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Monthly Archives: January 2016

Philippians 2:3-4: “Esteem Others Better Than Ourselves”

 

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Background to Philippians…

The Apostle Paul wrote the epistle (personal letter) (1:1) to the Philippian church, probably during his imprisonment in Rome. The letter was written from a heart of love and concern for the Philippians. Due to Paul’s imprisonment, he could not personally visit with the church so he sent this letter with Timothy to encourage them and bring back news of their condition to Paul. (2:19).

Some of the main divisions of the book include:

1. Introduction to the book: 1:1-2

2. Paul’s thankfulness for the Philippians: 1:3-11

3. News of Paul’s imprisonment and dedication: 1:12-26

4. Following Christ’s example is our duty: 1:27-2:18

5. Paul’s representatives and the need to treat them kindly: 2:19-30

6. Paul’s example of living a joyous life: 3:1-11

7. The Christian’s heavenly calling: 3:12-21

8. The need for Godly living: 4:1-9

9. The love offerings of the Philippians: 4:10-20

10. Closing to the book of Philippians: 4:21-23

 

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

 

Php 2:3-4 – “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Paul continues to help us understand proper motivations we should possess as we cultivate Godly relationships with other Christians…

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory;

Godly relationships cannot be motivated with desires for:

1. strife – conflict, confusion and disorder

2. vain-glory – worthless praise

Neither of these motivations should hold any place in the lives of Christians. When these motivations are present they are to be replaced with humility…

 

 

 

but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

 

We are to, with a humble mind, we are to see others as more valuable than ourselves. This attitude will cause us to put the welfare of others first and to be willing to make personal sacrifices for them.

 

 

 

Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”

When we see others as better than ourselves, we will begin looking out for their welfare and seek to meet their needs. We will no longer be self-centered and discouraged due to our own personal wants but our attention will be centered upon Christ and working to help others along life’s way.

The Lord’s mandate to “look …. on the things of others” does not give us the liberty to judge others in an ungodly way, become tattlers of their affairs, or noisy interferers. Please keep in mind, when we have a truly humbled heart pointed towards the welfare of others, the mistreatment of others will not be an option for us.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

1Jn 3:14 – “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.”

Rom 15:1 – “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.”

 

When we develop a selfless attitude towards the people of God, we are showing ourselves to be genuinely saved and spiritually strong. What a wonderful testimony to have before the lost around us. When they see us enjoying Godly relationships, willing to make sacrifices for others, they are seeing the love of Christ at work in us.

May we all continue to come to a better understanding and application of the Lord’s word given to us through the Apostle Paul which will allow us to develop more Godly relationships with our brothers and sisters in Christ and be living testimonies of the love of Christ in the eyes of those who are lost.

Questions, Comments, or Suggestions?

Email me at: rob.barkman@settledinheaven.org

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog…  http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Do We Enjoy Unity With Our Spiritual Brethren

SIH HALTAL ICONPhp 2:1-2 – “If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,  Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.”

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-4ra

Philippians 2:1-2: “Love & Unity”

 

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Background to Philippians…

The Apostle Paul wrote the epistle (personal letter) (1:1) to the Philippian church, probably during his imprisonment in Rome. The letter was written from a heart of love and concern for the Philippians. Due to Paul’s imprisonment, he could not personally visit with the church so he sent this letter with Timothy to encourage them and bring back news of their condition to Paul. (2:19).

Some of the main divisions of the book include:

1. Introduction to the book: 1:1-2

2. Paul’s thankfulness for the Philippians: 1:3-11

3. News of Paul’s imprisonment and dedication: 1:12-26

4. Following Christ’s example is our duty: 1:27-2:18

5. Paul’s representatives and the need to treat them kindly: 2:19-30

6. Paul’s example of living a joyous life: 3:1-11

7. The Christian’s heavenly calling: 3:12-21

8. The need for Godly living: 4:1-9

9. The love offerings of the Philippians: 4:10-20

10. Closing to the book of Philippians: 4:21-23

 

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

 

Php 2:1-2 – “If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.”

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Paul uses the blessings of Christ to encourage the Philippians believers to be united with one another…

 

 

If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,

Paul now reminds the Philippian believers of a few of the innumerable blessings that the Lord has given to them….

1. consolation in Christ – security and peace stemming from His presence beside us during every event in our lives

2. comfort of love – encouragement that comes from a knowledge of His love, and watch care for us.

3. fellowship of the Spirit – communion with the Spirit allowing us to share in the blessings of Christ

4. bowels and mercies – the Lord’s deepest sincere longings and pity being pointed towards us.

Paul is pleading with the Philippian church members, since these wonderful blessings are graciously given to you by our Lord, it is only proper for you to….

 

Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.”

