Re:Verse passage – Philippians 2:12-18 (day seven)
“in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world” vs 15b
Darkness is the absence of light which results in the inability to see properly. Sight is only possible because of light. Without light we would be blindly trying to navigate using senses that were not intended for the sole purpose of navigation. Help me connect the dots: this crooked and perverse world is living in darkness. They are trying to navigate this world without light. They are looking for direction from things that are not intended to be used for sight.
How then do we shine in the darkness to help them see? This passage gave us clear instruction: work hard and don’t complain, hear and do what Scripture says, and look for joy in all circumstances. Be consistent in these things, and you will appear much different than the world around you! You will be a light!
Re:Verse passage – Philippians 2:5-11 (day seven)
” but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant” vs 7a
We are nearing the time of year when Hallmark Christmas movies will be on repeat as we prepare for a holiday season. I have learned the plot lines to these love stories well. A young successful woman is forced to move to the country side, falls in love with a local man, and finds herself enjoying this new way of life. They kiss, it snows, and we assume they live happily ever after!
These are the types of love stories that we expect in modern culture. When was the last time one of these movies was about a King who willing set aside His royal privileges to become a slave so that He could die? This is not the love story we expect. It is a story of sacrifice. It is a story of submission. It is a story of surrender. It is a counter cultural love. This is a true love story!
Re:Verse passage – Philippians 2:1-4 (day seven)
“regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”
The word “merely” changes the way this verse is understood. Without it we would say, “Don’t look out for your own interests. Others are way more important than you.” Why is it important that we establish that we are important too? If we do not love our self, we will not be able to love others.
There is tension here. One cannot have too high of a self-esteem but also cannot have too low of a self-esteem. Both extremes lead to the neglect of someone’s soul; other’s are neglected with high self-esteem and our own is neglected with low self-esteem. To bridge this tension, we must remember that we are children of the almighty God, created perfectly, and loved by Him. Therefore, we are worthy of being loved and are called to help others know this same type of love.
Re:Verse passage – Philippians 1:27-30 (day seven)
“in no way alarmed by your opponents…”
Have you spent much time around horses? This word here for “alarmed,” is the word also used to describe a spooked horse. Horses get spooked when something happens that they don’t understand. When really spooked they tend to jump sideways and change course from where they were going. A good rider refocuses the nervous energy of the horse onto keeping him moving around the object. In doing so, the horse has to pay more attention to the rider than what spooked him.
Spooks are going to happen, just like opponents to the gospel. When opposition arises, our job is not to worry about the opponent. This would cause us to jump off our course. When opposition arises, we are to refocus our energy and lean into the Master. He will take the reigns and guide us safely through.
Re:Verse passage – Philippians 1:20-26 (day seven)
Do you see the cause and effect in this statement? “to live is Christ and to die is gain.” If living is for Christ, then death is gain. Francis Chan and Tony Merida in their commentary on Philippians showed this cause and effect in through fill in the blanks. To live is ______ and to die is _______. Christ is the only thing that could fill that blank for death to result in gain. If living is for fame, then death is disgrace. If living is for wealth, then death is poor. If living is for power, then death is weak. We could keep going down the list, and anything we fill in that first blank that is not Christ, can never get us to gain.
Christ gives us meaning. Christ gives us purpose. Christ makes life joyful. Christ is gain!
How do you fill in the blank?
Re:Verse passage – Philippians 1:12-19 (day seven)
“Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice” vs 18
The thing that was most important to Paul is that the Christ is being proclaimed. Paul doesn’t care that he is imprisoned. He doesn’t care that others are trying to compete with him. He doesn’t care about the things that could hold him back, because nothing is holding God back. Christ is being proclaimed. That is worth rejoicing.
What does this teach us?
- Trust God. Even when the plans we made don’t work out, God has a plan. Lean into this plan and watch God work.
- Proclaim Christ. When our plans don’t work out, lean into God’s plan by making the Gospel known.
- Rejoice in the Lord. God’s plan is at work no matter what. Find joy in watching the Gospel progress.
Re:Verse passage – Philippians 1:1-11 (day seven)
“always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now.” vs 4-5
Joy was in every prayer that Paul prayed for this church. Why? Because they were faithful to the call of spreading the gospel. Paul recognized something that every minister knows so well: it is so rewarding to watch someone you have discipled begin to disciple others. This is the mission of the church and the call that Jesus has placed on every one us; to go and make disciples who go and make disciples. This participatory work brings joy and energy. This is not a one man show. It is not just the pastor’s job. Nor is it the work of only a few people. Everyone is called to make disciples. This is why Pastor Chris has called our church to Repent, Witness, and Disciple.
If you want to feel this same type of joy that Paul has been given by serving with the Phillipians, answer these questions Pastor Danny often asks in Logos: Who are you doing life with? Where are you serving?
Re:Verse passage – Galatians 5:22-25 (day seven)
When people notice the deficiencies in their fruit, they attempt to add more things into their life to try to bring the fruit out. This becomes difficult because fruit is not a direct product of works. However, Paul cleverly shows us how we can produce more fruit. Both the works of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit are sandwiched between two very important commands.
Verse 16 “walk by the Spirit”
Verse 25 “keep in step with the Spirit”
If you want to produce more fruit, you follow the Spirit. The more we follow the Spirit, the more we will be transformed into His likeness. As we become more like Him, our fruit will naturally become more prevalent. It doesn’t take more works to become more like Him. Scale back, listen, wait, watch, and follow. It’s just baby steps: put one foot after the other and follow the leading of the Spirit. Baby steps in the footprint of the Spirit will cause leaps in our production of His fruit.
Re:Verse passage – 1 Thessalonians 1:2-6 (day seven)
“We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers;” vs 2
Through this series on the Holy Spirit, we have covered what it looks like to be filled with the Spirit. We see joy, hope, love, conviction, and power through the Spirit, but one of the biggest signs of a Spirit filled life is an overflow of thankfulness.
Gratitude is the “gateway” spiritual discipline. When we begin to implement gratitude more often into our prayer life, we become much more aware of our soul’s neediness. When we are filled with the Spirit, we are keenly aware that we are not deserving of the love and grace that we have been given by God. Gratitude leads to humility. Then Proverbs tells us that humility leads to wisdom (Proverbs 11:2). Here’s the correlation: Thankfulness leads to humility, humility shows us our need to be filled by the Spirit, the Spirit grants us wisdom and discernment. The next time you are in need of wisdom from the Lord, begin with thankfulness and watch as God meets your needs.
Re:Verse passage – Ephesians 5:18-19 (day seven)
And do not get drunk with wine – Ephesians 5:18a
It all begins with a taste. One taste, one drink, one more… dissipation and drunkenness. Could it be that restoration begins with a taste?
O taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! – Psalm 34:8
[…] like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord. – 1 Peter 2:2-3
When we taste the goodness and kindness of the Lord, two things happen. One, we clearly see that we will never be able to replicate the same type of goodness. We see our brokenness. Two, we long for more. When we taste that goodness, our brokenness begins to be put back together, and we realize it is through more of that taste that we will be restored. Taste and see!