"I have learned to be content with whatever I have...." The Apostle Paul doesn’t quite fit the profile of what we would assume to be a contented man. After all, he wrote many of his letters from a prison, facing possible execution. What was Paul's secret? At the conclusion of his letter to the Philippians, Paul thanks them for their generous gift…yet he also reminds them that while he is grateful, he does not depend upon it. "I can make it through anything," Paul says, "through the one who has made it through everything, even death on a cross, for me." Click the link below to download.
The peace or "shalom" of the Bible means “wholeness” in all dimensions of life; wholeness of relationship with God, with other people, with the earth, and with one's self. How do we achieve such peace? As Paul addresses the main conflict in Philippi from a prison cell (Phil. 4: 2-9), he teaches us that peace flows from a community that reconciles and rejoices in the Lord; from the heart that prays about every aspect of life; from the mind that is focused on God's goodness, and from the lives of those who continually practice what they have learned concerning...the Prince of Peace. Click the link below to download.
Is it possible to actually live the Christian life? And if we're saved by Gods' grace alone, should we even try? In Philippians 4: 14 Paul says, “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.” He’s talking here about the goal of spiritual maturity. As followers of Jesus we know we're not there yet. Paul certainly knew this...but in Philippians 3:12-4:1 he shows us how to "press on" toward that finish line. Click the link below to download.
What do you seriously believe will get you through this life, not to mention beyond it? Is it your professional or academic accomplishments? Is it your good grades, your degrees, or your excellent job? Is it your family background, your good genetics, or your social position? Paul had every reason to be confident in his resume, but his strivings brought him nothing but misery and despair. Then, he met Jesus...and discovered that while trusting in one's accomplishments is a dead end, trusting in what the Messiah has done for us brings life and true joy. Click the link below to download.
How many true friends do you have? In the age of Facebook, when the sheer number of friends we have is a kind of status symbol, this is a relevant question. In his letter to the church at Philippi, the Apostle Paul mentions two dear friends, Timothy and Epaphroditus who are important both to them and to him (Philippians 2: 19-30). These are among the most personal remarks in his letter where we learn four powerful principles that will help us to be ‘friends beneath the surface’. Click the link below to download.