Praying For Yourself

We worry about so many things, don’t we? We worry about our health, our finances, our kids and our stuff. We worry about the past, the present and the future. We worry about our jobs, our security and our retirements. Where does all of this worry get us? Nowhere. Paul told the Philippians to stop worrying and instead pray. Here’s what he wrote:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. – Philippians 4:6 (NIV)

We are to pray about EVERY situation that we are going through. We need to pray with thanksgiving about our lives. Whatever request we have, we should take it to the Lord in prayer. Our Heavenly Father will not turn us away. He won’t accuse us of being selfish when we pray for ourselves. Be thankful for what you have and ask God for what you need. He’s listening and He cares for you. So don’t worry about anything. Instead, pray about everything.

Are We Gentle?

Christians in America don’t have the best reputation. We’re known as many different things. We’re accused of being closed-minded, bigoted, homophobic, angry, judgmental and racist. We’re not known for the things for which we should be known. We’re not known as loving, kind, peaceful and gentle. The apostle Paul talked about that last one to the Philippians. He wrote:

Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. – Philippians 4:5 (NIV)

What if we could be known as gentle? What if we dealt gently with people who don’t know the Lord yet? Instead of being defensive, judgmental and angry, we need to be gentle and humble. Why? Paul said that the Lord is near. As time is winding down, we should be gently urging people to turn to Jesus for forgiveness and salvation. The more we yell, get defensive or judge, the less success we’ll have in convincing people that our gentle Savior is the Way, the Truth and the Life. So be gentle in your dealings with people today and may the Lord use our gentleness to open doors of opportunity to tell people about Jesus.

Rejoice Always!

One of the themes of the apostle Paul’s letter to the Philippians is joy and rejoicing. Joy is one of the hallmarks of a follower of Jesus. Paul told the Philippians this:

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! – Philippians 4:4 (NIV)

Paul repeats the exhortation to rejoice here in verse 4. How can we rejoice in a world that is so dark? How can we rejoice in a world that is filled with violence and hatred? Is there a reason to have joy when we are surrounded by shootings, assaults and racism? Yes! Notice that Paul does not say to be happy about the situation around you. He says to rejoice in the Lord. Jesus is the key that unlocks the secret of joy. No matter how things change around us, Jesus never changes and His love never fails. He’s still in charge of this whole thing. He still died on the cross for our sins and He’s still the resurrected King. Though there may be trials, troubles and tests in this life, there is joy for the Christian because Jesus still loves us and gives us strength to deal with difficult circumstances and situations. Don’t look to the world for happiness. Rejoice in the Lord always. Rejoice!

Seeing Eye To Eye

The apostle Paul mentions some people in Philippians 4 by name. It seems that there were two women who had quite the disagreement. He wrote:

I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. 3 Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life. – Philippians 4:2-3 (NIV)

It is so important that those who make up a church family be of the same mind when it comes to contending for the good news of Jesus. We’ve got to work together in spite of our differences. We are not going to see eye to eye on every issue, but we need to always keep our eyes on the bigger picture. The bigger picture is sharing God’s good news about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ with the world. We’re all on Team Jesus. We’re all working toward the same goal. Let’s set aside our personal preferences and focus on the most important thing. His name is Jesus.

Standing Firm

In Philippians 3, Paul reminded his readers that they were destined for Heaven. No matter what came their way as far as threats of persecution or death, they could have joy because they were citizens of Heaven. He then told them what to do in the face of threats. He wrote:

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends! – Philippians 4:1 (NIV)

When we go through trials, tests and troubles, we need to remember that in the end, Jesus wins and we will overcome this world. It is not in our strength or power, but through the power of the Son of God. We have to remind ourselves and one another often that this world is not our home. The troubles and trials we face are only temporary. So stand firm in the face of difficulties. Stand firm in the face of persecution. Stand firm in the face of fear. Don’t give up! Don’t give in to fear! Stand firm!

The Shepherd Protects

The latest message from Griffith First Christian Church in Griffith, Indiana. This message is based on Psalm 23:4.


Where We Belong

Good Friday morning to you! Toward the end of Philippians 3, Paul says that many live as enemies of the cross. He said that their minds are on earthly things. He contrasts them with followers of Jesus. He wrote:

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. – Philippians 3:20-21 (NIV)

We who follow Jesus don’t belong here. We’re citizens of another place. Our ultimate loyalty and allegiance are to no politician or flag or country. When Jesus returns, we will be made like Him and we will live forever with Him. We long to be in the presence of Jesus. We long for our Heavenly home. Don’t get too comfortable here on earth. Don’t settle for life here, but rather, keep your eyes on the goal and prize of Heaven.

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