Resources on Philippians
The best argument for Christianity is a faithful follower of Christ.
By | January 26, 2017
In every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.
Do you remember those old Gatorade commercials that ask, “Is it in you?” That’s a great question for us to ask ourselves when it comes to our character and our faith…is it in us?
The reason Christ-like character needs to be in us is that what is inside us will come out when we are under pressure or facing opposition. It’s at times like these when others see who we really are.
If we are going to lead someone else to Christ, or be a positive example, we have to be people of integrity and credibility. Nobody wants to follow someone they don’t trust or who is not completely believable. Your message must be livable if it is to be believable.
It’s important to remember that we are either bringing credit or discredit to the holy name of Christ by the things we do and say each day. If the people around you know that you are a Christian, then what you do and say is a representation to them of Jesus.
That’s challenging to think about, but if Christ is in you, you have everything you need to be a positive example. After all, the best argument for Christ is a faithful follower of Him!
There’s really nothing mysterious about being a good example of the Christian faith. Just let your walk match your talk. Make your personal witness for Christ believable and trustworthy, so others will be willing to follow the example you set....
the ultimate win-win situation
By | January 8, 2017
I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.
I love a win-win situation! There’s nothing better than being in a situation where you come out on top no matter what you do. This is exactly what Paul describes in today’s verse.
Paul knew that the churches he had established needed him, and that staying on earth would mean more fruitful ministry. But he also had an overwhelming desire to be with Christ.
This is the ultimate win-win situation for Christians. If we live, we have another day to serve and please Christ. And even if we die, we will be with Him in paradise for eternity!
So how should we respond to this? The way Paul did. He wanted to go to heaven, but he also wanted to take as many people as possible with him. So Paul decided he would make every day he had count for Christ, serving Him and bringing Him glory…and let God decide when it was time for him to go home to be with Him for eternity.
My friend, if you’re a Christian you have the best of both worlds! You have a sure future and eternity in the presence of God, and you have another day to serve Him until then.
I challenge you today to make the most of each day God gives you to bring Him glory…and bring others to Christ.
Praise God for giving you the ultimate win-win situation—a life that counts for him today...
Regardless of the trial, you can live in hopeful anticipation
By Jack Graham | November 17, 2016
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
Sometimes problems are like a big truck you’re following on the highway. It’s so big that you can’t see around it…and you’re not sure you can get around it because you don’t know what’s ahead of you.
A problem can sometimes seem so big and overwhelming that you simply don’t know if you’re ever going to get around it.
The good news is that even though you can’t always see on the other side of a problem, there’s something good there—the anticipation that comes from knowing that when you wrestle through a problem, God is there on the other side with the promise of a brighter and hopeful future.
As a follower of Christ, you have the promise of God that He will finish what He started in you and not leave you stranded in the middle of a problem. And let me remind you that God permits trials in your life to strengthen your faith…and that should give you the anticipation of knowing that He is doing something wonderful through you and for you, even when the testing is hard.
So if you’re going through a hard trial today, don’t let go of the hopeful anticipation of what Christ is doing in your life.
REGARDLESS OF THE TRIAL, YOU CAN LIVE IN HOPEFUL ANTICIPATION BECAUSE OF GOD’S PROMISE TO FINISH WHAT HE STARTED IN YOUR LIFE.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. 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.
God is peace. That is an old and simple statement that never loses its truth or power.
Peace is a soothing word that makes me think of the ability to remain calm even in the middle of a storm.
In fact, you may have seen the famous picture of a storm raging on the sea with the winds blowing and the waves crashing on a big rock that stands alone in the middle of the ocean. And when you look closer, you see a little bird nestled safely in that rock.
Now that’s a picture of true peace! The kind of peace Paul writes about in today’s verse.
This kind of peace is not an absence of problems or storms, but it is God’s preserving presence in the midst of the storm! That’s why Paul said this peace passes all human understanding.
I don’t believe you can fully describe God’s peace. You can sense it, you can own it, but it’s almost impossible to articulate it. But it is that God gives us just when we need it most. Just when you need a verse, He brings it to mind. Just when you need a friend; He brings...
