Philippians, Day 4.

Day 4.

Philippians 1: 18-30.

VV 19-21, 19 For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, 20 according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

Paul had confidence in the prayers of the Philippians Christians for him. He was not ashamed to be in chains for those trumped up charges. Christ will be gloitifed whether he lived or died. Philippians 1:21 is a great verse to commit to memory. If you live for Christ, your death will be a gain. If you live for is anything else but Christ, your death will be a total loss. When a Christian dies, he gains heaven and eternal life.

VV 22-26, 22 But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. 24 Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you. 25 And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith, 26 that your rejoicing for me may be more abundant in Jesus Christ by my coming to you again.

Paul found it hard to choose between life and death. If he lived, he lived for Christ, if he died, he will be with Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:8, “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord”. Rejoice and be confident in heaven because Christ second coming is imminent.

VV 27-30, 27 Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel, 28 and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that from God. 29 For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, 30 having the same conflict which you saw in me and now hear is in me.

Paul urged the Phillipians Christians to be of good conduct, united in spirit and thoughts, faithful to the gospel, and not be afraid of tribulations. Tribulations for Christ’ sake and for righteousness’ sake is unavoidable but the reward of salvation is certain.

Matthew 5:10-12. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you”.

John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world”.

Philippians Day 3

Day 3

Philippians 1: 8-18.

Philippians is one of the Pauline’s four prison epistles. The others three prison epistles are Ephesians, Collosians, and Philemon. Paul wrote these epistles when he was prison in Rome through trumped up charges. From AD 60, he was under a house arrest, chained to a Roman pretorian guard, 24/7, who rotate through shifts. Caesar Nero released Paul in AD 62, rearrested him in AD 66 and beheaded him in the Mamertine prison shortly after this. Paul wrote the prison epistles during his first imprisonment when he was under a house arrest.

VV 8-11, 8 For God is my witness, how greatly I long for you all with the affection of Jesus Christ. 9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, 10 that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, 11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

Paul called God to be his witness. The word “affection” in Greek is “splanchnizomai”, which means intestine. For the Jews in first-century Israel, intestine is the seat of emotion, not the heart. Paul missed the Philipiians Christians dearly and had compassion for them. He prayed for them to be rich in love, excellent in knowledge and discernment, kind, sincere and blameless in relationship, until the second coming of Christ. He prayed for them to be filled with the fruit of righteousness or fruit of the Spirit. The fruit of righteousness is the fruit of the Spirit.

Proverbs 11: 30, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise”.

Galations 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law”.

1 Peter 4:8, “And above all things have fervent love for one another, for love will cover a multitude of sins.”

VV 12-14, 12 But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, 13 so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; 14 and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.

Paul was a prison soul winner. The prison was his pulpit for evangelism. The Roman pretorian guards chained to him and his visitors was his congregations. When Paul preached the gospel to the Roman pretorian guards, many believed and were saved. They preached the gospel to Ceasar’s palace causing a Chritstian revival in Caeser’s household. He also preached the gospel to those who visited him in the prison. Other Romans Christians stepped up with boldness to preach the gospel. Paul called a prisoner of Christ and not Nero Caesar. Today, you can be a soul winner in the place that you worked. Your office is your pulpit. Your staffs and your clients are your congregations. You can share the gospel and minister to the people around you.

VV 15-18, 15 Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from goodwill: 16 The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains; 17 but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel. 18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice.

Some people preached the gospel with an envious and jealous heart out of a selfish motive. Some people preached the gospel with a sincere and pure heart, out of genuine love. Paul was not concerned and could rejoice as long the gospel was preached and Christ was glorified.

Philippians, Day 2

Day 2.

Philippians 1: 1-7.

VV 1-2, 1 Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

The first church in Europe is the Philippians church. The first Christian convert in Europe is Lydia. Paul addressed himself and Timothy as bondservants of Christ. Greek for bondservant is duolos, which means a slave. Paul addressed the Philippian Christians as saints, bishops, and deacons. Greek for saint is hagios, which means holy. Greek for bishop is episcopal, which means an overseer. Greek for deacons is diakonos, which means a minister. Paul pronounced grace and peace to them from God, the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. Greek for grace is charis, which means unmerited love of God Grace is getting what we do not deserve. GRACE is God Riches at Christ’ Expense. Greek for peace is eirene, which means inner well-being.

VV 3-7, 3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, 5 for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; 7 just as it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as both in my chains and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers with me of grace.

Paul thank God whenever he thought of the Philippians Christians. He was only in Philippi for several weeks and yet so many unforgettable events happened in this short period of stay and their bonding was very strong. Paul remembered them daily in prayer for joy, fellowship, and God’s enablement. They were in his heart even though he was under house arrest, chained to a Roman soldier on a 6 hourly shift, 24 hours a day, and 7 days a week.

