Phillipians

Knowing This Habit of God Will Change Your Life

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It says in the verses of Psalms that there are snares out there; there are traps. Let’s look at one of those verses: “For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper and from the deadly pestilence” (Psalm 91:3).There’s a feeling of very real danger here of capture and binding and the verses say that there's deadly pestilence, but did you notice that he didn't define it? He left it open. There are lots of pestilences on any given day of our lives. Do you realize that one little germ, one little virus can rob us of our health and even kill us? Do we really understand what James said, “You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away”(James 4:14)? 

What's the instantaneous promise though that we are given? “He delivers you!” And we need to park there for a minute and really look at what this means. This does not mean that those who trust God are never going to succumb to the enemy or die by disease. We must interpret these verses in light of the rest of the Bible. Hebrews 11 gives us a list of lots of people who put their faith in God but didn't get delivered from their struggle but instead were delivered to God personally in heaven. That was faith too: “And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, because God had provided something better for us” (Hebrews 11:39).

So what is the psalmist saying? I think what he's saying is this, if you will look at God in His recorded history, if you will look at God over the history of your own personal walk with Him, you will find that God is in the habit of delivering His kids. He does it all the time! 

We could go to 2 Corinthians 11:26 and look at Paul's personal testimony. He tells us that he endured shipwreck, and robbers, and disease, and famine—and through it all, God preserved him. We could go to Philippians 4:13, and the promise for us is, “I can do all things through Christ.” I can have a lot, I can have a little, I can be healthy, I can be sick, but no matter what the circumstance I have found that He is sufficient. 

Psalm 23:4, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for You are with me.” He doesn't say, “He'll get me out of the valley,” he says “He will walk with me through it. 

I think the message is clear, and one writer (George Whitefield) put it this way, that we who abide in Him are immortal until our work is done. Let that one sink in for a little bit! Until God is finished with you laboring on His behalf in this world, nothing can take you home until He says it’s time.

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The Freeing Truth that Can Radically Change Your New Year

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Listen to what Jesus said, “I came that they may have Life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). He doesn’t make it hard, He said, “Whoever believes in [Me], shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). He said, “I am the way, the truth, THE Life” (John 14:6). And I love 1 John 5:12, “Whoever has the son, has the Life.” That’s a definite article, THE Life.

That's why Paul says in 2 Corinthians 3:5, “Not that are adequate in ourselves.” We're not! We're not right in ourselves and if we're going to have adequacy, if we're going to be made right, it's from God, who when we look at the tense of the verb, has made us adequate. He made us right; not from the Old Covenant, not from the law, not from performing, not from resolutions to do right and not do wrong. Throw all that out! It’s by the One who made us right by the Spirit who gave us Life. 

Paul tells us in Philippians 3:7-8, that whatever things were gain to him—the fact that he was a Pharisee, the fact that he was zealous in trying to keep the law, and the fact that he made resolutions ad infinitum and kept them—none of it brought him Life. That's why he continues and says, “I now count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith.” So it’s not from performing, or from resolutions. No, no, no! It’s through faith! 

Listen beloved, did you hear what he said? The moment you say yes to Jesus, God says, “You are now right.” And you are right. Oh my goodness. Is it any wonder that it's called good news?! 

Paul continues, saying, “This is my one thing: I forget what lies behind and I press on for the prize of God in Jesus Christ.” In the moment we place our faith in Jesus, we are removed from the economy of performing to achieve. We are delivered from resolutions, and placed instead into an economy of the saving Life directly from God, and now, having found Life, we enter into true revelry. The definition of that word revelry, is noisy partying and merrymaking and that's what the Church of Jesus Christ should be known by!

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Don't Drive Too Quickly

If you race through the book of Philippians, you will see this wonderful truth in c. 4:19 that our God will supply all our need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus

If you race through the book of Philippians, you will see this wonderful truth in c. 4:19 that our God will supply all our need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus

It is a good thing to read through the Bible. It is a better thing to work slowly through the Bible. If I could illustrate it. You could drive the Yellowstone Park and be amazed. But if you hiked through Yellowstone you would be overwhelmed. When you race through the park you miss so much, but when you journey slowly you have the potential to discover so much more. 

If you race through the book of Philippians, you will see this wonderful truth in c. 4:19 that our God will supply all our need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. But you might not “see” how INCREDIBLY  WONDERFUL this declaration really is! Do not drive your car through this verse, walk very slowly through it with me.

Did you see it?

He said that He would meet our needs “according to His riches” – OH MY GOODNESS! The awe and wonder of his choice of words in that statement is overwhelming! 

Note that he did NOT say that God is going to provide for us “out of” His riches. As an illustration, if a millionaire decided to give you a gift “out of” his riches, he could give you a dollar, or even just a nickel and that would be giving “out of” his riches. That, however, is NOT what Paul said. He said God gives us “according to” His riches. So if a millionaire gave a gift to us “according to” His riches, he would be giving us a million dollars.

Do you see the difference?

What an incredible statement of how much the Father wants to do on our behalf as we journey through this world with our faith in Him. He wants to provide for us “according to” the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus. He wants to give us Himself. Oh the wonder of all that He longs to be to us, but we could have missed the wonder if we drove too quickly through this verse. Never read the Bible casually my friend, read it intently and stand in awe of the God Who loves and cares for you so very much that He would provide for you “according to” all that He Himself is. 

WOW!

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