Bring a deep, sincere joy to Paul’s heart by sharing with their brothers Christ-like …

1. like-minded – beliefs and opinions

2. having the same love – self-sacrificial love

3. being of one accord – passions, priorities and goals

4. being… of one mind – thoughts, attitudes and reasonings

It only makes sense. If the Lord has exclusively given to His people the blessings of security and peace, encouragement, communion, His deepest sincere longings and pity; surely the Philippian brethren should enjoy a close, intimate unity with one another.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Folks, do we ever stop and think about all the blessings of God that we share with other believers and especially, the members of our church? Stop and think about all these blessings that we have in common one with another.

Yes, we do hold many things in common with all mankind around us. Many of our physical needs, our employment, our education and our community affairs are the same for both lost and saved.

However, all these blessings of God we share in common with only the people of God, which allows us to enjoy a closer level of communion with our spiritual brethren than that of the lost world.

As a matter of fact, the doctrines we believe and the goals of service that we share as members of a specific local assembly will be unique from many of the other believers that are around us. These blessings which are shared in common allow an even closer level of fellowship between ourselves and the members of the the church in which we are members.

May we all stop, recognize God’s blessings, recognize those with whom we share these blessings and strive to develop close, long-lasting relationships with them knowing that it is pleasing to God.

Questions, Comments, or Suggestions?

Email me at: rob.barkman@settledinheaven.org

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog…  http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Trials… A Gift Of God’s Grace To Strengthen Us And Glorify Him!

SIH HALTAL ICONPhp 1:29-30 – For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake; Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me.

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-4r5

Philippians 1:29-30: “To Suffer For His Sake”

 

 

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Background to Philippians…

The Apostle Paul wrote the epistle (personal letter) (1:1) to the Philippian church, probably during his imprisonment in Rome. The letter was written from a heart of love and concern for the Philippians. Due to Paul’s imprisonment, he could not personally visit with the church so he sent this letter with Timothy to encourage them and bring back news of their condition to Paul. (2:19).

Some of the main divisions of the book include:

1. Introduction to the book: 1:1-2

2. Paul’s thankfulness for the Philippians: 1:3-11

3. News of Paul’s imprisonment and dedication: 1:12-26

4. Following Christ’s example is our duty: 1:27-2:18

5. Paul’s representatives and the need to treat them kindly: 2:19-30

6. Paul’s example of living a joyous life: 3:1-11

7. The Christian’s heavenly calling: 3:12-21

8. The need for Godly living: 4:1-9

9. The love offerings of the Philippians: 4:10-20

10. Closing to the book of Philippians: 4:21-23

 

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

 

Php 1:29-30 – For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake; Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me.

 

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ,

 

The Lord graciously delivers to each of His people times of affliction, to bring glory and honor to Christ, and open occasions for us to grow in grace and knowledge of Him.

 

 

 

not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;

 

This gracious gift of faith from the Lord involves both the saving faith that we exercise when we are first saved, and also the faith to trust Christ in the midst of opposition and trials. Trusting in Christ for our salvation, and in times of opposition, reveals to those around us the genuineness of our absolute trust in Him. The one faith (at salvation) shows our trust in Him with our eternal life, the other (during opposition) shows our trust in Him for our physical life and well-being.

Not only do opportunities to suffer for His name allow our faith to be seen by others, but it also develops Christian maturity and growth in Christ. This growth then prepares the Christian for greater opportunities of service for Christ which, in turn, results in even greater glory and honor being brought to Christ’s name

In all these ways, being opposed in our stand for Christ is truly a gift of grace, opening up to us wonderful occasions to bring glory and honor to His name.

 

Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me.

The church at Philippi was facing the same types of opposition that Paul faced when he had been with them, and the current opposition that he faced.

Paul was pointing out to them that he was speaking to them out of experience. These instructions were not simply words that were a part of an academic exercise or words that stemmed from inexperience and naiveté.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Through his experience, Paul understood the powerful testimony that could be had by trusting in Christ for our eternal salvation and then continuing to trust in Him in times of trials and opposition. Paul knew that these, in turn, resulted in greater spiritual growth and maturity which brought about greater areas of service to Him.

How often do we recognize that our saving faith was a gift given to us by God? (2 Peter 1:1)

How often do we stop and thank Him for the opportunity to show our sincerity to others by remaining faithful in the trials that have come upon us? (Heb 3:12-14)

How often do we appreciate the trials that come our way realizing that, as we remain faithful to Him, they will result in our continued growth in Him and greater service to Him in the future? (James 1:2-4)

May we all recognize and appreciate the wonderful blessing of faith that the Lord has granted to His people. It is through this faith that we are eternally secure in Him and able to remain faithful to Him during times of trials and opposition.

Questions, Comments, or Suggestions?

