Philippians 4

Vs. 4, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” Throughout the book of Philippians we are reminded to have joy and rejoice in all situations. Despite Paul’s own imprisonment, despite conflict in the Philippi church (vs. 2-3), despite worry and anxiety (vs. 4-7), they were to cast all their worries in prayer. Paul reminded the Philippians to stop focusing on all the negative things, but rather on the good (vs. 8-9). This leads Paul to self-reflect on his own life. God was good to him in plenty and also in need (vs. 10-20).

Regarding application…Right Source. Vs. 13, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” I bought a Pebble smartwatch about six months ago. It is a wonderful devise that gives me text alerts, incoming calls, Facebook notifications, weather, etc. However, all these “smart” features are only available if they are connected to the right type of phone. I recently sold my android phone to save up money for the new iPhone 6. I dug out my old battered 1st generation iPhone from seven years ago. However, there is a problem; my 1st generation iPhone does not have the capability to connect to my Pebble smartwatch. I don’t have the right source. Life is sometimes like that too. We have the capability to do so much, yet when we are not connected to God; we are not able to do what we were created for.   Let’s stay connected to the right source!

Philippians 1

Vs. 9, “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight.” Though Paul could not be there with them at this time (prison), He wanted to ensure they realized how dear they were to him (vs. 1-11). He was their spiritual Pastor and mentor. He was so appreciative of their love and wrote this letter to encourage them to have abounding love. Question: Why? So that they may remember to proclaim the Gospel without fear (vs. 12-18)! The enemy’s hope was that since Paul is in chains, this might have discouraged the advancement of the Gospel, but it only spurred it on. We are given insight into Paul’s heart as he opens up his emotions and hope (vs. 19-26). And lastly, we are exhorted to conduct ourselves worthy of the Gospel (vs. 27-30).

Regarding application…Dying to Live. Vs. 21, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” This application was sermon title I preached a couple of years ago. Dying to live, it’s quite a oxymoron when you think about it. Question: How do we die to live? Dying to live is choosing not to be selfish. Taking the example of Christ in Philippians 2 and living it out. Not just on the moment of salvation, but make the conscience effort daily, hourly and even minute by minute to have the mind of Christ. That is dying to live. Living as Christ would so that we can shine like stars in the night (Philippians 2:15)! I’m going up to the mountain this weekend with my ministry and am excited to see the stars!

Introduction to Philippians

During Paul’s second missionary journey, it was never his intention to enter Macedonia at that time. But God would deliver a message to Paul in a vision to come and Philippi was in the region of Macedonia. The letter to the Philippians was written while Paul was in Rome and in prison (around 60 AD). Paul’s letter was a response to the Philippians love for him and sending a brother, Epaphroditus to encourage him. It was Paul who had planted the church years earlier. Though they were a smaller church, Philippi and the region of Macedonia were commended by Paul for their generous support towards the poor in Jerusalem. Paul wrote this letter to thank the Philippian church, let them know he was okay and encourage them with some things they were struggling with.

Philippians 4

Vs. 4, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”  Throughout the book of Philippians we are reminded to have joy and rejoice in all situations.  Despite Paul’s own imprisonment, despite conflict in the Philippi church (vs. 2-3), despite worry and anxiety (vs. 4-7), they were to cast all their worries in prayer.  Paul reminded the Philippians to stop thinking of all the negative things and focus on the good (vs. 8-9).  This leads Paul to self-reflect on his own life.  God was good to him in plenty and in need (vs. 10-20).

Regarding application…Power Source.  Vs. 13, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”  I dug out my old stand-alone microwave from the recent move this morning.  The last two places I’ve lived at had/have built in microwaves in the kitchen.  I brought the microwave to church this morning and spent about 20 minutes cleaning it out.  It now sits very nicely on top of my mini-fridge ready for action!  However…There is one problem.  There is not a power source nearby.  I’ve plugged in a power-strip, but it is barely long enough to reach it.   The cord from the microwave dangles awkwardly in the air when plugged in.  My solution: keep it unplugged only until I need it.  In the meantime, it has no power source until I take the initiative to plug it in and use it.  Whenever I want to cook or heat up anything, I must ensure I plug the cord to the power source.  Likewise, just like Paul, we are to ensure we are relying on the Lord in all situations!

Philippians 3

Vs. 14, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”  Though Paul is in prison and faces an unknown future, this does keep him from giving up.  In the first section of our chapter (vs. 1-11), Paul doesn’t hold anything back when it comes to addressing the Judaizers (Early Jewish Christian converts who tried to force Gentile believers to adopt Jewish customs).  Paul of all people could understand their way of thinking and reminded all who were tempted in such a way that this method was nullifying the cross.  Having experienced both a works of righteousness and now a justification through faith in Jesus (vs. 7-14), Paul exhorts them that Jesus is far better!  We see the urgency that Paul has with tears (vs. 18) that they renounce the enemies of the cross of Christ.  Paul reminds us that we are not citizens of this world, but our identity is in heaven (vs. 20).

Regarding application…What’s Important?  Vs. 7, “But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.”  Question: What did Paul lose?  Everything this world had to offer: His reputation, his heritage, his achievements, his friends.  Question: What did Paul gain?  Jesus.  Jesus trumped anything this world had to give and that is what made Paul consider everything else garbage (vs. 8).  Question: What is important to you?  When I worked at the bank, there was a time it was very important for me to gain more titles to my name.  I went from  Teller, Sr. Teller, Personal Banker, Sr. Personal Banker, Assistant Manager, Sr. Assistant Manager.  I was on my way to becoming a Branch Manager.  But, the Lord reminded me in 2011, what was most important in my life.  It is not an easy journey, Paul’s imprisonment is proof of that, but it is a journey of joy!  Pray today that the Lord would continue convicting your heart and reminding you who should be #1 in your life!

