life as He supplies all our needs according to His riches and glory. In other words, as we seek freedom from the fear of poverty through the word of God and prayer, He will give us the gift of contentment that will supply all our needs, and as we give to His cause in the ministry, God will reward us with a promise as our provider, based on a certain level of contentment that He will prescribe to us for any given situation. Contentment acts as a sliding continuum that works through a continuous cycle of anxiety, prayer and giving, that sets up the conditions for God's promise of provision. 

(131g) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Interdependence >> Serving one another

(192d) Die to self >> Result of putting off the old man >> Gain by losing >> Receiving from God by substitution >> Wheeling and dealing in God’s spiritual economy

(235b) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest in the kingdom >> Tithing >> Be faithful in your tithes >> Tithing is a true sign of faithfulness – Paul was careful to praise the Philippians for their level of maturity they had achieved through their giving. Money affects every aspect of our natural lives, so when we give to a cause, we are giving with every aspect of our lives. What people do with their money determines their value system. The Philippians valued the Kingdom of God, and so they gave to Paul and to his cause on the basis of promoting the gospel of Christ, leading them to become mature Christians in all other areas of their lives. Influential charlatans with a gift of gab have the power to talk money out of our pockets, but this does not represent faithfulness to God; it only reflects our vulnerability to this sort of people, for when we give this way, it doesn’t prove that we love God or have prioritized His kingdom in our hearts. We say that money has value, so we don’t give money to anything except what we value. We buy things we need that are valuable to us, and the Philippians needed God in their lives, and they needed Paul as their leader. They valued his ministry saving souls, making disciples and establishing churches; they valued the Kingdom of God as a whole. They recognized their place in the world as disciples of Christ, and they wanted to give to that cause, and so they took their valuable money and gave it to Paul, because they wanted to see the gospel advance into far reaches of the world.

Phi 4,14-16 

(165l) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The hardship of affliction

Phi 4-14

(136f) Temple >> Your spirit is the temple of God >> The body of Christ >> Jesus’ fleshly body >> Partaking of Jesus’ sacrifice with our own flesh

(188g) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Suffering >> Enduring your circumstances

Phi 4,15-19

(130h) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Committed to caring for the needs of the body >> Commitment stimulates intimate bonding -- These verses go with verse 3

Phi 4,16-19

(57i) Paradox >> Opposites >> Less I have the more I receive / my abundance is a Supply for their need

Phi 4-16,17

(96i) Thy kingdom come >> Attitude >> Positive attitude about giving – Paul said, ‘he didn’t seek the gift itself, but the profit that increased to their account.’ When he reached his bottom dollar, starving, poorly clothed, exhausted, tortured on multiple fronts and without most of his daily needs, then he sought the gift, but Paul was able to say at the moment that he wasn’t personally seeking the gift but was happy for the Philippians that they had a giving heart that would sustain them in any circumstance and bring them joy and prosperity. They might not enjoy financial profit, because they just gave their money away, but they will profit in other ways, according to their system of priorities as they placed God’s interests above their own. Anyone who does this is guaranteed to profit. More than anything Paul was talking about increasing their account in relation to the Kingdom of Heaven, but their faithfulness also had positive ramifications for this life. He rewards us with an anointing that continues to grow as we develop the hearing ear and listen for His voice and commit ourselves to knowing and doing His will. As stepping stones that lead from one level of maturity to another, we grow in faith while time is etched off our life, growing closer to eternity and to our heavenly reward, we will have been already enjoying it. God wants to minimize the contrast between heaven and earth and diminish the difference between our current life and the life we will enjoy in heaven (Mat 6-10). The more we seek heavenly rewards, the more we will enjoy them in this life; and the more that contrast is lessoned, the more heaven-like we will live in this world as we let our light shine for all to see, that we may glorify God and encourage others to believe in Jesus.

(236d) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest in the kingdom >> All things are for your sake >> Our motive is for your up-building

Phi 4,17-19

(226h) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Rewards of heaven >> Levels of reward >> God rewards us to the degree of our faithfulness – God gives back what we give to His people and His cause of the gospel. He may not give us our money back, but He has plans on rewarding us for our generosity. This whole thing about rewards is a stickler to a lot of people. Some don’t understand why God would reward us. Many think the only reward God offers is eternal life, but there are other rewards. God intends to reward us with access to His kingdom, but that’s just the introduction to His plan and purpose of blessing us. Above that, He also plans on rewarding us for all the good things we have done throughout our lives.

