Tag Archives: Philippians

Exodus 25-27; Psalm 90; Philippians 1

9This is my prayer for you: that your love will grow more and more; that you will have knowledge and understanding with your love; 10that you will see the difference between good and bad and choose the good; that you will be pure and without wrong for the coming of Christ; 11that you will be filled with the good things produced in your life by Christ to bring glory and praise to God. Philippians 1:9-11

I love Paul’s prayers in his letters. They were written to be encouragement for the early believers in the areas he had visited during his time as an itinerant missionary – inspiration to reform certain behaviors unbecoming to the newly burgeoning church or reassurance that the people he introduced to the gospel were holding firm and standing true.

For me, this prayer is a mother’s prayer, one that I have prayed over my children as they sleep at night and as they play during the day.

As a mom, I desperately want my children to experience love…love from me and their dad, love from extended family, friends, and teachers, and most importantly I want them to fully experience God’s love.

I desire my children to be able to view every aspect of life through the lenses of that love they experience. And as they see through eyes of love they will know more and understand more, and the wisdom that they gain will enable and empower them to make good choices with their lives, which will in turn bring glory to God for His goodness and faithfulness.

The truth is that I also pray these same things over myself – an over-tired, over-worked, over whelmed mom, who doesn’t always feel loving and definitely doesn’t always act in a loving way. I struggle with making choices, a battle between what is best for my family and my own selfishness, failing to remember that one of the goals of motherhood is to demonstrate the glory of God to my children and the people around me – to be the Bible they may not have read yet, the fruit of the gospel they may not have tasted yet.

14Fill us with your love every morning.

Then we will sing and rejoice all our lives.

15We have seen years of trouble.

Now give us joy as you gave us sorrow.

16Show your servants the wonderful things you do.

Show your greatness to their children.

17Lord our God, be pleased with us.

Give us success in what we do.

Yes, give us success in what we do. Psalm 90:14-17

Yesappa, I need more of Your love, every morning, all day. I need Your joy and Your encouragements of success in this journey of motherhood. I know You do great things, that You are full of glory and goodness. Help my journey, despite the circumstances that surround me, be a reflection of You and of Your hand in my life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Blessings – Julie

 

International Children’s Bible, Copyright © 2015 by Tommy Nelson™, a Division of Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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Exodus 28-31; Philippians 2

For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless. Philippians 2:13-16

As I am reading these verses the first thing that comes to mind is one of the Sunday school song I grew up singing:

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

As much as I try to shine like a light, I know that there are days when my light is more dim than bright. There are days spent complaining and grumbling. There are days when I am irritable and argumentative, with little self-control. There are days when I feel and act more like the people of the world than like a child of God; days when I’ve hidden my light under a bushel and it’s all I can do to keep satan from blowing my little light out.

I want people, especially my children, to get a glimpse of God through me, to see what it means to believe and living right. But, all too often, I find myself stressed out and falling into old patterns from before I truly gave my life to Jesus; and then I feel like I’ve failed.

As I continued delving into these verses, looking at a Greek Interlinear Bible, the thing that stood out to me was the words in the New King James version of verse 15 – ‘…that you may be…’ was noted to be ‘…ye-may-be-becoming…’

The noun “becoming” is defined as any process of change…

Even as I strive to live a clean and innocent life, I am going through the process of changing more and more. Whether I have an off day or I am successful at keeping negative behaviors reigned in change is occurring. I am progressing, maturing into the potential that God put in me. I am becoming a better person and my light shines brighter.

I don’t need to feel condemnation at failing to always be a bright, shining light for the Kingdom of God. I don’t need to feel weakened by the mistakes I make. I just need to press into Holy Spirit as I go through the process of learning, trusting Him to check my spirit and teach me how to do better.

Yesappa, Thank You for being there and giving me everything I need to be a shining light…help me to do everything readily and cheerfully, without bickering, without second-guessing. Help me go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Use me to provide people with a glimpse of good living and of You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Blessings – Julie, Sholavandan, India (written in the U.S.A.)

 

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Prayer based on Philippians 2:15-16 The Message.

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1 Kings 11; Philippians 2; Ezekiel 41; Psalms 92, 93

Thanksgiving for God’s Goodness

A psalm. A song for the Sabbath day.

 

It is good to praise you, Lord,

to sing praises to God Most High.

It is good to tell of your love in the morning

and of your loyalty at night.

It is good to praise you with the ten-stringed lyre

and with the soft-sounding harp.

Lord, you have made me happy by what you have done;

I will sing for joy about what your hands have done.

Lord, you have done such great things!

How deep are your thoughts! Psalm 92:1-5 (NCV)

I’ve recently been thinking a lot about God’s goodness and the need to be full of gratitude for His work in my life: His faithfulness, His grace, His provision…

When I give thanksgiving to the Lord for everything He has done for me, in the good times and in the bad, it is a witness, a testimony to me and to others of His unfailing love.