Email me at: rob.barkman@settledinheaven.org

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog…  http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Ground Hog Day Devotional

SIH STSTA ICON“Are We Spiritual Groundhogs?”
(GroundHog Day Devotional 2016)

Our modern day Groundhog Day observance is a tradition that has existed, in several different forms, throughout several centuries.

Many people believe that Groundhog Day finds its roots in an observance called “the Feast of Lights” which was celebrated in the beginning of February centuries before Christ. It was a day set aside by pagans (probably the druids originated it) to worship of the sun which would begin to gain strength and warm the earth in the Spring and Summer seasons.

As time progressed, The Feast of Lights was gradually brought into the Catholic church and celebrated under the title Candlemas Day. The candle is the chief point that unified the two observances. Candles are used by Catholics to picture Christ as the light of the world, whereas to those who were pagan, the lit candle can represent the light and heat of the sun.

The Catholic holiday of the Candlemas is observed on February 2nd. It is set aside to celebrate Mary’s purification at the temple following Christ’s birth. In this celebration, many candles are lit and used during the worship service. In prior times, Candlemas also was believed to predict the coming weather. If the day of Candlemas was a bright sun shiny day, it was believed that more winter was yet to come. However, if the day was overcast it was believed that Spring was just around the corner.

This celebration of the Candlemas was brought into the secular world as Groundhog Day. Our modern day tradition holds that on February 2nd the groundhog arises from its winter hibernation, comes out of its hole and looks for his shadow.

If it is a sunny day and he sees his shadow, he believes it is an indication there will be six more weeks of winter weather and so he proceeds back down his hole to continue his time of slumber. However if, on a cloudy day, he doesn’t see his shadow he then believes that spring weather has arrived and comes out of his hole and prepares to enjoy the mild weather that will come to pass.

For much more information about the origin and observance of GroundHog Day please see the following links:
http://www.groundhog.org/about/history/
http://projectbritain.com/year/candlemas.html
http://wildhunt.org/2015/02/earthspirits-a-feast-of-lights-aims-to-drive-the-winter-away.html

For the Christian, we all should recognize the heathen origin of the celebration, but also recognize the great opportunity it gives us to share Christ with others. As Christians who possess the truths of God, we have the privilege, and responsibility, to use this worldly celebration as an opportunity to bring honor and glory to our Lord. How can we do this? We do this by using the public attention placed on this day, as a tool to present the truths of God’s Word to the celebrants without believing in, or partaking in, the pagan worship surrounding it.

That is what this devotional is all about. It is using a secular celebration as an opportunity to present God’s Word to a lost and dying world…

 

THE SCRIPTURE:

Joh 8:12 – “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

2Co 4:6 – ”For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

THE STUDY:

The Groundhog Day celebration centers on the groundhog’s reaction to the sunlight. The tradition says, if the sun is shining brightly the groundhog’s shadow will appear and the groundhog will go back into his hole for another six weeks. However, if it is a cloudy day blocking the sun, then the groundhog will remain above ground and enjoy the spring season that has begun.

Much like the groundhog who comes into contact with the sun, most of us have come into contact with God’s Word which clearly reveals to us the light of knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ…

2Co 4:6 – ”For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

The question that lies before us is “How do we react in the presence of the light of Christ that has shined upon us?

The Word of God directly addresses the consequences of embracing the light of Christ and making it a living part of our lives…

Joh 8:12 – “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

Let’s take a very quick look at what this passage teaches to us about our reaction to the light of the knowledge of Christ that we have received…

I am the light of the world: he that followeth me…

If we chose to follow Christ, the light of the world, we will gain two wonderful gifts that are worth more than all the world’s riches put together.

he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness,

First of all, by stepping into the light of Christ, we will receive liberation from the bondage of sin in our life.

Christ is the One who has died on the cross to secure our forgiveness and deliverance from our sins. As we submit to Christ as Lord of our life, and turn from our sins and place our faith in Him, we will “not walk in darkness”. This means that we will no longer live a lifestyle that is dominated by sin and rebellion against Him. He will grant us liberation from sin’s power in our life. Someday, He will deliver us from the presence of sin in our life by taking us home to be with Him at our death or His second coming.

he that followeth me… shall have the light of life.

The second blessing we will receive is the blessing of spiritual life in Him. Folks, as a part of fallen, sinful mankind, due to our sinful condition, we are born in a state of alienation from God. The Bible describes this as being “spiritually dead”. When we willingly turn from our sins and turn to Jesus, by faith, He promises to spiritual life which includes being brought into fellowship with God and knowing we will spend an eternity in His presence this is possessing Christ, the “light of life”.

The question before us is this… what is our reaction to this light of the knowledge of Christ that we receive?

Will we act like the groundhog and run from the light, hurrying back down into the “hole” of sin’s bondage? Will we deny our need of salvation from our sins to continue in spiritual sleep of death?

