He Is Faithful

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6 New American Standard Bible).

Philippians 1:1-11 – New American Standard Bible
Philippians 1:1-11 – Amplified Bible
Philippians 1:1-11 – In your Bible

Paul sends greetings to the believers in Galatia, Ephesus and Philippi through his epistles and affirms he prays daily for them. In this book he adds he’s overjoyed to pray for the Philippians. From the first day they received the message, they were in good fellowship and growing stronger in the Lord. *

Commitment

When a person receives Jesus, God begins the continuing work of nurturing the seed planted in them. The Father is committed to each believer who in return must stay committed to God.

Keith Green a Christian songwriter wrote this about Philippians 1:6

He who began a good work in you
He who began a good work in you
Will be faithful to complete it
He’ll be faithful to complete it

He who started the work will be faithful to complete it in you.
If the struggle you’re facing is slowly replacing your hope with despair
Or the process is long and you’re losing your song in the night

You can be sure that the Lord has his hand on you
Safe and secure he will never abandon you
You are his treasure and he finds pleasure in you

He who began a good work in you
He who began a good work in yiou

Will be faithful to complete it
He’ll be faithful to complete it

He who started the work will be faithful to complete it in you

He who began a good work in you
He who began a good work in you

Will be faithful to complete it
He’ll  be faithful to complete it

He who started the work
Will be faithful to complete it in you

Abounding in His Love

Paul desires all believers to grow to maturity in the Lord. The Amplified Bible shows his strong feelings for the Philippians, a shining light and powerful example of what is available in Christ Jesus.

His prayer for them is. . . that your [their] love may abound yet more and more and extend to its fullest development in knowledge and all keen insight [that your love may] display itself in greater depth of acquaintance and more comprehensive discernment (Philippians 1:9 Amplified Bible).

Through Jesus Christ the believer will be filled with the fruit of righteousness. A wonderful and amazing thing. One commentator says not to fear being emptied by bringing forth fruits of righteousness – giving and giving – because God will refill you. *

Prayer: Father, such a commitment you make for us. How can we not give all we have to you?

Questions: Because you know God is faithful, how can you apply God’s commitment in your life? Philippians 1:6 has been a worship song for years now. Do the words of encouragement in this song help you with something specific today? 

* Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible, Matthew Henry, Regency Reference Library, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1960, p. 1860, 1861.

Philippians

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An Overview of the Epistle by Paul to the Philippians.

Today begins our devotional of Philippians. This book written by Paul to the first church he founded in Europe. It is the sweetest and most personal of all his letters. With no scolding of the churches or believers, it could be called more of a love letter. *

The word “joy” or “rejoice” occurs sixteen times. Paul mentions the Savior’s name forty times in this short book. Some of the most wonderful things concerning Christ and the Christian life are here. Christ must be your joy, trust and aim in life.

It’s hard to believe Paul writes this in prison, while chained to a Roman soldier. But he knows his chains are helping him to spread the gospel.

Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer. I find myself praying for you with a glad heart. I am so pleased that you have continued on in this with us, believing and proclaiming God’s Message, from the day you heard it right up to the present. There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears (Philippians 1:3-6 The Message).

Jump in and find the joy resounding in this epistle.

Prayer: Father, thank you for this love letter we have in Paul’s epistle to the Philippians – let your joy resound. Selah.

* What The Bible Is All About, Henrietta Mears, Regal Books a division of G/L Publications, Glendale, California, 1974, p. 507,508.

Spiritual Warfare – 2

Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them (Ephesians 6:3,4 The Message).

Ephesians 6:3-18 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Ephesians 6:3-18 The Message
Ephesians 6:3-18 New Century Bible
Ephesians 6:3-18 In your Bible

Paul vividly shows the power that believers have in Christ. Much of this description of armor is quoted from the writings of Isaiah.

Armor of God

Paul’s words strengthen our understanding of what God provides believers for this battle. Here is Ephesians 6:14-18 in NASB with the words in all caps taken directly from Isaiah:

Ephesians 14Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH (Isa 11:5), AND HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS (Isa 11:5 and Isa 59:17)

Ephesians 15and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE (Isa 52:7);

Ephesians 16in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one,

Note: The shield of faith is not little. No it’s a very large shield, near full body (shoulders to below the knee).

Armor on a soldier

Armor on a soldier

It wraps around the believer to give excellent coverage and protection from the darts or arrows from the evil one. **

Ephesians 17and take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Isa 59:17).

Ephesians 18With all prayer and petitions, pray at all times in the Spirit. . .

Need for Prayer

Prayer is the strength and glue for all parts of our armor. We must stand firm in the whole armor of God to withstand the battle.* Believers, we have all we need to be victorious. Jesus is in this battle with us. Alleluia.

Prayer: Father, thank you for showing us not only the attributes we have in Christ, but also how they look to the Adversary as we stand before him.

Questions: How or why have you needed to use it this spiritual armor? What does this show you about the power you have as a believer?

* Matthew Henry’s Commentary On The Whole Bible, Matthew Henry, Regency Reference Library, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1960, p 1858.

**The Land and People Jesus Knew, J. Robert Teringo, Bethany House Publishers, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55438, 1985, p. 246.

 

Spiritual Warfare – Part 1

… be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides] (Ephesians 6:10 Amplified Bible).

Ephesians 6:10-12 Amplified Bible
Ephesians 6:10-12 The Complete Jewish Bible
1 John 4:4 New Living Translation
Ephesians 6:10-12 In your Bible
1 John 4:4 In your Bible 

Paul completes his letter to the Ephesians with essential instructions about spiritual warfare. Some Bible commentators * say Paul addresses the spirit world more clearly here than any other book of the Bible.

Be Strong in the Lord

Many believers don’t even recognize they have a battle, because it’s not a physical one. These battles occur in the heavenly places (spiritual places), so they are not seen at all. Sometimes we are surprised at the answer to our prayers or plans are delayed, or events seem strange. Believers have an adversary, we need to be strong and ready for battle.

When we understand Christ is the head of the kingdom of light, and Satan is the head of the kingdom of darkness, real forces are identified.

Use all the armor and weaponry that God provides, so that you will be able to stand against the deceptive tactics of the Adversary (Ephesians 6:11 The Complete Jewish Bible).

Empowered by union with Christ, believers are strong through his never-ending might. It isn’t our strength. It is Christ in us who makes us strong and able to resist the evil one.

Who is Our Opponent?

We are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere (Ephesians 6:12 Amplified Bible).

A believer must know, the Spirit who lives in you [Christ] is greater than the spirit who lives in the world (1 John 4:4 New Living Translation).

Prayer: Father, thank you for being my total strength I rely on you.

Questions: When did you first hear of Spiritual warfare? How does this passage of  Scripture help you understand that spiritual forces are at work?

* Study Bible Online, Jamieson, Faussett, and Brown, Ephesians 6, Ewordtoday.com.