6 October 2010

Philippians 1:1-3

I love Philippians, it is so full of wisdom and selflessness. Paul is such a real, humble servant of God that sometimes I feel that I should say my prayers more spiritually before reading one of his letters! I do think that although Paul—to me—may seem like a far-away, impersonal, very spiritual, Godly man who would never have wanted to speak to the likes of me, he is such an example of what we should be living like, and to him, his life was merely his reasonable service to God. I never seem to think of Paul as Saul somehow....anyway.
Let’s start at the beginning chapter 1, verse 1.

“Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ,
To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:”


This letter from Paul is oozing with the real meaning of “fellowship”. How many of us start off a letter like this??? I’m not saying the way we might start a letter is bad, nothing of the sort but when it comes to fellowship, do we really do it? Do we really have it?
It’s interesting that this comes up, because my dad was talking to us all the other day about the need for a family to have fellowship. To really talk on a deeper level than: “how was school?”, or “what do you want for lunch?”, or “hey, your room is tidy!”. How is that fellowship? I’m certainly not saying those things are not bad—don’t get the wrong idea! But learning to communicate with each other with deeper and often spiritual conversation, that is the real challenge.
Right, next verse!

“Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

My dad always says this and I’m going to pinch it off him for the time-being: Paul puts those two words in the order that they are in for a reason. Grace and Peace.
You cannot have peace without grace and you must have grace before you can have peace. Does that make sense? Jesus gave us grace when He died on the cross—after we receive Him we have peace. But we cannot have peace and then receive Jesus.

“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,”

Isn’t that wonderful? Paul, upon every remembrance—not just one or two—but every remembrance of the Philippians, gave thanks to God.
How often do we do this? This is true love, every time Paul thought about the Philippians, he gave thanks; he prayed and rejoiced that the Lord had done such a wonderful work at the church in Philippi. Even though Paul was in prison and suffering for the Lord—he found joy in thinking of his brothers and sisters in Christ. Ask yourself this: Am I the kind of person who brings joy to my pastor’s/friend’s/mentor’s mind when he thinks of me?
Just an interesting thought.

Well I turned out to be using only 3 verses today, because written Bible studies always seem longer than spoken ones, so it looks like 3 verses each time will be suffice. Enough food for thought there anyway!  


  1. Lise,
    To the saint in England, nzkiwigirl, with the nzkiwipeeps....

    I love the book of Philippians. There's so much wisdom in it. It's amazing how much can be packed into a few short chapters aye! It makes you thinkg about how we communicate today...we say so much, but really, how much of it is worth listening to?

    That's a really good point your Dad makes about the Grace and Peace. I'd never even thought about that before, but it makes a whole lot of sense. It adds to the fellowship aspect of it as well, giving a real sense of brotherly love and fellowship in Christ.

    Interesting thoughts you have about Paul. I've never seen him in that light. I think of him as a very dedicated man, but not an intimidating one; a man who would rather talk to us and tell us about his saviour than spend all day having a meal with the Queen. In other words, humble.

    But it's the Philippians not Paul that are the main subject of this book. And even though it's all addressed to them, it's all about Christ. We don't talk to people like that do we? Paul says he gives thanks for them because of their partnership in the gospel - they weren't just sitting on their chuffs sipping tea. At least it doesn't sound like it.

  2. P.S. Did you take those pictures?

  3. Hi Lise!
    Thanks for the comment, absolutely Philippians is a great book. Love the way you started the comment! Yeah, I've always thought thay way about Paul--not someone unreachable, but just someone who is so righteous! I find I can relate more to Peter, James and John (the mistake-makers! Like me). But I do love Paul, and I find him the most excellent of teachers. Yup, that's one thing I love about Philippians--it's ALL about Christ and the Gospel.
    No, I didn't take those pics, sorry!
    Thanks again Lise!