The greatest gift that you can give to someone is to pray for that person every day, by name.

Philippians 1:6 is a good verse to memorize, “He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ”.

The day of Jesus Christ is the day of Jesus Christ’s second coming. You can believe and claim the promise of Philippians 1:6. When God started working in you, He will bring it to completion before the day of His second coming. Today, you may not even see the result of this promise, but slowly and surely God will make you into the person that will conform to His will. There will be times of waiting, testing, and preparation and this may take months, years, or even decades. Joseph waited 13 years, Paul waited 14 years, David waited for 22 years, and Moses waited 40 years before God could use them.

Paul rejoiced with the Philippians church for their partnership with him in preaching the gospel. Remember that Paul was in prison, in chains, under house arrest, awaiting trial under the brutal Roman emperor Caesar Nero. His future was very uncertain and not all optimistic, yet he rejoiced.

Philippians, Day 1

Day 1

Introduction to the Epistle of Philippians:

Philippi was a Roman colony in Greece, named after Alexander the Great’s father, Philip of Macedon. In AD 49, Paul started his 2nd missionary journey with Silas as his co=partner. In AD 51, Paul and Silas visited Philippi. Paul converted and saved Lydia, a businesswoman at a riverside on a Sabbath day. All hell broke loose when Paul exorcised a demonized slave girl, landing Paul and Silas into the local prison, Acts 16:16-24. While Paul and Silas were singing, praying, and praising God at midnight, a dramatic earthquake loosened the prisoners’ chains. The Philippian jailer wanted to commit suicide, but Paul told him not to take his life. Paul converted and saved the Philippian jailer and his family. The next day, when the magistrate realized that Paul was a Roman citizen, he apologized to Paul and released him, Acts 26: 25-40. The Philippian church kick-started with Lydia, the Philippian jailer, and his family,

Paul left Philippi and traveled to Thessalonica, Berea, Corinth, Ephesus, and many places before arriving at Jerusalem in AD 57.
In Jerusalem, the Jews mobbed him outside the temple, the Romans arrested him and sent him to Caesarea Philippi. In AD 59, the Romans sent Paul on board a prison ship en route to Rome, Acts 21-26. In AD 60, after surviving a shipwreck and a poisonous snakebite, Paul finally reached Rome as a prisoner under house arrest, Acts 28. On hearing the arrest of Paul, the Philippian church sent Epaphras to visit him with financial support. Paul wrote “Philippians” as a thank you letter. Epaphras took it back to the Philippian church. The theme of this epistle is “joy” and “rejoice”.

John, Day, 60.

Day 60.

John 21: 1-25, Epilogue.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, we come before you with soft hearts, clear minds, and teachable spirits, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

VV1-3, 1 Afterward, Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way: 2 Simon Peter, Thomas(also known as Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together.3 “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

Seven of the disciples assembled in Galilee for a fishing expedition led by Peter. They went back to fishing in the Sea of Galilee, or the Sea of Tiberius, named after Tiberius Caesar. They did not catch any fish throughout the night.

V4-7, 4 Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. 5 He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No,” they answered. 6 He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. 7 Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water.

Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore but they did not recognize Him. He asked them, whether they caught any fish and they said none. Jesus instructed them to cast the net onto the right side of the boat and when they did so, the net was full of fishes. When they cast the net with their own effort, they were not successful. When they cast the net in obedience to Jesus, they were very successful. John recognized Jesus and told Peter, “it is the Lord”.

V8-14, 8 The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. 9 When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread. 10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.

They counted the number of fishes and it was 153. Jesus made a fireplace and invited the disciples to eat breakfast with Him. Jesus asked the disciples for bring some of their fish. This was the third time the Risen Christ showed Himself to His disciples.

V 15-18, 15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” 16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” 17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.”

Because Peter had denied Jesus three times, Jesus confronted Peter three times. Jesus asked Peter, do you love (agape) me and Peter answered, I love (phileo) you. Jesus asked Peter again, do you love (agape) me and Peter replied I love (Phileo) you. Jesus again asked Peter, do you (phileo) me and Peter replied, I love (phileo) you. After each of the three confrontations, Jesus told Peter to feed His lamb, tend His sheep, and feed His sheep.

V 19-25, 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!” 20 Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) 21 When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?” 22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” 23 Because of this, the rumor spread among the believers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?” 24 This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true. 25 Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written. Amen.

“Stretching out of the hand” speaks of crucifixion. Jesus prophesied that Peter will die by crucifixion. Peter wanted to know what will happen to John but Jesus told him not to worry about John. The gospel of John ended with a high note, “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written”.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You that we have come to the end of John’s Gospel. Thank You for traveling with us onboard this exciting and wonderful journey of faith, in Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.