Or, will we step into the light of the knowledge of Christ by embracing it? Will we turn from a life of disobedience and sinful darkness, to a new life in the light of Christ by placing our trust in Him and His work and submitting to Him as Lord of our life?

How we react to the light of Christ is by far the most important decision we have, or will ever make… for it holds eternal consequences for us.

Questions, Comments, or Suggestions? Email me at: rob.barkman@settledinheaven.org

http://www.settledinheaven.org
http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com
http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

May God’s People Never Fear In The Face Of Our Adversaries!

SIH HALTAL ICONPhp 1:27-28 KJV – “Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.”

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-4qX

Philippians 1:27-28: “Let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ:”

 

 

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Background to Philippians…

The Apostle Paul wrote the epistle (personal letter) (1:1) to the Philippian church, probably during his imprisonment in Rome. The letter was written from a heart of love and concern for the Philippians. Due to Paul’s imprisonment, he could not personally visit with the church so he sent this letter with Timothy to encourage them and bring back news of their condition to Paul. (2:19).

Some of the main divisions of the book include:

1. Introduction to the book: 1:1-2

2. Paul’s thankfulness for the Philippians: 1:3-11

3. News of Paul’s imprisonment and dedication: 1:12-26

4. Following Christ’s example is our duty: 1:27-2:18

5. Paul’s representatives and the need to treat them kindly: 2:19-30

6. Paul’s example of living a joyous life: 3:1-11

7. The Christian’s heavenly calling: 3:12-21

8. The need for Godly living: 4:1-9

9. The love offerings of the Philippians: 4:10-20

10. Closing to the book of Philippians: 4:21-23

 

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

 

Php 1:27-28 KJV – “Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.”

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ:

One of Paul’s great desires for the Philippian church members was for them to behave in an appropriate way for those who give the gospel of Christ to others.

Folks, as Christians, we are representatives of Christ on earth. We have the responsibility to represent Him in this world in two major ways:

1. by taking the gospel to the lost

2. by possessing lifestyles that follow the example Christ has set for us

These two go hand-in-hand as the appropriate way to represent Christ on earth.

 

that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;

 

Paul’s hope is that they remain unified to faithfully serve the Lord in Paul’s presence, and in his absence as well. Even in his absence, Paul will hear of their ongoing unity in their service to Christ. He describes their unity as:

1. “stand fast in one spirit” – remain rooted fast and firm with one set of desires

2. “with one mind striving together – joining together in spiritual warfare based upon a singular set of beliefs in which they all mentally affirm.

Their unity would result in an advance of the doctrines of the gospel of Christ.

 

 

And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.”

 

Paul then encourages them to continue in this unity, even in the face of persecution. They were not to be fearful in the face of those who oppose them. By remaining faithful during opposition it would proved three things to everyone who was watching them….

1. it gave a clear indication that those who were abusing them were headed for eternal ruin and destruction.

2. and it gave a clear indication that the church members were headed for deliverance from this sinful world to a sinless eternity with Christ.

3. their faithfulness during persecution indicated their salvation was based upon God working in their lives empowering and motivating them to faithfulness as new creatures in Christ.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Folks, does our lifestyle reveal Christ and His gracious intervention in our lives?

When others see us do they see Christ being glorified as He works in our lives?

Are we unified with other church members and Christian friends in serving the Lord, even in the midst of persecution and hardships?

All of these are wonderful testimonies that bring honor and glory to Christ and encourage other believers around us. May we all rededicate our lives to reveal our Lord in us as we live our daily lives on this fallen world that so desperately needs to see Christ.

Questions, Comments, or Suggestions?

Email me at: rob.barkman@settledinheaven.org

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog…  http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Do We See The Needs Of Those Around Us And Seek To Meet Those Needs?

SIH HALTAL ICONPhp 1:25-26 KJV – “And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith;  That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again.”

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-4qS

Philippians 1:25-26: “Contentment In Bringing Joy To Others”

 

 

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Background to Philippians…

The Apostle Paul wrote the epistle (personal letter) (1:1) to the Philippian church, probably during his imprisonment in Rome. The letter was written from a heart of love and concern for the Philippians. Due to Paul’s imprisonment, he could not personally visit with the church so he sent this letter with Timothy to encourage them and bring back news of their condition to Paul. (2:19).

Some of the main divisions of the book include:

1. Introduction to the book: 1:1-2

2. Paul’s thankfulness for the Philippians: 1:3-11

3. News of Paul’s imprisonment and dedication: 1:12-26

4. Following Christ’s example is our duty: 1:27-2:18

5. Paul’s representatives and the need to treat them kindly: 2:19-30

6. Paul’s example of living a joyous life: 3:1-11

7. The Christian’s heavenly calling: 3:12-21

8. The need for Godly living: 4:1-9

9. The love offerings of the Philippians: 4:10-20

10. Closing to the book of Philippians: 4:21-23

 

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

 

Php 1:25-26 KJV – “And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith; That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again.”

