Oct 11 — Philippians 2b

Philippians 2:12-30 — Lights in the World, Timothy and Epaphroditus

Thoughts about serving others

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One Reply to “Oct 11 — Philippians 2b”

  1. Sorry for the week of missing my daily joy of writing insights on God’s amazing word. It’s been a challenging 7 days that started with a drive across the country, closing on a house and now unpacking and building new friendships. I’m still quite sore from lifting boxes and unpacking, but it’s time to get back to the Bible in detail. It’s been sitting opened to this passage for a few days now, still on the card table. Before I begin, I just want to thank God for his traveling mercies as we drove 2500+ miles to get here. We stayed in three hotels (one just down the street). The first was in Grants, NM and the second was outside of Little Rock, Arkansas. It turns out the decision to push ourselves to drive nearly 1,000 miles on day 1 & 2 put us ahead of a storm that powered through Arkansas and Alabama with tornadoes and high winds, literally hours after we had driven through. We were only stopped by one traffic accident just outside of Atlanta. God’s provision for us was amazing. Thanks to the many friends who prayed for us as we traveled. Praise the Lord!

    Today’s passage begins just after Paul describes Christ’s most excellent example of being a servant to all (Philippians 2:6-8). He follows this up with his “therefore” statement: “Do everything without grumbling or arguing” (2:14). “Everything” sounds a bit over-the-top until you re-read 2:6-8 and consider what Jesus Christ was willing to do for us. “Without grumbling or arguing” should not be confused with complacency–we are called to be discerning and those who should lead with great integrity. We are however to do this without whining. I read a Facebook post the other day from a friend who was whining about being forced to wait at a doctor’s office beyond the appointment time. That post was followed up by many who poured fuel on the fire until many added their own examples of malcontent. It’s easy to grumble and argue, much more difficult to see beyond the moment, but this is what we’re called to do. In every case, if we could step back and see the bigger picture, I’m confident we would not grumble or complain. Lord, help me to slow down when I feel like grumbling; defuse my arguments before they begin. Help me to have your eyes when (not if) these times come.

    God moved us across the country from a thriving church where I had the joy of serving as a pastor, surrounded by loving people. We drove while listening to the music of Needtobreathe. One song that comes to mind includes the chorus:

    Give me an answer
    Give me a way out
    Give me the faith
    To believe in these hard times.
    — Needtobreathe – “These Hard Times”

    Here we are, sitting in a house that we fully believe God provided, but still praying for the faith to believe in these hard times. I pray my friends in Monterey will do the same. It will get harder as the prince of this world continues to work against our Christian strongholds. Lord, give me the strength to continue and help me to encourage others to create a Holy chorus on earth while we fight for your kingdom!

    The battle was certainly raging in Paul’s time, perhaps more visibly than we see in our days, but nonetheless, it was a deadly battle then. Epaphroditus, a member from the church in Philippi, was sent to Paul to help take care of”his needs” (2:25). The Philippians were concerned about Epaphroditus because, “he almost died for the work of Christ. He risked his life to make up for the help you yourselves could not give me” (2:30). More than just someone that tended to Paul’s needs, he was a “co-worker and fellow soldier” (2:25), one who was on the front-lines of the battles faced on the missionary fields of the day. Paul now returns him with a great endorsement for his actions and service. Lord please allow me to be of service like Timothy and Epaphroditus, men who worked selflessly, who are renowned for their “genuine concern for” others (2:20-22).

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