Oct. 16 – (Phil. 2:14-18) In verse 14 Paul urges the Philippians to do all things without complaining and disputing. It’s interesting to note here that Paul is telling them to shine as lights in a crooked and twisted generation. Paul’s choice of words recalls the wilderness generation of Israel, who in Deut. 32:5 are described by these very words (“crooked and twisted generation”). Do you think “we Christians” can ever get to this place? It sounds like it took the Israelites hundreds of years and a Savior but it happened! It didn’t happen in a week or a month or even a year. Let’s work on this…little by little!

                In verse 15, Paul is quoting Daniel 12:3, which speaks of “the wise” – meaning Israelites skilled in knowing and applying God’s law, even in persecution.  Who can you name that are such “lights” today?

Oct. 17 – (Phil. 2:19-24) How is Timothy different from the others Paul has worked with (vv.20-21)?  Friends like Timothy are SO important whether you are a Minister of a church or a minister of HIS “church” (we all should be ministers of His gospel if we confess faith in Him). 

                What is the connection between looking after the interests of others (2:4) and looking after the interests of Jesus the Messiah (v. 21)?

Oct. 18 – (Phil. 2:25-30) Epaphroditus had carried the Philippians’ gift to Paul (we’ll see that in 4:18).  What had then happened which caused anxiety for everyone involved (vv. 25-27)?  How does Paul show his own vulnerability to the Philippians in these verses?  Paul expresses thanks that Epaphroditus recovered, sparing him from having “one sorrow piled on top of another” (v. 27).  How do you respond to the idea that Paul would have been stricken with sorrow if Epaphroditus had died? How does Paul demonstrate that he was looking after the Philippians’ interests and not only his own (vv.28-30)?

Paul’s description of Epaphroditus reminds us of the vital truth that we are all of us, whether first-century apostles or twenty-first-century converts, expected to be fully human beings, facing all that life throws at us and being honest about the results.  Paul didn’t need or want to hide from the young church, from his own converts. He was not afraid to admit to his own troubles. Who has been a Timothy or an Epaphroditus in your life?  In what ways?  Why not let them know how much you appreciate them?

Oct. 19 – (Phil. 3:1-6) “Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord.”  Did you get that?  Sometimes I think (erroneously) that I’m supposed to rejoice in my defeats and struggles.  This has reminded me yet again to rejoice in the LORD!  He is constantly: loving, protecting, providing, delivering, and working for the good of all who believe on Him!   “Lord, we rejoice in You for who you are!!!”

                “…who worship by the Spirit of God….” How often do we really worship by the Spirit of God and how often are we worshiping through our flesh?  This is my “ponderable” today.

Oct. 20 – (3:7-11) What does Paul say is his profit and his loss? “Knowing King Jesus as my Lord is worth far more than everything else put together (v.8)”.  Can you totally say that?  Here is what I think he is saying: It’s like an accounts balance in a way. Take all the wonderful, great, and good things you are or have done and write them down.  Then put them on the debit side. These are not deposits.  There is no credit for any of it whether you did something good or were someone good.  Now discover you have something to put on the credit side in comparison with which everything else can be a debit.  That is someone, Jesus the Messiah, through whose faithfulness to the point of death you are declared right with God.  No matter what you’ve done, who your family is or was.  Your belief that Jesus died because of your sin and rose in victory and your loyalty to Him are the sign that you have a credit balance consisting simply of Him.  This credit completely covers all your debits including the future debits!  This is Paul’s famous doctrine of Justification by faith.  Selah

                What relationship does Paul draw between resurrection and suffering (vv. 10-11)?

Oct. 21 – (Phil. 3:12-16) We did a Bible study a while ago on “Loving God with all your Mind” by Elizabeth George. Verse 13 became one of our key verses. “Forgetting the things which are behind” meant the good and the bad.  If we live on past successes, we won’t walk in the “new thing God wants us to succeed in.  Of course, if we continue to play those failures through our mind, then we get frozen in the past and can’t move on.  Don’t you just love how all the “good” God has for us is explained in His Word?

Oct. 22 – HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY WONDERFUL HUSBAND!  Each year, as we get “older” I see more ways to thank God He put us together over 43 years ago! 

(Phil. 3:17-21) Do you have tears for those who “walk as enemies of the cross”?  Who would you would say that is in your life?  Do you pray for them?  How do you pray for them?  Selah