Whether I sing as David sang or dance as David danced, my own personal expression of gratefulness is what the Lord is craving from me, appreciation of my Creator, my Protector, my Provider, my Savior, my Lord. Praise is the way to fill God’s love tank with just-my-size love – spending quality time with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, offering words of affirmation, bestowing the valuable gift of myself, touching His heart and presenting myself to His service.

As I lift up His name to the heavens in praise, I take a moment to reflect on Him, and take my focus off of the stresses of life in the world. I remember that even in moments when I have felt alone, He has always been there, His footprints revealing the times He has walked with me and the times He has carried me because I could no longer walk myself.

As I praise Him all day long, in the morning, noon, and night, joy rises up within me, happiness bubbles to the surface of my heart and with that gladness comes contentment and peace. I am once more able to rest in Him.

Rest.In.Me. (Matthew 11:28-30)

And, that, I believe that is the true definition of “Sabbath”.

 

Blessings – Julie (writing from Sholavandan, India)

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Leviticus 1, John 20, Proverbs 17, Philippians 4,

Peace of Christ this Easter

After Jesus did all that he meant to do by dying on the cross, still he was not finished. However, the talk about rising from the dead had been lost on the disciples.* So early on that first day of the week, I find Mary Magdalene weeping* when she found Christ’s body missing, Peter and John who upon making the same discovery went home, and later all the disciples locked in a room that night because of fear. They were in serious need of peace. Kind of like me.
Lord, help us.

Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” John 20:19

Eight days later, he came and said the same thing.* They needed that. They were glad.* Sometimes I need reminders too. How about you? Are we a little too far removed from that first Easter? Shameful. We don’t have the same excuse of not understanding… we have the whole story. We even know what’s going to happen… Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, WILL APPEAR A SECOND TIME, not to deal with sin, but to save those who are eagerly waiting for Him.*

He is Risen. Nothing has changed since that first Easter morning… how could I possibly forget?!

“Rejoice in the Lord always;
again I will say, Rejoice.
…The Lord is at hand.” Phil. 4:4,5

Lord Jesus, we are glad that you rose again. So glad.
Thank you for making peace.
We were lost without You,
By believing we have life in Your name.
Help me to always remember. And to rejoice!
We can’t wait to see You.
We eagerly await Your return.

amy in peru

*Cited in order: Jn. 20:9, v11, v26, v20, Heb. 9:28

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Philippians 1 – 4

Scripture

“Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe, as you hold on to the word of life.” Philippians 2:14-16a NIV

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.” Philippians 4:4,5 NIV

“I can do everything through Him, who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13 NIV

Observation

My favorite book of the Bible, with so much of it underlined in mine.  Like my last post on Romans 8, it was so very hard to choose the best verse(s) to focus on.  Imitating Christ, Shining as Stars, Pressing on Toward the Goal are 3 of the titled sections in this book. So very convicting, as I compare my normal human nature to that of the sinless nature of Jesus.

Application

It’s so easy to complain. I, who have so many blessings, can so easily fall prey to a bitter and complaining spirit. 1) “The line at the store was so long and the cashier was so slow.” 2) “The kids take up so much of my energy.” 3) “I’m the only one around here who cleans up this place.” 4) “My kitchen isn’t big enough.” 5) “There is so much laundry to do.” etc, etc, etc….

For each of these complaints, there is actually a blessing on the flipside. 1)We have money to be able to go to the grocery store and buy plenty of food for our family. 2)We are so blessed with 5 healthy, well-behaved children. 3)We have a house to live in. 4)We have a kitchen with running water, an electric stove, dishwasher and refrigerator. 5)We have a washing machine and dryer and our clothing drawers are full.

The normal US household compared with the majority of people in this world is more than blessed with convenience, money, and health and in all actually excess of everything! Really, what do I have to complain about?

When was the last time I portrayed a consistent example of “shining like a star” or “rejoicing in the Lord always” or “letting my gentleness be evident” to my husband and children?

Why then is this book of Philippians my favorite, if it shows me all my faults? Because it also gives hope! Philippians 4:7 says that if we are in communion with God, that His peace “which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Chapter 4, verse 13 says that our strength comes through Him, which enables us to do all things. Also in chapter 4, verse 13 we read that “God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”

So my application is  to train my mind, with the help of Christ of course, to focus on the positive in my daily situations and not the negative, which just breeds more and more negativity.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things… And the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8,9b

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

I have so much to be thankful about. So many blessings to count, but yet so often I focus on what I think I have the right to complain about. Please forgive my ungratitude. You are so good to me! Please, by Your strength alone, give me a grateful and uncomplaining spirit and help me to look on the blessing flip-side, when I feel tempted to complain. Thank you for the amazing and wonderful example that we have in Your Son, Jesus Christ.

In His glorious name,

Amen

Beckie (look2thehills)

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