Category Archives: Philippians

Exodus 35-37; Psalm 26; Philippians 4

Six days work shall be done, but on the seventh day you shall have a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on it shall be put to death.

Exodus 35:2 ESV

God took the Sabbath pretty seriously. It has gradually gone out of style over the years. There is lots of (mostly self-motivated) debate around the Sabbath. Does it now mean on Sunday instead of Saturday? Does this law apply to us since we live under grace? Does this apply to modern day since it was not repeated in the New Testament? How do pastors and other church staff take a Sabbath when they have to work then? Can I participate in sports on Sunday? And so on.

I’m going to intentionally, admittedly side-step this debate and settle on one fact I think we can all agree on — we all need rest. We need time set apart from the crazy activities of the rest of the week to refresh and worship. We need to just stop, at least once a week and just be.

But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity;
    redeem me, and be gracious to me.
12 My foot stands on level ground;
    in the great assembly I will bless the Lord.

Psalm 26:11,12 ESV

Even if I have daily devotional time with Jesus, I still need that time each week to gather with other believers and worship, learn through others’ teaching of Scriptures, realign my week with God’s agenda, let Him level the path ahead.

Many things drive us from setting aside time to worship and be with other Christians — exhaustion, laziness, lack of transparency, scheduling conflicts, transportation troubles, viruses, illness, fear, judgment, guilt, depression, conflict, confusion, and more.

God doesn’t give a lot of latitude here. I need to be there. Stop the physical and mental chaos that sometimes ravages my days and get myself to church. Stepping away from everything else in my life, before God, with other believers, blessing the Lord, every week.

Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me greet you.

Philippians 4:21 ESV

As I bring my weekly life plan into sync with God’s glory, the blessings of Philippians 4 open up before me.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. . . The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. . . the God of peace will be with you.

I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

23 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

Philippians 4:4-23 excerpts ESV

It takes serious discipline to get everyone up and out the door on Sunday morning. It takes profound trust to take a day off my to-do list. It takes some sacrifice to say “no” to some opportunities to preserve the rest and worship my body and soul need. I don’t always succeed, but I am reminded again today of the power of rest and the importance of God-above-all priorities.

Lord, help me to keep You first. First in my day, first in my week, first in my plans. I want to trust You with everything. Trust that six days is enough to accomplish everything You have for me. Grow my faith to walk this path of surrender more consistently. Show me clearly what Sabbath-rest looks like in my world. Thank you for the beautiful promises that come when we live recklessly for You. In Jesus name, Amen.

Erin (6intow)

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1Kings 10; Philippians 1; Ezekiel 40; Psalm 91

He had a fleet of ocean-going ships sailing with Hiram’s fleet. Every three years his fleet would return, bringing gold, silver, ivory, apes, and monkeys. – 1 Kings 10:22 GNT

When it comes to prosperity, I know this is a hard topic especially when I view it through prayer. I knew of one person who prayed that none of his children would be rich. I can only imagine that he found no source of life there. However, I am sure for those of us who are not rich, we have not prayed that prayer.

I am thrilled that Paul helped me get my focus on things that matter when it comes to relationships and he did so when writing to the Philippian church. His prayers revolve around the need of others.

I pray that your love will keep on growing more and more, together with true knowledge and perfect judgment, so that you will be able to choose what is best. Then you will be free from all impurity and blame on the Day of Christ. Your lives will be filled with the truly good qualities which only Jesus Christ can produce, for the glory and praise of God. – Philippians 1:9-11 GNT

It is a prayer for spiritual growth. I see the end in mind – grow up and live my full potential so that my life would be one that would glorify God and cause others to praise Him.

Then he took me into the entrance room of the Temple. – Ezekiel 40:48 GNT

I found it interesting that Ezekiel’s journey through the temple ended with him at the entrance room of the temple – the place where the priests prayed before they continued on into the temple. What a symbolic gesture of how I enter into the presence of God.

