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Philippians 2:19-21: “Naturally Caring For 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 2:19-21 – “But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state. For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state. For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.”

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Paul voices his concern for the believers at Philippi. Because of his concern, Paul sent Timothy to them to deliver this letter, encourage them, and find out how they are doing….

 

 

But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you,

Paul was trusting the Lord to watch over Timothy and give him a safe arrival at Philippi.

 

 

that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state.

 

Timothy’s return to Paul, with a good report of the Philippian’s condition, would encourage Paul and put him in good spirits.

 

 

For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state.

Paul knew he was the only one with the same care and concern for his Philippian brothers and sisters in Christ. It was only a natural set of feelings for Paul to have for them. After all, he was instrumental in their salvation, the founding of their local church, and the situation they faced there.

There was no one else who played this same role in the lives of the Philippian believers. He is ending them Timothy because he is the only one currently with Paul who shares in some of Paul’s concern for the Philippian believers.

 

 

For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.

 

The prevailing attitude among Christians was an attitude of selfishness, possessing an attitude of care for their own self only. They did not have a servant’s heart towards Christ and others. They did not have a concern for the wellbeing of others, nor did they want to help others to serve Christ in greater ways.

 

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Stop and think about it. The heart of a Christian should be to place the Lord and others before self. Christ gave Himself for us. It should be only a “natural” thing to give of ourselves in return. We all were lost but now we are found. It should only be “natural” we want to give of ourselves for others so they can see Christ in us and come to a saving knowledge of Him as well.

Sadly the “norm” among Christians today, as in Paul’s day, is to possess a selfish attitude centering on our own needs, wants, and desires. This stands in stark opposition to the “natural” attitude for the Christian should be to possess a humble spirit placing the Lord and others above ourselves.

What personal sacrifices have made for Christ and others? This will help us to understand what is in our heart…

Do we have “naturally” a heart like Paul and Timothy or are we the “norm” among Christians?

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 Rejoice When We Sacrifice For The Cause Of Christ?

SIH HALTAL ICONPhp 2:17-18 – “Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all. For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me.”

 

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-4s1

Philippians 2:17-18: “Rejoice… You Are Called To Be A Sacrifice For 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 2:17-18 – “Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all. For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me.”

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith,

 

Here we find that Paul was willing to give his life for the sake of the salvation of those at Philippi. Paul is picturing the giving of his entire being (his body, wellbeing and physical life) by the pouring out of a drink offering. Just like a cup is emptied as the drink offering is poured out, so too Paul was willing to be emptied of all his physical strength, health, and even physical life, to see the Philippians come to a saving faith in Christ.

Paul is saying that he was called upon, and willing to, give his all in his service for Christ.

 

I joy, and rejoice with you all.

Not only was Paul willing to give his all during the course of service to Christ, but he actually counted it his joy, which would be shared by those who came to faith in Christ at Philippi.

“I joy” refers to Paul being joyous because he was given the opportunity to sacrificially give of himself for Christ.

“rejoice with you all” refers to Paul being joyous for the Philippians who had come to faith in Christ and were not eternally secure in Him.

 

 

 

For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me.”

Paul knew the Philippians shared in this reciprocal joy with Paul.

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Folks, are we willing to give our all for Christ?

Above that, are we thankful and joyous for the opportunity to empty ourselves for Him?

What a blessing and privilege for us to be able to give of ourselves for the cause of Christ, knowing our service will reap eternal rewards for us and make an eternal difference in the lives of 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

Does The Light Of Christ Shine Brightly In Our Lives?

SIH HALTAL ICONPhp 2:14-16 – “Do all things without murmurings and disputings:  That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.”

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

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

Philippians 2:14-16: “Shine As Lights In the World”

 

 

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 2:14-16 – “Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.”

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Paul now instructs the Philippians on how to have testimonies that will shine brightly in the midst of a fallen world….

Do all things without murmurings and disputings:

The Philippian believers were to do all things without complaining or arguing. These had to do with their willingness to be submissive to the authorities over them. They were to willingly submit to the will of their family leaders; church; government; masters; and, most importantly, their Lord.

 

 

 

That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life;

 

 

This testimony of submission to higher authorities would result in them being seen as:

1. be blameless and harmless – unable to be accused and innocent

2. the sons of God – members of the family of God

3. without rebuke – without fault

4. among whom ye shine as lights in the world; – lights that shine brightly revealing Christ and His Word

This wonderful light-filled testimony would take place “in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation” in other words, in the midst of a twisted, corrupted world.

 

 

that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.”

The shining testimony of the Philippian believers would bring rejoicing to Paul’s when he stood before the Lord to give answer for his ministry. Their faithfulness would be proof that Paul’s service on their behalf was not worthless.

Paul pictures his service to Christ as a race and as working at a job. Both have an end goal, both take much effort and both are done according to guidelines that were given. So too, our service to the Lord. The Lord gives us specific opportunities to share Him with others, according to guidelines He has given to us, which will take effort on our part and enabling on His part.