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all

 

After examining the probable results of Paul’s prison deliverance by release or death, he has been persuaded that he will be released from prison and continue to live and serve the Lord on this earth.

 

 

for your furtherance and joy of faith;

 

Paul saw the great need of the churches of the Gentile world. He saw they needed assistance as they continued to grow in the Lord and experience lasting joy in their faith.

What is meant by their “faith”? Of course, joy is gotten by the Christian when they exercise faith in Christ as their Savior, but it does not stop there. As the Christian grows in the truths of God’s Word, their faith will increase and become more fixed in their hearts. This is a part of their “joy of faith” and the need for Paul to continue to teach them not only the way of salvation but the truths of the Word as well.

 

 

That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again.”

Paul wants the saints at Philippi to gain an increase in joy from his remaining on earth and ministering to them. Paul was trusting their joy would increase as they see him delivered from prison, which meant the Lord would allow Paul to continue to minister to them to meet their needs.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

One of the blessings of serving the Lord is finding contentment and satisfaction in the knowledge that we are being used of the Lord to help others in need. It is a great privilege to be used of the Lord to meet the spiritual or physical needs of those around us. It is living a life to which we are called of our Lord.

May we all follow the example of Paul and be content knowing the Lord is using us to bring joy and everlasting peace to others who are around us.

Questions, Comments, or Suggestions?

Email me at: rob.barkman@settledinheaven.org

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog…  http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Can Our Life Be Described As “For To Me To Live Is Christ”?

SIH HALTAL ICONPhp 1:21-24 KJV – “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.”

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-4qN

Philippians 1:21-24: “For Me To Live Is Christ”

 

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Background to Philippians…

The Apostle Paul wrote the epistle (personal letter) (1:1) to the Philippian church, probably during his imprisonment in Rome. The letter was written from a heart of love and concern for the Philippians. Due to Paul’s imprisonment, he could not personally visit with the church so he sent this letter with Timothy to encourage them and bring back news of their condition to Paul. (2:19).

Some of the main divisions of the book include:

1. Introduction to the book: 1:1-2

2. Paul’s thankfulness for the Philippians: 1:3-11

3. News of Paul’s imprisonment and dedication: 1:12-26

4. Following Christ’s example is our duty: 1:27-2:18

5. Paul’s representatives and the need to treat them kindly: 2:19-30

6. Paul’s example of living a joyous life: 3:1-11

7. The Christian’s heavenly calling: 3:12-21

8. The need for Godly living: 4:1-9

9. The love offerings of the Philippians: 4:10-20

10. Closing to the book of Philippians: 4:21-23

 

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

 

Php 1:21-24 KJV – “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.”

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Paul recognizes that he will be delivered from prison by release or his physical death (vs 19-20). He now stops and considers which type of deliverance would be more preferable for himself and others …

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

If Paul was released from prison, it would open up continuing opportunities for Christ to be glorified and served with his life. However, if Paul’s deliverance came about due to his death, he would be home with His Lord. His death would result in a better end for himself, but would be a loss for those around him.

 

But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.

If Paul continues to live physically (“in the flesh”) he will reap eternal blessings as he continues to faithfully serve his Lord. In either situation, Paul will benefit. If he dies, he goes home to the Lord; if he lives, he will gain more eternal rewards for his service.

In spite of all this analysis of his death and life, and who gains and who might lose through it all, Paul affirms that all he wants is the will of God done with his life. It really it doesn’t matter what Paul wants… it is all about what His Lord wants.

 

 

For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.

Paul was in a very tight place caught between two options for his future. He was torn between his desires (death to be with his Lord) and what is good for others (release from prison to continue to spread the gospel of Christ.)

What was his conclusion to all of this? Lord, your will be done!

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Folks, how often in life do we face events that are out of our control, that will either fulfill our desires, or that will bring about what is best for others? For what are we to pray?

Paul helps us to understand that, when we are confronted with events that are not in our control, we are to simply submit to the Lord’s intervention and seek to be submissive to whatever the Lord has for us.

May we all be in submissive to the will of our Lord for our lives and follow his example as we pray about the upcoming events in our lives….

Luk 22:42 KJV – “Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.”

Questions, Comments, or Suggestions?

Email me at: rob.barkman@settledinheaven.org

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog…  http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Are We Willing To Magnify Christ In Our Life Or Death?

SIH HALTAL ICONPhp 1:19-20 KJV – “For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.”

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-4qB

Philippians 1:19-20: “Christ Shall Be Magnified In My Body”

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Background to Philippians…

The Apostle Paul wrote the epistle (personal letter) (1:1) to the Philippian church, probably during his imprisonment in Rome. The letter was written from a heart of love and concern for the Philippians. Due to Paul’s imprisonment, he could not personally visit with the church so he sent this letter with Timothy to encourage them and bring back news of their condition to Paul. (2:19).

