ever feel like you should be in a circus act for plate spinning?
Everyone has busy lives – sometimes less, sometimes more. Today, is a plate spinning day for me, so i think its even more essential than normal to consider what Paul says in Phil 4:6-7, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
For every concern, frustration, request we pass along to God, and He tells us to do this, please be sure to include a thanksgiving as well. Then allow God’s peace to guard your heart & your mind. Then spin away baby & trust God to help you spin & catch a plate if it falls. 😉
In Philippians 4:4-5, Paul tells us 2x to rejoice in the Lord (its an imperative – command). Paul tells us to rejoice without exceptions, buts or excuses. Now for us ladies, that can be a tall order, depending on the hormonal levels on any given day. Hmmmmmm. But Paul doesn’t give us, either men or women, any wiggle room. We’re supposed to rejoice, end of the story, full stop.
Next he commands us to let our gentleness be evident to everyone. The word Paul uses in the greek doesn’t so much imply a character trait of gentleness but rather the way in which we treat others – not being harsh, mean, demanding, etc. Now you probably can do this easily, but i wasnt’ exactly “gentle” when the guy at the airport charged me almost triple for some espresso shots – grrrrrrrrrrr.
So, how on earth, given the humanity that tires us, are we supposed to rejoice always & let everyone see our gentleness???? I think Paul gives us the answer in the very next phrase – Jesus is near. Can I just say that whenever i get to talk w someone about Jesus (whether they’re a Jesus fan or not), i just get really amped up. Furthermore, it makes me “rejoice” when i think that Jesus is near me & He actually likes to be near me. i don’t even like being w me that much, but He does & that causes me to rejoice. Furthermore, when i think that Jesus is near me as i interact w others, i find myself wanting to tone down some volatility & i also find myself giving more grace, being keenly aware of the ongoing grace tsunami in which i live & breath. So, dear friend, Jesus is near – be joyful & gentle.
I really like having spiritual conversations – not like theology driven, but more like a sincere dialogue about what God is saying at personal levels. I like hearing what God is saying to other people – I find that this often moves me closer to God. A few days ago, I got to stay up late talking w a friend about some questions & thoughts I’m having about God & I had the privilege to listen to her ideas, as well as her questions. I loved this time & found myself driving home & feeling deeply fulfilled & closer to God. I think there’s alot of value in such conversations both in our horizontal relationships & our relationship w God. Consider Paul’s words about Timothy & Epaphroditus in Philippians 2. He could say these great things about these 2 men because he had had multiple spiritual conversations w each of them.
What are some things you do (or can do) to foster spiritual conversations? Do you even want to have such conversations? Feel free to answer or not at your level of comfort. 🙂
So here’s the sequel to yesterday with the Greek mid-term. With God’s help, I stopped complaining & griping, studied hard (I found myself to be more productive w my studying when I stopped complaining) and thanks be to God, I got an 88% on my Greek mid-term. For some of you, that may be disappointing – thinking I should have gotten at least an A. But please realize that this B+ was extremely miraculous (the best grade I’d earned in the class all semester).
So here’s my conclusion, complaining & griping don’t usually bring the results we want. I find that when I gripe, argue with & complain to God (or anyone else):
- my attitude goes down the toilet,
- I have a hard time getting myself into being constructive & productive
- I become an unhappy person
- I bring others down around me.
I don’t want or need these results in my life & I’d venture to say that you don’t either. 😉
Check back later for some cool stuff on the Lord’s Prayer & the existence of evil!
A few weeks ago I had my Greek mid-term & i was pretty wound up about it for a variety of reasons. Bottom line, from my opinion, I needed to do well in it to pass the class. However, if you would have asked me about it, I would have gone off on the class – grammar griping, content clarity, instrumental datives, absolute genitives, possessive pronouns, etc. The more I griped, the worse it got.
Intervene God (whew!) – in our Philippians study, the next verses we’re working on talk about doing everything without complaining or arguing – even taking a greek mid-term. Furthermore, I thought about one of my friends in Ethiopia who would LOVE the chance to study greek. Needless to say, God put me in His cross hairs & fired away. I’m really glad because I shut my mouth, studied & smiled, generally.
Check back tomorrow!! GOTCHA! 😉
πάντα ποιεῖτε χωρὶς γογγυσμῶν καὶ διαλογισμῶν
Philip 2:13 says that God is working in us to will & do of His good pleasure. In light of the idea of working out our salvation with fear & trembling from verse 12, we could see God as our work out trainer – helping us have the desire & power to do what He wants (work out our salvation).
God is working in each of us. When Paul wrote this, he used the present tense & in Greek, this means an ongoing & continuous action. So God is working in you & me today, even at this moment, helping us to have the desire & abilities (resources, etc) to accomplish His will. If you get more specific, those times in your day when you feel like being kind, patient, friendly, generous, forgiving (see the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5) – these are God moments. He is working in you – be encouraged & offer Him some cooperation (I can’t say that word without thinking of Seasame Street).
Make today a God-watch day – watching for Him working in you His desires & abilities!
I like to work out. Last week was exciting because I got to work out 5 times! The purpose of my workouts are: to build strength (lift weights) & cardio fitness (jogging). At this time, I’m doing better w weight training than cardio, but I do both pretty much every week. Some of the benefits I find from working out include:
- more energy (necessary to keep up w small children)
- stress relief
- clears my thinking
- burns calories
- greater endurance
- better self-esteem
- builds strength
- keeps my heart & muscles healthy
- strengthens my bones to prevent oesteoporosis
So, in Philip 2:12, Paul tells us to work out our salvation w fear & trembling. Truthfully, when I lift weights & if I do a really good job in a workout, I experience both fear & trembling when I’m lifting weights. I’ll talk about this more in Chapel on Tues. If you can’t come, then I’ll blog on it to explain better after Chapel 😉
In Chapel, we’ll also go into one of my fav verses in the Bible – Philip 2:13: God is at work in me to will & do of His good pleasure. Chapel is going to be GREAT & I’m REALLY EXCITED!!!
Yahoo! In Philip 2:10, Paul says that every knee should bow to the name of Jesus (along with every tongue confessing that He is Lord). These come in response to God the Father exalting the name of Jesus. In chapel on Tuesday, we talked about how we can exalt Jesus & lift Him up, just a little more & just a little more, & even just a little more: lift up
But now I have a follow up question. What are some different ways that we can bend our knees to the name of Jesus? Or even better, what does it mean to bend our knees to Jesus?
following up on the Philippians blog about Jesus coming into humanity (if you haven’t had a chance to read it, please consider going back to check it out because it provides the context for what happens next in Philip 2:9ff), we read that after Jesus’ humbling & even humiliation, God exalted Him.
Jesus humbled Himself & God exalted Him. These seem to go together, as do their opposites – exalt yourself & prepare to be humbled by God. When Philippians talks about God exalting Jesus (hyper-lifting up for my chapel friends), it says that God gives Jesus the name above all names & that at His name every knee will confess & tongue bow (just seeing if you’re paying attention – 😉 ).
Want to share some ways you’ve found effective in lifting up Jesus’ name in your life? Could probably help out the rest of us. Stay tuned tomorrow for some exercise fun relating to working out your salvation.
Ok, this is from the last part of Philip 2:12. Need your thoughts, wisdom, insights, whatever. I’m going to study this as well as I can, but I’d REALLY like your input – so would you kindly leave a comment & let me know what you think Paul meant when he said this? If you want to bring any application into your comment, as well, don’t fight the urge. 🙂