Praying for protection was a big thing in his day as it is in our day. Psalm 91 has been a protection Scripture that I have turned to whenever there has been danger of any kind. It is not only comforting, but effective when I pray it from my heart.

Father, I thank you for encouraging me to pray today and to be free to ask You for prosperity and I know You know what that means, to grow in love, knowledge, discernment, to be pure and blamelesss, to have the fruit of the Spirit evident and lastly to pray for protection. What a rich time to spend in Your Word and to spend time getting to know the things that move Your heart towards me. I look forward to growing and experiencing You throughout the day. May my day bring You glory and praise in all that I do and say. Amen.

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Filed under 1 Kings, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Ezekiel, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Philippians, Psalms

Isaiah 49-52; Philippians 4, Psalms 92

“And now the Lord speaks-the one who formed me in my mother’s womb to be his servant, who commissioned me to bring Israel back to him.  The Lord has honored me, and my God has given me strength.  He says, “You will do more than restore the people of Israel to me.  I will make you a light to the Gentiles, and you will bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.” Isaiah 49:5&6 NLT

God has been teaching me about restoration. He is showing me that I want things done quickly, but it takes time (usually more than I think). It’s a process. It’s messy. It doesn’t always go as planned.  God says, he “will do more than restore.” Restoration is not just about me. It is for others to see God’s glory. It takes the pressure off to feel like I have to do it on my own. I have to trust that he will use it for good.  But, do I?

“The Sovereign Lord has given me words of wisdom, so that I know how to comfort the weary.  Morning by morning he awakens me and opens my understanding to his will.”  Isaiah 50:4 NLT

It’s a daily pressing into him.  Knowing that he is the only one who can remove strongholds.

“Rise from the dust, O Jerusalem.  Sit in a place of honor. Remove the chains of slavery from your neck, O captive daughter of Zion.” Isaiah 52:2 NLT

It’s when a new rug in my daughter’s room starts to look more like a prayer rug. It becomes holy ground.  A place to fight the battle.  To feel the presence of God. To feel his peace.

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.  Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.  His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6&7 NLT

I rest in this promise…

“This is what the Lord says: “At just the right time I will respond to you.  On the day of salvation I will help you.  I will protect you and give you to the people as my covenant with them.” Isaiah 49:8

Dear Father, Help me to remember that you hear and answer my prayers, even when it is hardest to pray. Thank you for showing me your love. Thank you that your mercies are new every morning. And that you are making all things new. I am praising you before the breakthrough. You already have the victory. Amen.

“It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to the Most High.  It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning, your faithfulness in the evening…You thrill me, Lord, with all you have done for me!” Psalms 92 NLT

Amy(amyctanner)

 

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Isaiah 41-44; Phil 2

18 I will make rivers flow on barren heights,
and springs within the valleys.
I will turn the desert into pools of water,
and the parched ground into springs.
19 I will put in the desert
the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive.
I will set junipers in the wasteland,
the fir and the cypress together,
20 so that people may see and know,
may consider and understand,
that the hand of the Lord has done this,
that the Holy One of Israel has created it.  Isaiah 41 ESV

My heart yearns with the recognition that in my life there can be a work of the Lord solely His- that can enable others to see His witness and rejoice. My heart is parched and dry, and this beautiful picture of the restoring life and beauty in the Lord renews my soul. At varied times, I have experienced this beautiful work of God that is His hand alone… I crave this, Lord. Open my eyes, Lord, and help my heart walk in tune with You.

16 I will lead the blind by ways they have not known,
along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn the darkness into light before them
and make the rough places smooth.
These are the things I will do;
I will not forsake them. Isaiah 42 ESV

I have felt blinded in some circumstances in my life. My path is unfamiliar, uncharted, at times rocky and hard- this is promise for me. You, Lord,  are guiding me on all these unfamiliar paths; turning my darkness into light; making all the rough places smooth; darkness is as light with You.

Such a person feeds on ashes; a deluded heart misleads him;
he cannot save himself, or say,
“Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?”