Some of the main divisions of the book include:
1. Introduction to the book: 1:1-2
2. Paul’s thankfulness for the Philippians: 1:3-11
3. News of Paul’s imprisonment and dedication: 1:12-26
4. Following Christ’s example is our duty: 1:27-2:18
5. Paul’s representatives and the need to treat them kindly: 2:19-30
6. Paul’s example of living a joyous life: 3:1-11
7. The Christian’s heavenly calling: 3:12-21
8. The need for Godly living: 4:1-9
9. The love offerings of the Philippians: 4:10-20
10. Closing to the book of Philippians: 4:21-23

TODAY’S TEXT:

Php 1:19-20 KJV – “For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.”

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Please keep in mind, in the context, Paul has been speaking about the increased preaching of Christ in the Gentile world (vs 14-18)…

For I know that this shall turn to my salvation

Paul knew that the increased preaching of the gospel would result in his salvation. This would take place in one of two ways…
1. As the gospel would go out, a majority of the Gentile world (including the Roman gvt) would be saved which would result in Paul’s release from imprisonment. This would be due to the change in public opinion about the gospel and Paul’s ministry.
2. Or, as the gospel goes out, more of the Gentile world including the Roman gvt) would reject it and become more hardened against it which would lead to the taking of Paul’s life. This would result in his release from imprisonment (and this sinful world) as he would die and go home to be with his Lord.

through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,

Paul encourages the believers at Philippi to continue to pray for him and his soon salvation. Note Paul doesn’t ask them to pray for either type of deliverance from his bonds, for he was submission to the sovereign will of God and knew that in either case it would be for his good and God’s glory.

Paul also understood that either type of deliverance would be a result of the Holy Spirit’s enabling through the gracious intervention of Christ in his life.

According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness,

Paul wanted, and was confident that, the Lord would intervene in his life, meet his every need through the Spirit. He believed that, through the Lord’s continuing intervention, his needs for enablement would be met. He expected that, by God’s grace, he would continue to boldly minister the gospel to others until he was delivered from prison by release or death.

Paul desired these things AND expected them to take place.

as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.

One of Paul’s great desires throughout his saved life was to make Christ clearly seen and enlarged in the eyes of others. He would do this with every part of his body, speaking with his mouth, through the actions of his body, and through his faithful lifestyle. His desire and anticipation was directed to his being enabled to glorify Christ whether he would be released from prison and allowed to continue his ministry or if he would die a martyr’s death at the hands of the Roman government.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Folks, in this section of Paul’s letter, we see his heart being exposed and his true desires being revealed for all of us to see. His one and only desire was to allow Christ to be clearly revealed and enlarged through his life. Everything else was a matter of his submissive spirit desiring for the Lord’s will to be done in his life, no matter what it may be.

What a very simple, and Godly way to live our lives… simply desiring for Christ to be revealed to others in all that we say and do, and then be willing to accept whatever the Lord has in store for each one of us, knowing that it will be for our good and His glory.

May we all have hearts that are filled with this wonderful attitude and service and submission to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

 

Questions, Comments, or Suggestions?

Email me at    rob.barkman@settledinheaven.org

 

Homepage… http://www.settledinheaven.org
Text Blog… http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com
Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven
Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

Are We Thankful The Truth About Christ Is Being Proclaimed?

SIH HALTAL ICONPhp 1:15-18 KJV – “Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will:  The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds:  But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.  What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.”

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-4qt

Philippians 1:15-18: “Christ Is Preached and I Therein Do Rejoice”

 

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Background to Philippians…

The Apostle Paul wrote the epistle (personal letter) (1:1) to the Philippian church, probably during his imprisonment in Rome. The letter was written from a heart of love and concern for the Philippians. Due to Paul’s imprisonment, he could not personally visit with the church so he sent this letter with Timothy to encourage them and bring back news of their condition to Paul. (2:19).

Some of the main divisions of the book include:

1. Introduction to the book: 1:1-2

2. Paul’s thankfulness for the Philippians: 1:3-11

3. News of Paul’s imprisonment and dedication: 1:12-26

4. Following Christ’s example is our duty: 1:27-2:18

5. Paul’s representatives and the need to treat them kindly: 2:19-30

6. Paul’s example of living a joyous life: 3:1-11

7. The Christian’s heavenly calling: 3:12-21

8. The need for Godly living: 4:1-9

9. The love offerings of the Philippians: 4:10-20

10. Closing to the book of Philippians: 4:21-23

 

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

 

Php 1:15-18 KJV – “Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds: But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel. What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.”

