July 12 – Our Will, His Will, One Will


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, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” – Philippians 2:12-13 (ESV)

The question of our will – some refer to as “free will” but that is not exactly correct in the way most think free will is. We struggle to make our will and God’s will one and the same with each other. When our will agrees with God we find within our natural selves a disposition which leaves us incapable on our own to do what we know we ought to do (Romans 7:15-25). God saves us by His grace through the atonement of Jesus; He does the work in us so that it becomes our will to do for His good pleasure; but we have to work out that salvation in practical living. We have to work out with deliberation and attention what God works in; we are not to work for own salvation, but, allowing the proper result we work it out through life practice. With undaunted faith in the complete and perfect work of the Lord for our Salvation God’s will becomes our will. We must avoid bringing an opposing will to God’s will. God’s will brings our natural desires and choices in line with His will, and the life is as natural as breathing.

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July 12 – Our Will, His Will, One Will


“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, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” – Philippians 2:12-13 (ESV)

The question of our will – some refer to as “free will” but that is not exactly correct in the way most think free will is. We struggle to make our will and God’s will one and the same with each other. When our will agrees with God we find within our natural selves a disposition which leaves us incapable on our own to do what we know we ought to do (Romans 7:15-25). God saves us by His grace through the atonement of Jesus; He does the work in us so that it becomes our will to do for His good pleasure; but we have to work out that salvation in practical living. We have to work out with deliberation and attention what God works in; we are not to work for own salvation, but, allowing the proper result we work it out through life practice. With undaunted faith in the complete and perfect work of the Lord for our Salvation God’s will becomes our will. We must avoid bringing an opposing will to God’s will. God’s will brings our natural desires and choices in line with His will, and the life is as natural as breathing.

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July 3 – No Alarm, No Fear

“Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, 28 and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God.” – Philippians 1:27-28 (ESV)

Our verse brings a very important reminder to us when we read the Apostle Paul writing about having a life worthy of the gospel of Christ. If we call ourselves Christian we mean that we have believed that Jesus the Christ is our savior and that our lives have been changed. We are not the people we were before we believed the words in the Bible about Jesus. Believers are to have integrity, to live consistent with what they believe, teach, and preach. Paul introduces the theme of unity in this verse that continues for 27 verses. His call for genuine unity of heart and mind is based on the necessity of oneness to win the spiritual battle for the faith; and the love of others in the fellowship. If anyone knew something about suffering for Jesus, Paul did. He also knew that suffering for standing up for God was and should be expected. It is to be taken willingly without being alarmed or frightened. When believers willingly suffer without “fear,” it is confirmation of our salvation to the abusers and a sign that God’s enemies (who are our enemies also) will be destroyed and eternally lost.

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July 02 – Packed Prayers


“And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” – Philippians 1:9-11(NASB)

Paul wrote letters to the churches he helped start and in them he scribed some awesome promised packed prayers. This verse today is one and it is so full we can’t cover it all. But we focus in on the first requests in Paul’s prayer; ‘love may abound,’ ‘in real knowledge,’ and ‘all discernment. The word for ‘knowledge’ describes genuine, full or advanced knowledge. Our practical application of knowledge out of moral and spiritual perceptive is the exercise of discernment. This is our ability in love to distinguish between right and wrong. Paul prayed the Philippians’ love for other believers would abound still more and more and, run over as a cup or a river overflows. The Philippians were already known as a loving assembly of believers and the apostle prays that it would increase. The result would be advanced knowledge and spiritual sensitivity and discernment in their lives. Why does he pray this for the Philippians? So that they would be filled with the fruit of righteousness through Jesus Christ, to His glory and praise of God. Lest we forget, also that we would be able to stand blameless until the Day of Christ.

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July 01 – Confidence In What or Who?


“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 1:6 (NASB)

Confidence is good, especially when we have confidence in the outcome of a project we’re doing. When asked if we can take on a job and finish it correctly we say, “I’m confident I can.” But there are times when our confidence is not as strong as we need. In our verse Paul declares his confidence; not in himself, or in the Philippians, but in God. Paul is confident that what God starts in our lives, He will see that they will complete it. Some versions like the one we use here today (NASB) say that God who began a good work will ‘perfect it.’ The (ESV) promises that when God who began a good work in us will ‘bring it to completion.’ The (KJV) uses the promise ‘will perform.’ The word in the original Greek is used in only this verse and in Galatians 3:3. It has all these meanings; complete, accomplish, perfect. Our confidence is placed in Christ Jesus when we take on the tasks He gives us. What we have been called to do, God promises to be with us to accomplish it through us. He will supply all our needs to do so.

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April 15 – Really, We Can


“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13 (ESV)


For some this may be a very familiar verse. In fact many lean on this verse for help in many things. However, to understand the truth, we need to know that this verse has nothing to do with: winning at sports, career goals, being a title-holder, increased self-esteem. This verse has to do with endurance and contentment in all circumstances and outcomes. Whether in the midst of suffering or in the heat of life’s battles, Paul affirms that God is his source of strength to not despair but to be faithfully content. Having experienced both the lows and the highs in serving God’s will (v. 12), Paul knew the secret of facing any and all circumstances, enduring times of abundance and need. He can do this and face all things God allows to come his way. This is the promise Paul had and that we have also. What he is saying is “I have the ability to deal with any kind of material circumstance because of my spiritual strength.” This includes any kind of trial that brings suffering, any kind of want that stretches our faith. Abundance or need results in our contentment because of God’s Strength.

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February 25 – United in True Unity


“Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.” – Philippians 2:1-2 (NASB)

Our passage today from the letter to the Philippians, written by Paul the Apostle continues an appeal he made in chapter one. (Let’s remember that chapter divisions and verse markings were applied 1150 and 1500 years later.)

In Philippians 1:27, Paul wrote about living our Christian life in harmony with the message on which it is based. He followed that message with a call to show spiritual unity. This unity is possible because of the reality of the four qualities mentioned in 2:1. The “if” clauses speak of certainties, about realities, not questionable things. So in this passage “if” may be translated “since.” Paul appealed on the basis of any encouragement from being united in Christ; any comfort from His love; any fellowship with the Spirit; and any tenderness and compassion. We are exhorted furthermore to demonstrate unity in practical ways. This unity is ours in Christ. Our expression of spiritual unity results in complete joy for all. Matching the four realities are four specific ways in which our spiritual unity will be understood. We will find ourselves being like-minded, sharing and showing the same love; united together as one in spirit; and focused on one common purpose.

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November 7 – Anxiety: Don’t OD on Worry

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and pleading with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:6-7 (NASB)

This is a powerful passage and we have considered its promises before.. It’s is a good time to consider again the instruction that our God has given to us through the inspiration of His Spirit. We seem to be overdosing on anxiety these days. We find it expressed by nearly everyone.  Especially in the United States following the recent Presidential election. Results are up in the air and there is a pretty fierce battle going on. The end results will bring satisfaction to only about half of the American population.  The command is blatantly clear. Do not be anxious for any reason about anything at all. Instead, take the concerns you have to God in your prayers. And in your prayers, plead for what is good and Godly and be thankful God hears your prayers. Then what? Then, a peace that comes from God will stand guard over your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. Garding against the hate, bitterness, worry, and despair that may be filling your time. No, there is no explanation. This peace is beyond our understanding. But it is the Word of God and He promises this peace if we obey these instructions. 

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