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Don’t Worry About Anything, Pray About Everything (Phil 4:6)

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God (Phil. 4:6)

It appears, given the 24/7 news-cycle in our society, that we have the option of worrying about more things than any previous generation on planet earth. Not because our exact situations are as worrisome as they could be, but because we are afforded plenty of other options to consider, both locally and internationally. As of late, we have heard numerous threats of nuclear warfare from North Korea, we have seen China’s militarization in the South China Sea, Russia’s aggression towards neighboring Ukraine and its involvement in the conflict in Syria, societal destabilization in Venezuela, and that doesn’t even include talk of Iran and other state sponsors of terrorism. On our own shores, there is concern relating to the prospect of a terrorist attack, at least in some places – an increasing cost of living, continuing moral decline, concern over the way in which media outlets seem incensed to fan flames of societal discord, and so on. All that of course does not include health concerns for ourselves, health concerns for others, the amount of sleep we got last night, exams, relationships, responsibilities, and the list could go on and on. Yet, in our text, we’re exhorted, even as the Philippians were, to “be anxious for nothing”. It does help to know that this wasn’t coming from someone who was bursting at the seems with outward prosperity, writing in between lounging and dining. This came from an imprisoned apostle. And it does help to know that contextually it comes right after Paul was addressing interpersonal issues in a very healthy church (Phil. 4:2-3). Euodia and Syntyche could apply this text to themselves as they likely wrestled with the anxiety that comes from interpersonal strife. Clement could apply this text if, say, he worried about dutifully executing the charge that Paul gave him to help these women.

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Preparing For The Lord’s Return (Phil 3:20)

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:20)

When Paul wrote to the church at Philippi he, at times, used words that would have special significance to those reading his epistle. Philippi had the unique distinction of being a Roman colony, a privilege that entitled its inhabitants to Roman citizenship even though they were approximately 800 miles away from Rome. Thus, the word “citizenship” carried significant overtones to those in Philippi. It meant that they were free from certain, if not all, taxes, spoke the Latin language, wore the Roman garb, and took great pride in that exclusive designation.

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RESOURCE FRIDAY: Power Plays (2 Samuel 3:1-11)

Today we return to our Friday series through 2nd Samuel! Having left off at the conclusion of chapter two we pick up today in chapter three and the moment when the ‘anti-Christ’ partnership between Abner and Ishbosheth goes south. It’s amazing how little holds together godless unions; and such a contemplation ought to provoke appreciation for all that holds together Christ-centered relationships! That is just one of the lessons illustrated for us in this passage. There are examples of God’s awe-striking sovereignty, encouragement as it relates to the Christian’s expectation of sanctification, and a reminder that long before David’s fall in 2nd Samuel 11 there was his disobedience to Deuteronomy 17 recorded in 2 Samuel 3. Such a reminder should help us catch the little foxes of ‘unremarkable sin’ that can not only spoil the vines of fruitful Christian living but can lead to a fall with far-reaching consequences.

With that being said, may you be edified and enamored as you behold and study the revelation of God in 2nd Samuel 3:1-11.

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Supposed Bible Contradictions – Is Jesus Eternal or the Firstborn of All Creation? (Jn. 1:3; Col. 1:15)

All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. (Jn. 1:3)

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. (Col. 1:15 NASB)

The answer to the question posed in the title of this teaching is “yes” – Jesus is eternal and He is the firstborn of all creation. While there isn’t a contradiction that exists between both of those suppositions, there can appear to be one if the use of the word firstborn in Colossians 1:15 is misunderstood.

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Supposed Bible Contradictions – Was Abraham Justified by Faith or by Works? (Rom. 4:2; Jas. 2:21)

For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. (Rom. 4:2-3)

Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? (Jas 2:21)

If someone isolates these verses outside of their context they could understandably say, ‘It looks like the Bible is saying in one place that Abraham was not justified by works and in another place that Abraham was justified by works.’ As is the case with many of these alleged discrepancies the issue concerns isolating Bible verses and setting them against each other as opposed to realizing that sentences fit within paragraphs, paragraphs fit within chapters, chapters fit within books, and when contexts are examined verses like the ones above are seen to be complementary not contradictory.

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