September 19, Reading 3 – Philippians 4:2-23

Reading

Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

Finally, Paul deals with Eudoia and Syntyche directly. He doesn’t berate, but pleads. He also asks a third person to help these two prominent women. What does Paul want? What is one point of comfort or strength you find in this passage?

SJA Notes

In 1 Peter 5, Peter encourages us in the continual action of casting our anxieties on the Lord – BECAUSE He cares for us.

Here Paul layers over that,

“… Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

How do we cast our cares and worries, our concerns, the anxious thoughts of our heart – How do we cast them on our Lord?

With prayer!

And notice the attitude of prayer, “with thanksgiving”.

A wonderful antidote that God gives us when we come to Him with our cares is thankfulness.

Let’s be encouraged to work hard to be thankful in our prayers as we wrestle with our cares.

* Father God,

Thank You for Jesus, through whom You saved us from hell.

Thank You for loving us, caring for us. Thank You that You do take our cares as we cast them on You.

Thank You that as we come to You in prayer, with thanksgiving, we have the promise of Your peace that passes all understanding.

Please continue to work Your peace in us, sometimes lots and sometimes little.

Amen.

September 18, Reading 3 – Philippians 3:1-4:1

Reading

Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

Where do you place your self-esteem – on who you are in Christ or in what you are in the church, in the club, at work, in society? Consider Paul’s great desire for himself in verses 10,11. He wants to live the resurrection quality of life NOW!

SJA Notes

Look at the marks of what putting confidence in the flesh means.

Things that man measures as important.

Things that are earthly and temporary, the outward appearance.

But what of confidence in the Holy Spirit?

What do we give up and count as rubbish the things of the flesh?

To gain Christ!

To be found in Him!

That His righteousness is as our own, this wonderful gift of faith, so that we would KNOW JESUS!

This is what the world can never offer. No world view or ideology can compare. Because in Jesus we have the power of His resurrection.

And so let’s be encouraged (and exhorted) to press on toward that wonderful hope, the goal set before us, the crown of eternal life.

* Father God,

Thank You for Jesus!

We praise You, for You have given us an inheritance that will never rust or pass away, a citizenship in heaven.

Oh Lord God, we long for that day when we are bound up with You, You dwelling with us Your people, the heavens and the earth remade.

Please help us each day Lord God, write Your word upon our hearts, plant it deep within us and grow it that we would bear much fruit.

Amen.

September 17, Reading 3 – Philippians 2:12-30

Reading

Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

Complaint and argument come naturally to us. These are some of the things we must put off! What do people hear from you: how great your God is, or how terrible your church is or fellow believers are?

SJA Notes

We shouldn’t need to be reminded to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.

But we do.

And how blessed we are that we have Paul’s words here, GOD’S WORD TO US, that reminds us.

Our salvation – WORK IT OUT.

How?

With fear and trembling!

Wrestle with God’s will, work it over in our minds and hearts like a puzzle, like a juicy plum seed, like an all-day lolly.

Keep rolling through it, keep being brought back to the realities of God’s word, keep pressing on through and grab hold of the hope God has given to us, even while we are frustrated with our lot.

This is the calling of every disciple of Jesus, every child of God. To take time each day in His Word that tells us of His salvation plan, that wonderful and full providential writing of our names in the book of life before the world began.

Work it out!

* Gracious Father,

Please O Lord God, please help us to understand what it means to work out our salvation, and our faith, with fear and trembling.

And please help us to grow, so that what might have been our understanding then is built on and deepened and strengthened each day, so that our NOW is even more than the THEN.

Please Lord, increase our faith.

Amen.