Philippians 2

Vs. 8, “And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself  by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!”  Question: Who is our role-model?  Jesus.  Paul cuts through all distractions and reminds us what Jesus did with Incarnation (God becoming human in Jesus) (vs. 6-11).  There were relational issues in the church at Philippi, so Paul wanted to appeal to the highest example we could have.  We should value others above ourselves (vs. 3).  When we do that, we will stop naturally focusing on ourselves and stop complaining about our own lives (vs. 14).  Paul then goes on to commend Timothy and Epaphroditus as examples of those living out the faith (vs. 19-30)

Regarding application…WWJD.  Vs. 5, “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.”  This reminds me of the 1990’s!  The WWJD bracelets were quite popular in many churches at the time.  It was a token reminder to have the mindset of Christ.  My recent message on this section was entitled, “Thinking like Christ”.  I used my sister Joyce from Mississippi as my opening illustration.  Though she grew up in my family in Indiana, she is now a true southern gal!  If I hadn’t met her before, I would have thought she had grown up in the south.  As Christians, we are transformed into new creations (II Corinthians 5:17).  Having the mindset of Christ is making the conscience effort to be changed in every aspect of our lives.  Question: How are you thinking today?  Let Christ change your thoughts and attitudes!

Philippians 1

Vs. 9, “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight.”  Though Paul could not be there with them at this time, He wanted to ensure they realized how dear they were to him (vs. 1-11).  He was their spiritual Pastor and mentor.  He was so appreciative of their love and wrote this letter to encourage them to have abounding love.  Question: Why?  So that they may remember to proclaim the Gospel without fear (vs. 12-18)!  They enemy might have supposed that Paul in chains might have discouraged the advancement of the Gospel, but it only spurred it on.  We are given insight into Paul’s heart as he opens up his emotions and hope (vs. 19-26).  And then lastly, we are exhorted to conduct ourselves worthy of the Gospel (vs. 27-30).

Regarding application…Dying to Live.  Vs. 21, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”  I’m currently in a sermon series in the book of Philippians, so this book is quite familiar these days.  This application was sermon title I preached a few weeks ago.  It’s quite a oxymoron when you think about it.  Question: How do we die to live?  As I’ve been convicted by the Holy Spirit as we have been journeying through the Philippian series, I think I’m beginning to grasp this.  Dying to live is choosing not to be selfish.  Taking the example of Christ in Philippians 2 and living it out.  Not just on the moment of salvation, but make the conscience effort daily, hourly and even minute by minute to have the mind of Christ.  That is dying to live.  Living as Christ would so that we can shine like stars in the night (Philippians 2:15)!

Introduction – Philippians

During Paul’s second missionary journey, it was never his intention to enter Macedonia at that time.  But God would deliver a message to Paul in a vision to come and Philippi was in the region of Macedonia.  The letter to the Philippians was written while Paul was in Rome and in prison (around 60 AD).  Paul’s letter was a response to the Philippians love for him and sending a brother, Epaphroditus to encourage him.  It was Paul who had planted the church years earlier.  Though they were a smaller church, Philippi and the region of Macedonia were commended by Paul for their generous support towards the poor in Jerusalem.  Paul wrote this letter to thank the Philippian church, let them know he was okay and encourage them with some things they were struggling with.

QT – Philippians 4

Note: We will be moving on to the Old Testament to Song of Solomon tomorrow! 


Vs. 1, “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!”  Even in the midst of all of our trials, Paul exhorts us to stand firm and be confident in the Lord.  It’s all about looking at the cup as half-full rather than half-empty.  We can throw pity parties for ourselves all we want, but what will that accomplish?  When we are not rejoicing and trusting…we are like little child who is worried that their father will drop them when He carries them in His arms.  We of little faith.  Let us stand firm in the Word of the Lord this week and in prayer!


Regarding application…Secret to Life.  Vs. 12, “...I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation…”  In this world of sorrow, tribulation & struggles…Paul is about to share a very important secret to life!  He’s not doing a Biblical Infomercial and selling it for $29.99…it’s a secret that we all could apply so that we can have the strength to live this life.  Question: What is that Secret?  It is found in the very next verse.  Vs. 13, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”  Huh???  But…that is such a simple answer?!?!  But that is exactly the reason why it is so profound!  It isn’t about how well versed you are in His Word (though it is good to be)…it isn’t about how long you pray every day….it isn’t about serving faithfully every Sunday….  It’s about realizing that the only way you can be content…the only way you can find success is allow Him (Jesus) to strengthen you!  Isn’t that great?  We don’t have to go spiritually do some crazy exercise or go through a bunch of hoops.  We simply have to let go and let God do his amazing spiritual transformation in our lives!  And when that happens, the reading of His Word, prayer and service will follow.  That is one very powerful secret to live this life for Jesus!

QT – Philippians 3

Vs. 7, “But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.”  Perspective…Paul had the advantage of seeing both sides of life.  Seemingly having it all…the reputation, the education, the righteousness, the citizenship, etc.  But all those gains…all those things were nothing compared to what he now has in Christ.  Paul had to lose that which he had to gain that which Christ has.  But he didn’t rest on his laurels…he pressed on and realized there is always more to gain and learn (vs. 12-14).  We need to stop looking at the world as our example and start remembering who we belong to for we are citizens of Heaven!


Regarding application…Your Role Model.  Vs. 17, “Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do.” Question: Who are your role model’s?  Growing up, I looked up to Michael Jordan.  I wanted to be “like Mike”.  We look at successful people whether athletes, movie stars, singers, etc. and envy their life.  But, Paul reminds us that we are to not be that way.  We must look to those who set the example and model for Christ.  It could be your parents, Pastor’s, friends at school…these are the people we look up to.  These are your role models.