Success in the Christian life isn’t a point, it’s a process.
By | June 30, 2016
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Over the last few days we have been talking about a life of significance…and how it is marked by a direction and a dynamic. But that kind of life is also marked by a dedication.
What I mean by this is that success in the Christian life isn’t a point…it’s a process. Just think about Joseph for a moment. No matter what he endured, we never find him harping or complaining or saying he’s having a lousy day.
But rather, he was faithful to God as he disciplined himself in body, mind, and soul to fulfill God’s call for his life. There wasn’t any bitterness in him, even though his brothers betrayed him and his friends forgot him. God was with him and he knew it. And throughout his journey of life, Joseph fulfilled James 4:10: “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.”
Like Joseph, we are on a life journey. And this journey you and I have with Christ is a process through which He is growing us day by day. None of us ever get to the point in our lives where we can say, “Okay, I’ve got it now, I have it all together, I have it made, all the accomplishments are done, I’ve achieved...
Godly success comes through the tests of prosperity.
By | June 28, 2016
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.
God is committed to your success as a Christian. And one of the ways He prepares you for godly success is…believe it or not…through tests of prosperity.
Now, usually you hear preachers talk a lot about tests of adversity…which we’ve spent a lot of time over the past several days. But I’d argue that perhaps the most difficult test in life is not the test of adversity but rather the test of prosperity.
Most of us are able to handle adversity in Christ. But many of us have more difficulty in handling our prosperity when we have been so blessed in Christ.
Paul was able to handle both adversity and prosperity…as we note in today’s passage. But what about you? How do you respond when God blesses you? Do you find yourself depending less of God when times are good? Do you ever find yourself spending less time in God’s Word and in prayer when your needs aren’t so pressing?
As you grow in your relationship with Christ, it’s my hope that you’ll fall so much in love with Jesus that your desire to spend time with Him won’t hinge on how stressed out you are. That you will learn as Paul did, to be content in both adversity and prosperity.
Godly success comes through the tests of prosperity.
I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ.
Problems, pressures, and pain really can produce possibilities and opportunities in our lives. While we often can’t see it at the time, God is always creatively and constructively at work in the life of the believer.
For example, Paul wrote two-thirds of the New Testament in a jail cell! Paul was a proactive missionary…one who traveled throughout the ancient world proclaiming the Good News. Yet God allowed him to go to prison.
And there in prison, the great apostle, the great missionary heard from God and recorded these great passages of Scripture that describe the Christian life and the Christian faith. It was because of his prison experience that Paul said, “What has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel.” Paul was able to see the big picture beyond the pain of his circumstances. He was able to look and see the possibilities of the future.
God’s light shines so brightly in the darkness! And I dare say, if you surveyed your circle of friends, most of them would say the most defining moments in their lives would be times of adversity, times of trouble, and tests of character.
Because it’s during these times that you experience the presence of God and the reality of His love!
Today, I challenge you to start thinking about your troubles in a new light. Instead of seeing them as negatives, thank God that He’s working in your life!
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.
Philippians 4:8 (ESV)
Chuck Klosterman, pop culture expert and author says this about media and entertainment: “Pundits are always blaming TV for making people stupid, movies for desensitizing the world to violence, and rock music for making kids take drugs and kill themselves. These things should be the least of our worries. The main problem with mass media is that it makes it impossible to fall in love with any acumen of normalcy. There is no 'normal,’ because everybody is being twisted by the same sources simultaneously.”
It’s a tragedy in today’s world that there’s no sense of this “normal.” Hollywood and Big Media celebrate the degradation of our society; they lift up and publicize the abnormal and sinful. They celebrate the most morally compromised and confused among us. The enemy has risen up and negatively influenced each and every aspect of America, especially Hollywood and those whom we have trusted to report facts, arguably the most influential aspect of today’s culture.
If we were to truly pray and then act upon Philippians 4:8, there would be no more twisting and perverting the news and entertainment that gets broadcast and shown all over the country. We need to pray for those in these industries. We need to pray they will focus their efforts on things that are true, things that honor God and his creation, things that are just and fair, things that are pure, things that are lovely and commendable, things that are excellent, and things that are...