Don’t Trust in the Gifts (Philippians 4:14-23)

Do you believe in God’s principle of replenishment, or do you worry about having enough resources to be content? In our fallenness, we have a tendency to trust in only what we can see. Paul called the Church at Philippi to trust in the Giver, not the gifts (Philippians 4:14-23). Charlatan philosophers of Paul’s day […]

Contentment (Philippians 4:10-13)

What is the secret to contentment? Two thousand years ago, stoic philosophers referred to contentment as “self-sufficiency,” or “to be independent of external circumstances.” Contentment literally means “to be held together.” Inside each of us is a desire to hold it all together. Paul closed his letter to the church at Philippi describing the secret […]

Christ-Like Qualities (Philippians 4:8-9)

Have you noticed that we practice what we ponder? The focus of our minds affects our behavior. When we dwell on Christ, our lives are filled with peace. When we don’t, we experience chaos. Paul summarized a list of Christ-like qualities to ponder and put into practice. “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, […]

Peace within Ourselves (Philippians 4:6-7)

Do you ever worry so much that your heart hurts? For worriers, Paul first prescribed peace with God. Second, he prescribed peace with others. Third, he prescribed peace within ourselves. The Apostle wrote that we should not worry about anything. Rather, we should pray about everything so that Christ would align our hearts with His, […]

Peace with Others (Philippians 4:5)

When you worry, are you harsh with those around you? For worriers, Paul first prescribed peace with God. Second, he prescribed peace with others. The Apostle instructed: “Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near” (Philippians 4:5). God’s proximity to us is as close as the air that is in and around […]

Peace with God (Philippians 4:4)

When we worry, we have a divided inner being, one foot in with God and one foot out, trusting in ourselves. Worry is the problem; prayer is the solution; and three-dimensional peace is the result. First, Paul prescribed peace with God, and he communicated how: “Rejoice in the Lord always” (Philippians 4:4). Notice that he […]

Joy in Giving (Philippians 4:1-23)

Have you ever worried? Are you worrying right now? When we worry, we misalign our hearts (mind, will, emotions, and spirit). It often looks like this: our minds are focused on the future, afraid that we cannot control it; our wills reside in the present, frustrated that our expectations are not met; our emotions are […]

Serve Like Christ (Philippians 3:17-21)

What is your motive when you serve? Do your sacrificial efforts result in joy? Paul invited the church at Philippi to join with others in community to humbly serve like Christ: “Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you” (Philippians 3:17). […]

Humbly Turn Toward the Goal of Love (Philippians 3:12-16)

What words would those closest to you use to describe how you apply your faith to most relationships? Do you act with a perspective of religion or one of grace? Do you emphasize rules or relationship? Do you condemn or accept a fellow believer exercising a liberty you resist? Are you critical of someone committing […]

Legalistic Accomplishments Become Embarrassments (Philippians 3:7-11)

Have you ever found yourself judgmentally approaching someone caught in their sin? Typically, we carelessly approach a misguided family member we think should know better. We self-righteously share a verse from our favorite translation of the Bible, emphasizing what “true righteousness” should look like, giving little or no thought that our relative feels condemned. This […]

Beware of Legalistic Accomplishments (Philippians 3:1-6)

Do you ever find yourself following the letter of the law, but missing the spirit of the law, placing rules over relationships? Consistently placing man-made precepts over people is legalism, and Paul warned the Church at Philippi to beware of legalistic accomplishments. “Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me […]

Joy in Believing (Philippians 3:1-21)

Have you ever believed something to be true when it wasn’t? When my oldest daughter was in sixth grade, she played in her first organized school basketball game with her dad as the coach. All ten girls traveled around the court like an amoeba with a player occasionally emerging from the crowd with the ball. […]

Connect with the Light (Philippians 2:12-13)

When God prompts you through His Spirit, how quickly do you respond? Paul invited the church at Philippi to connect with the light of Christ, who provided the energy to obey through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit: “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed — not only in my presence, but now […]

Chains of Suffering: Link Our Perspective with Christ (Philippians 1:18b-26)

What do you see when you look at the chains that are holding you back from joy? Usually, we focus on our personal discomfort that often stems from advancing our own agendas. Paul offered something different. He taught that we could experience joy amidst suffering by first linking our passion with Christ (Philippians 1:12-18a). This […]

Chains of Suffering: Link Our Passion with Christ (Philippians 1:12-18a)

What chains are holding you back from joy? Typically, the answer to this question is one that deals with our personal discomfort rather than Paul’s chains referenced in Philippians. Paul was imprisoned for advancing the kingdom of Christ. Our chains are often a result of advancing our own kingdoms. Paul’s paradigm shift links our circumstances […]

Joy in Suffering: Joy Grows in Ministry (Philippians 1:3-8)

Are you suffering in a particular area of your life and attempting to go through it alone? Paul wrote about how to experience joy amidst suffering. His teachings hold true for us today, revealing, first, that joy begins with humility (Philippians 1:1-2). Second, Paul tells us that joy grows in community. “I thank my God […]