21 “Remember these things, Jacob,
for you, Israel, are my servant.
I have made you, you are my servant;
Israel, I will not forget you.
22 I have swept away your offenses like a cloud,
your sins like the morning mist.
Return to me,
for I have redeemed you.” 44 ESV

The taste of the world is ashes; delusion; and falsehood. The blindness and trickery of it all speaks to me. I picture myself shining in the sun, mist and cloud blown and burnt away- the promises in Christ are mine. Forgiveness, life, and restoration. Freedom. Redemption. But I think about how easy it is to be the one foolishly eating ashes with a deluded, misleading heart.

12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing, 15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. 17 Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. 18 Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me. Phil 2 ESV

I think about how often I struggle against work;  how the Lord calls me to live above the grumblings, mutterings, dramatic turnings of my flesh. My mind so easily proffering a narrative that doesn’t even exist. My heart so easily entangled in hurt that should be irrelevant to me. I ponder what it means to work out my salvation with fear and trembling. I ponder what it means that the Lord is at work in me both to will and to work for His good pleasure. I ponder what it means to hold fast to the word of life.

Lord, help me to treasure Scripture; help me to live a life that treasures You.

Let me know Your strong work in my heart and life. Let my life bear witness to Your goodness and mighty work. I pray for springs in my desert, straight paths in a dark and unknown way, a deep recognition that I am known and loved in You, the freedom and peace from the lightness of a forgiven heart. Be with me, Lord, and help me to be with You. Amen.

Rebecca (offeringsbecca)

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Filed under 66 Books, Isaiah, Philippians

Exodus 35-37; Psalms 26; Philippians 4

“Come, all of you who are gifted craftsman. Construct everything that the Lord has commanded: the Tabernacle and its sacred tent, its covering, clasps, frames, crossbars, posts, and bases; the Ark and its carrying poles; the Ark’s cover-the place of atonement; the inner curtain to shield the Ark.” Exodus 35:10-12 NLT

My one word for the year is TRUST. But, since I had a difficult time narrowing it down to just that word, give and create are also on that list. I’ve come to realize they both fall under the umbrella of trust. I have to trust that God will take what I offer him and use it for his purposes, even if I can’t see it now. He cares about the big and small details. So many details went into the making of the Tabernacle, Ark, Table, Lamp stand and Incense altar. He didn’t just ask anyone to make it. He chose certain craftsman (Exodus 36:1 NLT). This is such a great reminder that when my calling feels small and insignificant, he sees me and gave me unique skills that only I can do.

“Then Moses said to the whole community of Israel, “This is what the Lord has commanded: Take a sacred offering to the Lord. Let those with generous hearts present the following gifts to the Lord: gold, silver, and bronze; blue, purple, and scarlet thread; fine linen and goat hair for cloth; tanned ram skins and fine goatskin leather; acacia wood; olive oil for the lamps.” Exodus 35:4-8 NLT

The people were generous in their help donating material things towards the completion of the sanctuary. They gave. They didn’t hold back. What might I be holding back from the Lord? Being generous and living in community will cost me something… time, energy and resources. Do I trust that God will supply what I need like Paul did?

“Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Even so, you have done well to share with me in my present difficulty. As you know, you Philippians were the only ones who gave me financial help when I first brought you the Good News and then traveled on from Macedonia. No other church did this. Even when I was in Thessalonica you sent help more than once. I don’t say this because I want a gift from you. Rather, I want you to receive a reward in kindness. At the moment I have all I need-and more! I am generously supplied with the gifts you sent me with Epaphroditus. They are a sweet-smelling sacrifice that is acceptable and pleasing to God. And the same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:11-19 NLT

Dear Father, thank you for your provision. I pray that I wouldn’t let fear hold me back from what you called me to do. Help me to love others and share my life with them. Amen.

“I have trusted in the Lord without wavering. Now I stand on solid ground, and I will publicly praise the Lord.” Psalms 26:1&12 NLT

Amy(amyctanner)

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