Welcome to this Adventure in the Letter to the Philippians!

All are welcome to explore Philippians in the Bible with me. While I will be studying the letter as written by Paul and taken from the perspective of women both ancient and contemporary, anyone at all can read and add their appropriate feedback and questions!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Honoring Others Who Serve and Serving

Philippians 2:28-30

So I am all the more anxious to send him back to you, for I know you will be glad to see him, and then I will not be so worried about you. Welcome him with Christian love and with great joy, and give him the honor that people like him deserve. For he risked his life for the work of Christ, and he was at the point of death while doing for me what you couldn’t do from far away.
 Like Paul suggested with Epaphroditus, we should honor those who have served faithfully for God. They are true heroes for the kingdom. Children should be taught to revere them, admire them, and seek to be like them. We can learn from these warriors in the faith. They may not be the top leaders out in front. They may be a Christian janitor in a public school or an office assistant to a world-changing leader. They may be missionaries on remote outposts where no one sees the work they do and the sacrifices they make. Still, these faithful ones support others in the faith, they pray much for others and work throughout their lives for the good of the Kingdom of God.  They are the true heroes in the world.


Did she teach her children to respect, love and honor their father as well as others in the family worked tirelessly for God? Did she take pains to encourage any of her children whom she observed to be faithfully serving God and the growing family on the earth? As the matriarch of the human race, she could have been a leader in embracing and encouraging faith, loving service and real workers for God’s cause.


Mary was called to serve Jesus in a very special way. She was called to be His earthly mother. She gave everything to the cause of God and the Path that was spread before her as she understood God’s will for her life to be. Jesus asked John to taker her as his own mother, and Mary remained with John for the rest of her life when Jesus returned to Heaven.  We can  see parallels in her life to this believer, Epaphroditus, that Paul was speaking about to the Philippian church because she ministered of herself for the Kingdom of God and made many sacrifices to perform her labors of love.

My Prayer

Dear Lord, Our Father in Heaven,

I pray for two things, for the heart to respect and honor others who have given greatly to God’s work and cause and for the dedication to do whatever jobs of service that God will place in my path to do for Him and to minister to His people. Thank You that You can give me love for faithful servants and a focus for devoted service. You have a wonderful plan and I am so grateful that Jesus has provided a way for me to be a part of Your Kingdom. I pray this in His name.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Helping Others--Being Part of the Team

Philippians 2:25-27:

Meanwhile, I thought I should send Epaphroditus back to you. He is a true brother, co-worker, and fellow soldier. And he was your messenger to help me in my need. I am sending him because he has been longing to see you, and he was very distressed that you heard he was ill. And he certainly was ill; in fact, he almost died. But God had mercy on him—and also on me, so that I would not have one sorrow after another.

No one should think their gift and contribution in life is too small to be significant if they have given their best. Those who help and assist others are just as needed as are the ones who they help and assist. Paul was in great need of special help while he was in prison when he wrote this letter to the Philippian believers. They sent Epaphroditus to Paul, and Paul said he was “a true brother, co-worker, and fellow soldier.” Any of us believers today would do well if someone could say the same about us that you and I are  true brothers, sisters, co-workers and fellow soldiers for Christ” in the last days before Jesus returns.


Since the beginning of time, women were created to help. Somehow, this role has been turned in our thoughts to a degrading status that must be shaken off our backs. The position of “help-meet” has been made to seem like something we must overcome in order to reach our full potential. How unfortunate is this thinking! While some of us have talents and opportunities that make us leaders, all of us can be a help to others.

Jesus has taught us that it is an honor to serve. In service, we are following His example (like when He washed the feet of the disciples and told them to do this type of service). Being a blessing brings blessings. When we use our opportunities, means and talents in service to others, our lives are fulfilled and blessed. Even doing the most menial service tasks that others need has been honored by the King and Creator of all by His own example!


When Mary believed what God told her and accepted the role as the mother of Jesus, she elevated motherhood as God intended it should be elevated. However, motherhood is a nurturing and serving role. Giving and caring needs our hands as well as our hearts. God has placed in the hearts of women a special gift for such nurturing.