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

When we have are in submission to those who are placed over us, we find ourselves shining brightly, revealing Christ to others around us. One of the hallmarks of Christ’s ministry on the earth was His submission to His Father and the other authorities over Him. When we willfully submit to our authorities, we are placing before others a wonderful example of the submissive spirit of Christ.

May we all strive to live in submission to the authorities around us as we seek to show Christ to a lost and dying world.

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 Complete The Tasks The Lord Has Given To Us?

SIH HALTAL ICONPhp 2:12-13 – “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

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

Philippians 2:12-13: “God Hath Highly Exalted 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 2:12-13 – “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Wherefore, my beloved,

Before Paul gives the Philippian believers practical instruction, he reminds them of his great love for them. He was writing to them out of a heart of concern and care wanting only to help them and encourage then in the Lord. He was not instructing them out of a critical, fault-finding spirit, nor did he teach these things for his own personal gain.

 

 

as ye have always obeyed,

 

First, Paul commends them for their consistent service for Christ. He describes their service as “always obey(ing)” Christ. In other words, they served the Lord at every opportunity, without regard to the individual opposition or circumstance they may face.

The Greek word for “obeyed” is a very interesting word. It combines the ideas of listening, following and submitting. They obeyed the Lord consistently by SUBMITTING to His authority in their life which was shown by them LISTENING to His teachings and FOLLOWING His instructions and example.

 

 

not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence,

Paul also commends them for not hypocritically serving the Lord, just for appearance sake. Paul recognized they did not serve the lord only when Paul was present to receive his praise. On the contrary, Paul saw that they continued faithful in service even when he was not there to see them, encourage them, and praise them.

 

 

work out your own salvation

Paul is not telling the believers to work faithfully in an effort to gain, or retain their salvation. Paul is clear in many, many other places of Scripture that the initial salvation experience, the retention of that salvation, and the completion of that salvation are all entirely of God’s grace apart from the works of man.

“work out” – in other words, work to completion, do not stop before the task is accomplished

“your own salvation” – the change that has taken place in your life through the graces you have been given.

In other words, Paul instructs the Philippians to serve the Lord faithfully until each task is complete. They are to do this by exercising the graces given to them, as ones who are saved from their sins. This would include spiritual fruits, Holy Spirit empowering, etc etc. In that sense, they are to “work out”
their “own salvation”… ie “actively use the graces related to your salvation experience to bring the task at hand to completion”

This principle is brought out in Rom 6:18-22:

 

“Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.

For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.”

 

 

with fear and trembling.

Two of the great motives that are to drive the believer to faithfully complete each task presented to them is “fear” and “trembling”…

1. “fear” – alarm, fright, dread. The Greek word for fear is the word “phobos” from which we get our word “phobia”

2. “trembling” – to shake, to quiver from fear.

 

The above words, when taken together, CANNOT simply mean to reverence the Lord. The basic meaning of “phobos” along with the idea of shaking in fright, clearly presents fear and dread as a motive in our faithful service to the Lord.

In what way are Christians to be in dread of the Lord? Are they to fear a loss of salvation or eternal condemnation? Of course not, the Bible makes it plain that the Lord will always bring to completion the work of salvation that He has begun in the heart of the believer…

Php 1:6 – “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:”

Rom 8:29-30 – “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.”

 

If this is true, then in what way are Christians to fear their Lord? They are to fear, or dread, His chastening hand upon those who are willfully disobedient to Him. From experience the Christian knows that the chastening of the Lord can be very stern and painful, meted out in an effort to bring the rebellious Christian back to a close walk with Christ.

Christian’s are to be much like a child who fears the chastening hand of his father, though the child knows he is loved and will always be a part of the family. So too, Christians are to fear the results of the chastening hand of God, while still confident in His love, adoption, and eternal security. After all, God’s chastening hand, although harsh, is meted out from a heart of love, for the believer’s good.

 

Heb 12:5-11

“And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.

Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”

 

 

 

 

 

For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”

The Philippian believers were to keep in mind that all of their labors for Him were, in actuality, the Lord working within them. In other words, the believer’s exercise of spiritual gifts as they served the Lord was actually an act of the Lord enabling and empowering them in their walk with Him.

This is why they should not faint. This is why they should not quit in the midst of hardships. The Lord was working in them enabling them to complete the task that has been placed before them.

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

What is a Christian to do? Based upon these instructions by Paul, we are to faithfully serve the Lord and bring our tasks to completion, without hypocrisy. We are to serve Him out of a recognition of His chastening hand and his gracious enabling in our lives.

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

Christ’s Exaltation Is Proof Of His Faithfulness To The Father

SIH HALTAL ICONPhp 2:9-11 – “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

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

Philippians 2:9-11: “God Hath Highly Exalted 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 2:9-11 – “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

 

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

Because of the humility, obedience and service of Christ towards His Father and others, God has placed Him in the highest possible position of authority. This took place at His ascension when Christ was seated at the right hand of God (Mark 16:19, Acts 2:32-36).