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

In this section of Paul’s letter, he speaks about the motivation that lies behind the preaching of Christ (truths about the person and work of Jesus Christ and the true salvation by grace through faith message) …

Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will:

Paul recognized that not everyone who proclaims truths about Christ have honorable motives. According to Paul, some preached truths about Christ because they were jealous of Paul’s ministry, others proclaimed Christ to stir up quarreling and hard feelings between the church members and the lost people who were living in the area.

However, Paul did not let those with bad motives cloud his judgement, he also recognized those who proclaimed the same truths about Christ with Godly motives of joy and a desire for their hearers to be blessed.

 

The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds:

There were those who preached truths about Christ motivated by the desire to stir up anger which would end up adding to the persecution that Paul faced.

 

 

But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.

 

But there were also those who taught the truths about Christ as an act of support for Paul, moved by love for him. They were following his example of taking a stand no matter what the consequences, knowing that it would encourage him and they would be doing what he desired for them to do.

 

 

What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.”

Now Paul says something that may surprise us…. In Paul’s way of thinking the most important point is that truths about Christ were being proclaimed to the world. In made very little difference to Paul whether the proclamation of Christ was done out of hidden sinful motives, or genuinely to please the Lord and support Paul…. In either case, Paul was happy and would continue to be happy seeing truths about Christ being proclaimed.

It is very important to note that this was not an issue of the truth being proclaimed vs false teaching. The issue was the motives that lie behind proclamation of the truth. In both cases, the truth about Christ, His person and His work, was being proclaimed…. and this is why Paul was joyous! Christ was being presented in truth…. That is what was most important to Paul.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Folks, there are many different truths that we can learn from Paul’s writings on this subject. First and foremost, we should see the need to be less judgmental of those who proclaim the truth about Jesus Christ, His person and His work.

If any man teaches error concerning Christ, His work, and the way of salvation, we should mark him as a being an Anti-Christ (one who stands against Christ) and vigorously oppose his message that will lead men to an eternity of separation from the Lord in hell.

1Jn 2:22 KJV – “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.”

However, for those who teach the truth of Christ, even when in the presence of questionable motives, we are to follow the example of Paul and allow him to continue unhindered, being thankful that the truth about Christ is being proclaimed. The Lord will take care of dealing with the intents and desires of each man’s heart. We are to be concerned with our own desires and make sure we are serving Him with Godly intentions.

 

Questions, Comments, or Suggestions?

Email me at    rob.barkman@settledinheaven.org

 

 

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog…  http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

Do We Encourage Others As We Face Life’s Trials?

SIH TOTT ICONPhp 1:12-14 KJV – “But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel;  So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places;  And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.”

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-4qn

Philippians 1:12-14: “Trials For The Gospel’s Sake ”

 

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Background to Philippians…

The Apostle Paul wrote the epistle (personal letter) (1:1) to the Philippian church, probably during his imprisonment in Rome. The letter was written from a heart of love and concern for the Philippians. Due to Paul’s imprisonment, he could not personally visit with the church so he sent this letter with Timothy to encourage them and bring back news of their condition to Paul. (2:19).

Some of the main divisions of the book include:

1. Introduction to the book: 1:1-2

2. Paul’s thankfulness for the Philippians: 1:3-11

3. News of Paul’s imprisonment and dedication: 1:12-26

4. Following Christ’s example is our duty: 1:27-2:18

5. Paul’s representatives and the need to treat them kindly: 2:19-30

6. Paul’s example of living a joyous life: 3:1-11

7. The Christian’s heavenly calling: 3:12-21

8. The need for Godly living: 4:1-9

9. The love offerings of the Philippians: 4:10-20

10. Closing to the book of Philippians: 4:21-23

 

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

 

Php 1:12-14 KJV – “But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel; So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places; And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.”

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel;

 

Paul desired for the Philippian believers to come to recognize one of the main purposes of trials, abuse and persecution in the life of a Christian… for the gospel to be advanced among the lost. In Paul’s case, he was suffering abuse in the form of unjust imprisonment at the hands of the idolatrous Roman government.

Even in the midst of his abuse, Paul understood that the Lord has allowed this imprisonment to fall upon him so that the gospel could be shown through his words, actions, and lifestyle and so that other Christians would be encouraged to boldly proclaim the gospel to the lost around them…

 

 

So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places;

Paul did not deserve this imprisonment, he was in this prison for the cause of Christ. As he spent time in prison, all who cared for him, due to his spotless testimony, came to understand that he did not deserve to be imprisoned. In that sense, his “bonds in Christ” were clearly seen by those around him. He was in prison for Christ’s sake, not for wrongdoing on his part.

What a wonderful testimony Paul possessed! To lead such a righteous life that, when persecuted, everyone realized the persecution was undeserved. As they watched Paul’s life, they saw truths about Christ and, in his words, they heard about Christ. Even while in prison, the life and words of Paul were furthering the gospel message to the lost around him.

