Tag Archives: Philippians

11 Jun

Because He Never Changes

It’s much easier for me to teach others than to obey my own teaching! One verse that I have to remind myself of often is Philippians 4:6-7:

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

I like the peace of verse 7, but don’t always find it easy to obey the prerequisite of not worrying in verse 6! And recent weeks have unsettled my heart and mind even though I try to obey these verses.

So, I have had to frequently ask myself…why art thou cast down, oh my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me?! (Psalm 42:5) And I made a list of the reasons why I do NOT need to be worried or downcast. The shortened version is…because the Lord never changes

For I am the Lord, I change not (Malachi 3:6)

I could quit with that, but just so you see how definite and practical that thought is…if my joy is in the Lord, that joy is available always, BECAUSE HE NEVER CHANGES. If my strength is in the Lord, it’s always there for me, BECAUSE HE NEVER CHANGES. If my hope is in the Lord, I should be hopeful at ALL times, BECAUSE HE NEVER CHANGES. If my peace comes from the Lord, the circumstances don’t matter, BECAUSE HE NEVER CHANGES. My salvation is in the Lord so it’s forever, BECAUSE HE NEVER CHANGES. My refuge is in the Lord, no matter what the storm of life, BECAUSE HE NEVER CHANGES. Even if I don’t FEEL the Lord’s love always, it’s always there, BECAUSE HE NEVER CHANGES. He hears me…always…because He never changes. I think you get the picture.

03 Jun

Great Truths for Times Like These

One of the hardest things in the Christian life is to reconcile God’s involvement in life-threatening illness, tragedies of all types, the impacts of the evil acts of other people, and in general, bad events or situations that occur in life. The current pandemic is one of those situations. However, regardless of circumstance, the Bible assures us of God’s love and care and continual working in our lives. The following eight foundational truths are for times like these.

God’s love for us is indisputable.
He loved us so much that he sent His only begotten Son to die for us that we might have everlasting life.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

God is interested in us personally.
He knows every sparrow that falls. He knows every hair on our heads. He has told us to come to Him with literally our every need. He knows and He cares about the details of our lives.

Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.(Matthew 10:29-30)

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (Philippians 4:6)

God is not surprised by the things that happen to us.
He is omniscient or all-knowing. He is never caught off guard.

Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye? (John 18:4)

God does not promise to deliver us from all the bad.
That includes evil and suffering and the impact of the choices of others. But He does promise to give us the ability to endure, and the grace, and the peace, and the strength that is needed to meet the situation.

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (Romans 8:18)

For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: (1 Peter 2:21)

God will never leave us nor forsake us.
His way is perfect. In return, He asks us to place our faith and trust in Him, regardless of the circumstance.

As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him. (2 Samuel 22:31)

For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. (Romans 1:17)

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (Hebrews 13:5)

God is working to conform us to the image of Christ.
He is a sovereign God, who will work the tiniest blessing and the greatest evil to our eventual good.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 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. (Romans 8:28-29)

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: (Philippians 1:6)

God is good, every day, all the time.
His love for us and watch-care over us are ever present.

Thou art good, and doest good; teach me thy statutes. (Psalm 119:68)

The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him. (Nahum 1:7)

God’s secret things are beyond human understanding.
We must be content to leave those with God.

The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law. (Deuteronomy 29:29)

Regardless of what may come our way, we can stand firm on these rock-solid, sure foundational truths.

27 Apr

Choices

Back in the 1960’s Pastor A. W. Tozier wrote a book entitled “The Pursuit of God.” Pastor Tozier established what was to be a lifelong practice of waiting on God. He had a growing hunger after God. Among other points he made was the thought that “When we worship is our emphasis on God or man?”

Exodus 33:13 “…show me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight….”

Philippians 3:10 “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.”

Our whole future will be conditioned by the choices we make! We can know we are headed in the right direction if our Christian lives are characterized by trust and by obedience and by humility!

16 Apr

Am I Ready?

As I see everything happening in the world today with the Coronavirus, namely how it has changed our lives completely in every sense of the word, I find myself asking the question, “Am I ready?”  When I ask that question, your mind probably went to 100 different things you could be prepared for, under the present circumstances.  Your mind probably went to mostly material things such as wondering if you have enough food, money, toilet paper for a respiratory infection :), ammunition for the fall-out, etc.  However, that is not really what I had in mind.  My purpose in asking the question, “Am I ready?”, is a spiritual one.

Proverbs 27:1  “Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.”  

Am I ready for what these changes mean in my life by freeing up my time to focus on spiritual things and other things which have true value in life.  A few weeks ago, everyone was going to ball games, shopping, planning vacations for spring break, going to concerts, walking in the parks, going downtown, going to the movie theater, and living life as usual.  Seemingly overnight, all of that came to a grinding halt, as well as many people’s finances along with the stock market and jobs.  We are all now faced with how to spend all of this slow time we probably have never had in our entire lives.  I have found this is a good time to ask, “Am I ready to deal with facing time I have never had, to think in ways I never have, about things I have never thought about?”

We can think on such things as, we now have the time we never had to study the Bible and think about God, Heaven, others, and how we can point them in the direction of looking to God to supply our needs instead of our 401k or the government.  Looking to God to provide our literal daily needs is not something we think about in America, but apparently that changed overnight for most.  Sadly those who have not bowed their heart to Jesus Christ in acknowledging what He did on the cross to be sufficient to pay for their sins and give them salvation can’t look to Him in this way.  As a Christian, I can because He is my Heavenly Father, and I need to use this time to tell those who have not asked Jesus to save them from their sin, that He will do that and supply their earthly needs if asked.

Philippians 4:19  “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

Also, I have been thinking about whether or not I am ready to live a simple life of spending time with people on a more basic, simple level without all the excess glamor that comes when everything is “normal”.  Enjoying just going for a walk with my wife, sitting on the porch, cooking and eating at home, visiting with friends and neighbors, trying to help those in need are all things that are not at the top of the list when we are under the pressures of the “normal” life.  In relationships, when all you have to offer is less things, whether it be a fancy meal, or a great time going out, or showing off your fancy house and talking about how well you are doing financially, and instead you offer more of yourself, in that you listen to the other person and show you really care, then you start to have an understanding of what truly has value in life.  These times can make you a quality person on the inside with depth, instead of being shallow and superficial when times are good.

I have also been asking myself if I am ready to realistically look inside and find out if I worship the gods of everything that I listed in the first paragraph that came to a grinding halt and throw in some Jesus on Sunday, or am I glad to have those things gone so I can really worship God and Him alone without distraction.

James 4:13-15  “Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow.  For what is your life?  It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.  For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.”

Lastly, I have been thinking on whether or not, if this is the end, am I ready to stand before God and give account of my life?  These are all things we need to ask ourselves and make sure, “we are ready.”

09 Apr

We Shall Be Changed

Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. (Philippians 3:21)

This is what Jesus Christ will do one day for the Christian. This body of flesh that is subject to sin and suffers from pain, illness and viruses will be changed to be like that of our Savior. “What a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see.”

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