Christ’s accomplishments while on the earth would bring about the highest possible level of reverence for His name. His name Jesus, Jehovah is our Savior, is now placed above every other name on earth. Through His humility, obedience, and service (which led to His sacrificial death on the cross) Christ became the Savior of all mankind.

 

That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

 

The recognition and reverence of Christ’s name results in complete universal worship. Beginning at Armageddon and continuing throughout eternity, Christ will be universally worshipped by human beings throughout God’s creation. The saved in heaven, whose living on the earth during Armageddon, and the lost in the Lake of Fire, will all bring honor and glory to Christ and Him alone.

 

 

 

And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Not only will the name of Christ be honored above all others, but the Lordship of Jesus will be proclaimed by every tongue. This will not only bring praise to Christ but also to His Father who has rightfully exalted Him. The exaltation was deserved by Christ due to His obedience and sacrifice for the Father… the exaltation of Christ not only reveals the greatness of Christ, but it also cries out of the perfect justice of the Father.

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

At least two great blessings can be had by us from these verses…

First of all, we are reminded of the greatness of the Lord that we serve. He is the One that is exalted above all others, He is the One whose name is held in reverence above all names; He is the One who is in control of all things in heaven, in earth, and under the earth. He is truly King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Secondly, in this text we can easily see the greatness of the sacrifice that our Lord has made on behalf of His people. His sacrifice was so great that He deserved to be exalted above all, worshipped throughout all eternity. His sacrifice was so powerful His name will forever be held in the highest of esteem.

Wow, stop and think about it. We have the privilege of serving the Lord of this universe. This privilege comes to us through His sacrifice which he worked on our behalf. May we praise and honor Him throughout our lifetimes for what He has done for us and in recognition of His exalted position as lord and Savior of man.

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 Have The Mind Of Christ?

SIH HALTAL ICONPhp 2:5-8 – “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:  Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:  And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

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

Philippians 2:5-8: “The Mind 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 2:5-8 – “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

Paul now encourages the Philippian believers to share in Christ’s attitude of humility and servanthood…

 

 

Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

Christ was in the “form of God”. This does not mean Christ had the physical appearance of God. It is speaking more of Christ displaying God to man through His wisdom, grace, miracles, life, death, resurrection and glorification etc. Christ was constantly showing God to man through the many events of His life on earth.

However, Christ was not simply a man who displayed God throughout His lifetime on earth… He was also God Himself, coming to earth as a man. This is why, although Christ was on the earth as a man, He still did no injustice by claiming to be God Himself.

 

 

But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

Although Christ was God Himself, He willingly humbled Himself. The humility of Christ is clearly shown to us as He:

1. “made himself of no reputation” – Christ, who retained His divinity while on earth, “emptied” himself of all His divine trappings and choose to not take His rightful place as Sovereign God over all. He did not come to the earth as Sovereign God but came as a baby born in a manger, who lived a simple life of servanthood on earth.

2. “took upon him the form of a servant” – Christ, who is King of Kings and Lord of Lords, choose to not exercise His ruling authority, but lived the life of a servant living to meeting the needs of others around Him.

Just like being in “the form of God” (vs 6) involved displaying God to man in His works, and lifestyle; so too, being in “the form of a servant” involved displaying His attitude of servanthood in all that He did. Everything Christ did during His life, was an act of servanthood to God and man. His life was filled with works that fulfilled His Father’s commands and met the needs of all mankind.

3. “and was made in the likeness of men” – Christ, as His first coming to the earth, appeared as a man, although He was God. His physical appearance was that of a man. His needs for sleep, food, oxygen etc was that of a man. When others saw Him both in appearance and lifestyle, they simply saw a man.

 

And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”

Christ, who was God Himself, came to the earth in human form, living a life of humility and service. The greatest proof of these principles is found in the death of Christ:

1. Proof of Christ’s humanity – God cannot die, for Christ to be able to die on the cross He had to come as a man. When Christ died on the cross it was His human life that departed from Him, His Godly nature exists eternally with no end, unable to be touched by death.

2. Proof of Christ’s humble obedience – Christ’s death was an act of obedient service to His Father. His death was also an act of humility, love, grace and mercy as He made the ultimate sacrifice on the cross to meet all their spiritual needs. His people did not deserve for Him to die, on the contrary, they only deserved to be eternally punished for their sins. And yet, in spite of this, He gave His life for them. This is true humility… giving of ourselves to those who do not deserve our kindness.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Christ’s humility and servanthood were on display consistently in every area of His life. Everything that He did was in submission to His Father’s will and for the benefit of His people. This is the attitude we are to share with Christ.

It is an attitude of desire to follow the will of our Lord, and in doing so, meeting the needs of those around us. This is why humility and servanthood go hand in hand. A humble spirit engenders acts of servanthood towards God and man. May we all share in this most wonderful attitude!

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 Selflessly Seek The Welfare of God’s People?

SIH HALTAL ICONPhp 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.”

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

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