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18-23 But I have received everything in full and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God. 19 And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. 20 Now to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever. Amen. 21 Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren who are with me greet you. 22 All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar's household. 23 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

 

Phi 4-18,19

(31d) Gift of God >> God is our Father >> His favor enriches your life

(190a) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Masochism (Self-made martyr) >> Laying your body on the altar – Does it feel like masochism sometimes when we give until it hurts? Paul called the offering of the Philippian Church a fragrant aroma, in reference to old covenant temple worship. The fragrant aroma is reminiscent of the Golden Altar of Incense that was located in the Holy Place in front of the veil of the Most Holy Place. Although it was physically positioned in the outer room, it was technically an article of the inner room. The Holy of Holies was accessible only one time a year, and the altar needed to be perpetually maintained in both the daily removing of ashes and adding more incense. This altar of incense represented prayer; therefore, the Philippian’s gift to God, given to Paul, was a transaction that occurred behind the veil in the Most Holy Place as a consequence of prayer; that is where we conduct all of our prayers and giving to the Lord. In other words, old covenant temple worship relates our prayers to giving. When we give our prayers, tithes and offerings with a good heart and a right spirit, God considers it a most holy sacrifice. This is how God views our obedience, especially when we obey the Holy Spirit; in fact all the works we perform by faith is holy to the Lord. We have limited resources, and so it takes faith to give. Our possessions are intended to meet our own needs, but when we give to supply the need of others, we are acting like God, who first gave to us.

(247i) Priorities >> God’s priorities >> God’s interests >> Things that please God – When Paul said that God would supply all our needs, he meant financially and otherwise. We are truly finite creatures, and we only have a certain amount to give. We might have a couple nickels to rub together, and if we give them to the ministry, God will determine what we need and give that to us in return. It is our choice to give to the ministry whether it be our finances, time, strength, knowledge, and it is God’s choice what He gives back to us. We are not in control of how God returns the blessing, but He is sure to return it, because that is His way. God will bless us even if we don’t give money, so long as we are plugged into His purpose and will for our lives. This is how we work with God how He wants His kingdom to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Phi 4-18

(189a) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Holy sacrifice >> The smell of death >> Priestly anointing perfume of sacrifice – This comes from the old covenant, where the fragrant aroma refers to the altar of perpetual incense that God commanded Israel. It represented prayer and sacrifice. To Jesus it represented the sacrifice of His own body, whereas to us it represents dying to self, as Paul said in Rom 12-1, "I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship." Part of this service of death pertains to our giving, giving until it hurts. Some of the things that were a part of temple worship involved the gift of turtledoves and other things. It appears that our giving resembles old covenant temple services, but is really just the other way around: God ordered old covenant temple services as a foreshadow of new covenant ministry. We don’t have to give turtledoves anymore, because our giving has become more practical. It now blesses man and glorifies God. Giving to the work of the ministry is a far more practical application to old covenant temple worship, for none of their offerings ever blessed anyone but God.

(252j) Trinity >> You shall put no other gods before Me >> Worship God >> Worship God by your lifestyle -- This verse goes with verse 20

Phi 4-19

(249h) Priorities >> God’ s preeminence >> Wealth >> True perception of wealth >> The infinite and eternal wealth of God >> Being rich in Jesus

Phi 4-20

(252j) Trinity >> You shall put no other gods before Me >> Worship God >> Worship God by your lifestyle -- This verse goes with verse 18

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Phi 4,21-23

(123g) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Love >> Spiritual affection >> Ministry of the saints >> Emotional benediction toward helpers – Paul’s greeting meant a lot to him and to those in his ministry and to those who received his greeting. The love of the brethren was not like love anything in the world. Nobody else loved each other the way the saints loved each other. The closest the world has to the love of God is love between immediate family members, but even that has been falling to the wayside in these last days. Then there is the love between friends, which is largely based on common interests; we like to do things with them. The love of the brethren goes far beyond this though, defined by Jesus in this way: “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends” (Jn 15-13). This is the definition of Christian love. Back then many people had this kind of love. They would prefer to sacrifice themselves than to see anything happen to their Christian friends. That kind of love in the Church for the most part doesn’t currently exist, but perhaps it will return in the last days before the return of Christ, when the saints will once again lay down their lives for the brethren.

Phi 4-22

(131l) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Having soul ties -- This verse goes with verses 2&3. Greeting the brethren was one of the great joys of Christianity, seeing again those who belong to the family of God, who are of like faith. There is a big controversy in the Church today regarding what the Bible means by the word “brother”. Does it just mean fellow believer or does it also include our unbelieving neighbor? During Jesus’ ministry he went around the regions surrounding Israel preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and he spoke to people as they were his brothers. This is in reference to His fellow countrymen the Jews; He did not consider the gentiles His brethren. Then after Pentecost, when the apostles went about preaching the gospel of the kingdom, the Church at that point understood the word “brother” to mean fellow believer, Jew or gentile. However, when we include “the Good Samaritan” in this discussion, who was considered a “neighbor” which has a less intimate connotation than brother, it suggests that we lay down our lives for the brethren and we help our neighbor whenever needed. We are most committed to our immediate family members, then to our brethren in the faith, and finally to our neighbors in the world in that order.