There's an old saying, "When all is said and done, more is said...than done."
The Apostle Paul found out by experience (in and out of prison) that Jesus...
not only was true in what He said, but He backed it up with what He 'did'.
Paul testifies in all of his writings that Jesus is Enough!
Perhaps the theme of Paul's life and death was summed up in his statement...
(in the midst of the storm at sea): "Sirs, be of good cheer for I believe God...
that it will turn out just like God said it would".
I'm sure that as he died a Christian martyr in prison, he found this to be true!
Philippians is my favorite book by Paul.
The theme could be 'The Joy of the Lord is my Strength'.
Chapters 3-4 are so precious, but he had to have the 'mind of Christ'...
for them to be true. (Phil. 2:5-11)
Let's take a Journey to Joy, by studying (and claiming) Philippians 3-4 as true for us!
Paul found that Jesus was the 'Joy of Continual Discovery'.
La Moyne and I are finding this to be true at our ages, esp. as we prepare these papers.
I sometimes think that I have the ideas, but she puts them into action.
We hope that these papers will help you along your Life's Journey.
I would hate to think what life would be like without Jesus and His Promises!
All of these are backed by:
and His intercession for us at the right hand of God.
Whatever the future holds, we can let Him and His Promises hold us!
The Promise is: "There has not failed one of God's good promises". (I Kings 8:56)
The key verse for Philippians (and perhaps for the New Testament) is Chap. 3:9-10.
"We need to be found in Christ, not having our own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is by way of faith in Christ Who is The Righteousness of God. That I may know Him and the power of His Resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings and made conformable unto His death."
This tells us:
1) KNOW CHRIST: (Phil. 10a)
This is not just knowing 'about' Him, but really experiencing (by repentance and faith)
the Person, Promises and Provisions of the Lord.
When it comes to the New Birth (Jesus-Enough Said) don't add anyone else...
nor any other way.
Repentance toward God and faith in Jesus Christ is sufficient. (Acts 20: 20-21)
I call this "20/20 Eyesight...and right on target!"
2) EXPERIENCE THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT BACKED BY THE RESURRECTION:
A little boy was trying something that was too hard for him to do.
His Dad asked, "Have you used all your strength?"
The little boy replied, "Yes".
His Dad said, "No you haven't, as you didn't ask me to help you".
We need to ask our Father in Heaven.
The Holy Spirit is the greatest power in the world and the glory is...
He lives in the heart of everyone who has accepted Christ. (John 16:13-15)
3) FELLOWSHIP IN THE PASSION OF CHRIST-LIKE LOVE: (Vs. 10c)
Christ suffered and died for us.
Now we can let Christ's love live through us here on earth!
4) REJOICE IN A POSITION: (Phil. 4:4)
"Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say, Rejoice."
I am in the Lord (a position wherein I stand) and Christ is in me...
a Person living in and through me.
5) WITNESS THROUGH PATIENCE: (Chap. 4:5)
God is long suffering to us, not willing that any should perish...
but that all should come for repentance.
The goodness of God leads to repentance...
but that needs to shine through us as we are patient, kind and have Christ-like love.
6) MAKE MUCH OF PRAYER: (Vs. 4:6)
Note the use of the word 'everything'.
Nothing is too big (nor too small) to pray about...
and God is able to 'Make a Way!'
Notice also that this verse says:
"Pray with gratitude and thanksgiving for all that God has done".
7) ENJOY PEACE: (Vs. 4:7)
"And the peace of God which passes all understanding...
shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus".
If Paul could experience this while in prison, so can we....
no matter what, no matter where, nor what age. (Isa. 26:3-4 & 30:15)
8) BE SURE THAT YOU ARE PURE: (Vs. 4:8)
We can not see through dirty glasses, neither can we see God from a dirty heart.
Jesus said, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." (Matt. 5:8)
The 'what-so-evers' of verse 8 depend on the 'Who-so-ever'...Jesus! (and He is Forever).
9) OBEY THE PRINCIPLES: (Vs. 4:9)
"Those things which you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, do...
and the God of Peace shall be with you."
10) CLAIM THE PROMISES: (Vs. 4:11-19)
Know the Promises in your head....
believe them in your heart....
live by (and show) them, by your life.
The key verses in this passage are:
Vs. 11-12: "I have learned that whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content."
Vs. 13: "I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me."
Notice that it says 'ALL'.
(If you missed my study on 'ALL'...see website article #139 on 6-6-'07)
Paul's favorite church seemed to be the church at Philippi because they were:
a generous church...
thankful to Paul for what he did in their midst...
as well as a praying and giving church for Paul's ministry. (Vs. 14-18)
Paul sums up his letter in 4:19:
"My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus".
Paul was indeed a man of faith....and faithful to the end.
His last recorded words before his martyrdom were:
"I am now ready to be offered and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight...I have finished my course....I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me, a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the Righteous Judge shall give me at that day and not to me only, but unto all them also who love His appearing."
(II Timothy 4:6-8)
I'm sure that Paul found that in Christ, we have:
a love that can never be fathomed....
a life that can never die....
a peace that can never be understood....
a rest that can never be disturbed....
a joy that can never be diminished....
a hope that can never be disappointed....
a glory that can never be clouded....
a light that can never be darkened....
a spiritual resource that can never be exhausted.
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