Jonah FOUR: part one

But…he uses the words God gives him. And the people repent. Israel had seen Elijah order a drought and then watched as God lit a fire on Mount Carmel. They had witnessed the great miracles of Elisha. And yet they refused to listen. We do not know what happened to Jonah. But Amos and Hosea followed him. And still the people would not listen. But Nineveh did listen. And God postponed their destruction. Continue reading

Philippians FOUR: 18-23

You will notice that I have included vs. 18-20 in this final lesson, even though they were included in the previous one. Well, they are sort of a transition into the closing doxology and greetings. But more than that, The Asbury Commentary suggests that some ‘ancient texts’ read this as “May God supply…” Which, if that’s the case, really does move these two verses into the closing remarks. Continue reading

Philippians FOUR: 10-20

Fourth, we really need to learn to be content. God gave us the Tenth Commandment because He understood our discontent. ‘The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence’ sums it up very nicely. Continue reading

Philippians FOUR: 4-9

We have reached the pinnacle of “Mount Philippians”. Three of these four verses are quoted frequently – very frequently –by many Christians…We pull these verses out of context, using them in ways that, to me, make them sound like platitudes. Continue reading

Philippians FOUR: 1-3

We have a proverb in our church: “It’s not about you; It’s not about me; It’s about the Kingdom.” …However, there are actually three possibilities: 1. The two ladies were in an argument with each other. 2. The two ladies were offended together over some non-theological argument. 3. The two ladies had begun to promote a theology that differed from that of St. Paul. Continue reading

Philippians THREE: 17-21

So, instead of being intimidated by this vision of Christ in total obedience to God such that every knee will bow, imitate a man who is a sinner, but is striving to keep his focus on the “finish line”. Imitate a man who is not “perfect” but is seeking to be a “mature” Christian. Continue reading

Philippians THREE: 12-17

Consider how an athlete runs his race. He watches his opponents and does his best to avoid letting them trip him. For, if he sees you passing him, your opponent may try to trip you. Sin is like that. It sees you ‘running past’ and does its best to trip you. That’s part of the race. Not every one is honorable. You must be on the lookout. Nor should you ‘look back’. Paul tells us that he is “stretching forward”. Continue reading

Philippians THREE:4-11

In this passage St. Paul opens up to us with his Jewish claim. No one, he says, can claim a greater heritage, a greater right to boast of his Jewishness, than he. Notice vs. 5. “Hebrew of Hebrews” according to one commentator, means that he has no Gentile ancestors. Not even Jesus can claim that! Rahab, Ruth and Bathsheba were not Israelite women. If that is what Paul is actually claiming, then he has more claim than David. Continue reading

Philippians THREE :1-3

When I first looked at vs. 1-3 my thinking was about legalism. I’ve pondered this and I still think that’s the issue. In Paul’s day it centered on the Circumcision Party…God was setting His People, the Hebrews, the Israelites, apart from the rest of the world. He wanted them to understand that they were different. They belonged to Him. Circumcision marked them as His. Continue reading

Philippians TWO: 25-30

These verses are, I think, self-explanatory. Most of the information I found either restates the obvious or gets into some interesting speculation. If you are ready for a break and would like to do things differently, then this lesson will be refreshing… I provided these links just in case there was something here that might interest you. Continue reading

Philippians TWO: 12-18 The Light In The World

“Lord Jesus, we are humbled by the thought that you made us out of the same stuff that stars are made. So, may we shine with your Light, illuminating truth wherever we go.” … tells us that the word means “a cause of light, a star” and indicates that the word appears… Continue reading

Philippians TWO:12-18–Working Out Salvation

Think of how that astronomer will react to a sunrise. For him it can only be the horizon moving down, the Earth turning and carrying him ever so slightly toward the Sun… Would it not fill him with ‘fear and trembling’ to watch and see the Truth being worked out? Continue reading

Philippians TWO: 5-11

This is not, they say, “universal salvation” but it is instead, “universal recognition”. I think they are close, if not correct. For I truly think that everyone really does know. As Bill Cosby once joked about earthquakes in California: when the ground shakes everyone looks up.But all this misses what I think is St. Paul’s point. His subject is humility and obedience to God. Continue reading

Philippians TWO:1-5

Apparently, Corinth was not the only church with a bickering, divided congregation. And that bothers me. I had been told all my life that Philippians was the letter of rejoicing. I’ve read through the New Testament a number of times and, because I had been told in advance what this letter was supposedly about, I thought I had read and understood it.  Continue reading

Philippians ONE: 27-30

Just because we know what chapter 2:10 says, just because we know we are saved, we must be careful in how we structure our defiance. While we must “stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel” (1:27 NIV) we need to remember to be humble and gracious. For our goal is not that our attackers should reap the reward of Hell, but that they would repent and be saved. We must always remember that we serve our Heavenly Father who created them also. Continue reading

Philippians ONE: 19-26

Many of us have heard this verse, “21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Tons of sermons have been preached about it. Once again, we have to consider it in context. And the context, as I read it, is Paul’s concern for the Philippians. Verse 21 does not stand alone. I don’t find much in the commentaries to confirm my reading of this. Here’s my idea, let me know what you think: Continue reading

Philippians ONE: 12-18

Because we have read Scripture and listened to sermons about Paul’s various imprisonments many of us have some idea about how St. Paul felt about being a “prisoner for Christ” and his opinion that by being in prison, he was quite effective in spreading the Gospel. However, until I became involved in prison ministry, I was completely unaware of how the prison system, through various ministries, spreads the Gospel. Continue reading

Philippians ONE: 8-11

These four verses really spoke to me. As I read them I felt the love Paul and Timothy had for their friends in Philippi. Paul has mentioned that he is in prison. We know, from Acts 16, of Paul’s imprisonment and the subsequent miracle concerning his incarceration when he was in Philippi. In this letter he is again imprisoned. He knows what’s going on in Philippi and he tells his friends that they share his chains. Now he prays for them. Continue reading