 

 

And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.

Not only did Paul’s imprisonment open doors of opportunity for Paul to spread the gospel message, but it also encouraged others to spread the good news of Christ to those around them. Paul’s courage and spotless testimony in the midst of his imprisonment, was an encouragement for other Christians to take a firm, bold stand for Christ also.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

May we all learn some important truths from this aspect of Paul’s life…

1. All the trials that come upon God’s people are an opportunity for the gospel to be proclaimed through our lives and voices.

2. Our words and actions during these trying times of life can affect the lives of both lost and saved around us. As we remain faithful to the cause of Christ, the gospel will be proclaimed to the lost while encouragement to serve will be received by those who are saved.

3. We should always strive to lead lives that are unspotted by this world. In doing so, we can have confidence, and proclaim to those around us, that the trials that come our way are not due to the chastening hand of the Lord but have come upon us to further the gospel.

We should always remember that others are constantly watching us. How we handle the trials, and good times, of our lives affect others. No matter what type of situation we are currently in, may we all strive to live God honoring lives and show Christ to all those around us!

 

Questions, Comments, or Suggestions?

Email me at    rob.barkman@settledinheaven.org

 

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog…  http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

Our Love Should Motivate Our Service To Christ…

SIH HALTAL ICONPhp 1:9-11 KJV – “And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.”

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-4qi

Philippians 1:9-11: “Turning Love Into Action”

 

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Background to Philippians…

The Apostle Paul wrote the epistle (personal letter) (1:1) to the Philippian church, probably during his imprisonment in Rome. The letter was written from a heart of love and concern for the Philippians. Due to Paul’s imprisonment, he could not personally visit with the church so he sent this letter with Timothy to encourage them and bring back news of their condition to Paul. (2:19).

Some of the main divisions of the book include:

1. Introduction to the book: 1:1-2

2. Paul’s thankfulness for the Philippians: 1:3-11

3. News of Paul’s imprisonment and dedication: 1:12-26

4. Following Christ’s example is our duty: 1:27-2:18

5. Paul’s representatives and the need to treat them kindly: 2:19-30

6. Paul’s example of living a joyous life: 3:1-11

7. The Christian’s heavenly calling: 3:12-21

8. The need for Godly living: 4:1-9

9. The love offerings of the Philippians: 4:10-20

10. Closing to the book of Philippians: 4:21-23

 

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

 

Php 1:9-11 KJV – “And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.”

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

In this text, Paul’s prayerful desire was for the Philippians to be graced in four basic areas:

 

 

“And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;

 

1. Their Motive – Paul desired that their love would be overflowing in greater and greater ways; especially to motivate them to gain more knowledge of the Lord, His will for their lives, and the ability to make Godly decisions.

 

That ye may approve things that are excellent;

2. Their Judgment – Paul desired that they exercise Godly judgement by recognizing, affirming, and living according to, those things that excel in spiritual truth and importance.

 

that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;

 

3. Their Testimony – Paul desired for the Philippians to have a testimony of being a genuine and separated to God throughout all their lives and generations until Christ comes again.

 

 

Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.”

 

4. Their enablement – Finally Paul desires for their service to stem from Godly enablement. He desired for the Holy Spirit to control every aspect of their lives; allowing them to bear spiritual, blameless fruits; both of which are gracious gifts given to them by Christ. These spiritual fruits are to be utilized to “shine the light upon” God and cause Him to be honored and worshipped. They are not to be used to exalt the individual Christian, which would bring attention and praise to the Christian.

 

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Paul’s desires for the Philippians should not only be our desire for other Christians, but our desire for our own personal lives as well:

As Christians, we should never underestimate the need for Godly motives, judgment, testimonies, and enablement as we live our lives for Christ….

1. So often we can go through the motions of Christian service with the wrong motives compelling us.

2. It is so easy to find ourselves using our own carnal judgements to make the day to day decisions to come our way.

3. It is so easy, to get side-tracked in our service that we find ourselves going through “religious” motions of service in the name of Christ, in a disingenuous way, confusing “going through the motions” without genuine holiness.

4. Perhaps the most prevalent of these pitfalls that can so easily take us off course, is when we serve the Lord of our own effort, strength and ability, without relying upon the Holy Spirit to enable us to accomplish that which the Lord has given us to do.

May we all be on guard for these pitfalls in our own lives, as well as being in prayer for our spiritual family that they would not be overcome by these as well. May we always seek to help other struggling Christians with words of instruction and encouragement to strengthen them as they seek to serve our Lord sincerely under the strengthen hand of the Holy Spirit.

 

Questions, Comments, or Suggestions?

Email me at    rob.barkman@settledinheaven.org

 

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog…  http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com