Thoughts on Philippians 4

Noticed a huge difference in Paul’s “tone” between The ESV version and The Message version. The Message gives Paul’s words more emotion – less stoic strict teacher, more heart passion mentor. It’s good to refer to different versions from time to time.

I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. (Philippians 4:2 ESV)

Disagreements between believers, even leaders, have existed even in the early church. We don’t know what they disagreed about, but it’s something small enough that Paul didn’t blast them like he did for those who caused disagreements about salvation by grace and faith in Jesus. In that sense it was minor, but it was important enough, and a church-wide issue, for him to include them specifically in his letter (as guided by the Holy Spirit, so God is concerned about this – these kinds of issues as well). We must help them, because these kinds of disagreements hurt the church. The key phrase being – “in the Lord “.

Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; (Philippians 4:5 ESV)

Reasonable. Could be “able to reason”, or “able to be reasoned with”. Not unreasonable. NIV and NIV uses gentleness. MSG gives the image of a person who works well with people. In context of verse 2, it gives a clearer picture.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8 ESV)

I should memorize this..

Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content…I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:11, 13 ESV)

The secret to being content, is God’s strength!

There’s still more to this chapter.. definitely for another time ^^

Thoughts on Isaiah 44

Today’s post is shorter, but a great message was given today.

For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. They shall spring up among the grass like willows by flowing streams. This one will say, ‘I am the Lord ’s,’ another will call on the name of Jacob, and another will write on his hand, ‘The Lord ’s,’ and name himself by the name of Israel.” (Isaiah 44:3-5 ESV)

This passage is relevant today because of an ongoing conversation with some close friends. By offspring and descendants we know that God is not merely talking about physical descendants, but spiritual descendants. We should remain faithful and abide in Him, and He will cause our efforts to bear fruit – not only in ourselves but in the expansion of His Kingdom.

No one considers, nor is there knowledge or discernment to say, “Half of it I burned in the fire; I also baked bread on its coals; I roasted meat and have eaten. And shall I make the rest of it an abomination? Shall I fall down before a block of wood?” (Isaiah 44:19 ESV)

The folly of mankind, serving things that were meant to serve us.

Thoughts on Numbers 8

Themes and concepts (theology?) present in these verses:
• Purification – “Take the Levites from among the people of Israel and cleanse them. (Numbers 8:6 ESV)
• Consecration – When you bring the Levites before the Lord, the people of Israel shall lay their hands on the Levites, and Aaron shall offer the Levites before the Lord as a wave offering from the people of Israel, that they may do the service of the Lord. (Numbers 8:10, 11 ESV)
• Sanctification – “Thus you shall separate the Levites from among the people of Israel, and the Levites shall be mine. (Numbers 8:14 ESV)
• Replacement – For all the firstborn among the people of Israel are mine, both of man and of beast. On the day that I struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt I consecrated them for myself, and I have taken the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the people of Israel. (Numbers 8:17, 18 ESV)
• Mediation – And I have given the Levites as a gift to Aaron and his sons from among the people of Israel, to do the service for the people of Israel at the tent of meeting and to make atonement for the people of Israel, that there may be no plague among the people of Israel when the people of Israel come near the sanctuary.” (Numbers 8:19 ESV)
• Obedience – Thus did Moses and Aaron and all the congregation of the people of Israel to the Levites. According to all that the Lord commanded Moses concerning the Levites, the people of Israel did to them. (Numbers 8:20 ESV)

Sudden Clarity:
The firstborn of the earth belong to God, because the earth received from God the firstborn of Heaven.

Effective working age for Levites is 25 to 50. Might be important.

Thoughts on Psalm 127

Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep. (Psalm 127:1, 2 ESV)

A timely reminder, as things get busy again. As plans and actions are being discussed for the next “phase” in our family’s adventure together. As the fiscal year is up and running.

This would be a great memory verse. I’ll do that.

You were clarifying something with God on the way to the station right? Well then, this part, I’ll just put this here. You know what it is.

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate. (Psalm 127:3-5 ESV)

Thoughts on Philippians 3

But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— (Philippians 3:7-9 ESV)

By gain, Paul is referring to the gains in the pursuit of righteousness according to the law. From reading the Old Testament we know that there are a myriad of rules and commands. If salvation is by keeping of the law, then Paul would have had the most to brag about. He would be in the forefront, but still not far from complete. So these gains are really nothing, once compared to the great gift of salvation through Jesus. Through Jesus, the immense burden of keeping the whole law is lifted, and not only that, there is great joy in becoming recipients of God’s grace and love.

So after believing and being secured in God’s family through Jesus, do we stop our pursuit? No. In fact, we should “strain forward” and “press on” towards “the upward call of God”. With a new perspective, as those redeemed, and accepted, and given the grace to become heirs to The King. There should be effort involved, the Christian life is likened to a race and not a walk in the park.

Keep your eyes on Jesus, keep moving forward.