Helping is a wonderful thing! The world does not go around without it! In the natural world, plants and animals work together for survival. In the human world, we each must help each other in order to survive together alive. Equality is not as important as the willingness to be a team player and do our part as it comes to us. Meanwhile, doing our part to help “the team” puts us on an equal playing field with every other human no matter what we do or what our part may be.

My Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father:

Thank you for showing us by this story of Paul and Epaphroditus that each of us is significant when we give our best to serve You through our service to others. Please help me today to do my part whatever it is with my heart. Help me to look to you and Your love so that I can be like You, like Jesus when He served as a human in this world and gave us His example to follow. Because of Jesus giving everything for us we can pray. Amen!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Caring about What Really Matters and Honoring Mentors

Philippians 2:19-24
If the Lord Jesus is willing, I hope to send Timothy to you soon for a visit. Then he can cheer me up by telling me how you are getting along.  I have no one else like Timothy, who genuinely cares about your welfare.  All the others care only for themselves and not for what matters to Jesus Christ.  But you know how Timothy has proved himself. Like a son with his father, he has served with me in preaching the Good News.  I hope to send him to you just as soon as I find out what is going to happen to me here.  And I have confidence from the Lord that I myself will come to see you soon.

This commendation of Timothy gives a little picture just how valuable unselfish service and giving for God’s kingdom really is. I am a little bothered by Paul’s statement that everyone else only cares for themselves instead of what Jesus cares about. How did Paul know this? I do know that Paul was in an awful imprisonment when he wrote this, and he must have seen some fruit or behavior by the others of whom he was speaking that made him draw such a sad conclusion. Contrasting language helped to paint clearly the picture of the trustworthiness of Timothy.

This contrasting of Timothy with others helps me to ask about myself. I have dedicated my life to God and His kingdom of Love, and He calls all who believe and accept Jesus as their Savior to serve. What kind of server am I? Am I like Timothy or the others who are not caring for what truly matters to our Savior? Good question. God, help me to be like Timothy.

I have known friends, Christian women, who have been to me like Timothy. They have given of themselves unselfishly for the cause of Christ, and they have generally cared about my welfare. I thank God for them! I think of some that really reached out to me when I needed help. They continued to check and make certain that I was OK. I am grateful, and I am glad to have had the privilege of knowing them. Just thinking of different ones beyond those precious women who are part of my blood relations brings tears to my eyes. I could name them, but I would have a very long list if I listed them all here! I am thankful that I am not like Paul who could name only one person.


In her old age, did she have any daughters or granddaughters who were close to her? Did anyone care for her when she needed help and encouragement? I am sad so many times when I hear that older people are not cherished as they should be by those whom they nurtured through the years. Many are left alone to feel forgotten and unloved when they still have so much to give.

One of the best things that we can do is give joy to those who have nurtured us and mentored us. I know I cannot truly be there for everyone who has been a blessing to me in my life, but I hope I will give encouragement and love to those I can reach out to in Christian love. When we are totally committed to God’s kingdom, we will especially treasure those older whose lives have been rich in service for Him.


We know that John took Mary in after Jesus’ death and that she lived with his family for the rest of her life. She was busy working for the cause of Christ. We know she was with the disciples on the Day of Pentecost. She must have told the story of Jesus to everyone around her through the years until her own death. What a blessing she must have been to the believers.

We do not know how long she lived, but I hope that she was always treasured by John’s family and others.  Those early years were so full of action. The believers went around the world giving the Good News. They were looking for Jesus’ return, and we should be even more zealous for the cause of Christ today. There is no time to be caring only for our own selfish wants and desires. Now is the time to be fully for the Kingdom and reaching others before it is too late.

My Prayer

Dear Precious Father Above,

Thank You for making me a part of Your Kingdom. Please help me to be fully committed, and not be selfishly endeavoring to please myself. Help me to please You, and be a blessing to my mentors and anyone that comes my way. Help me to reach out to others and encourage them to be seeking You before Jesus returns and takes us Home! I pray this because of Jesus! Amen.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Living for Honor

Philippians 2:14-18

Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.  Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless.  But I will rejoice even if I lose my life, pouring it out like a liquid offering to God, just like your faithful service is an offering to God. And I want all of you to share that joy.  Yes, you should rejoice, and I will share your joy.
This paragraph is not much good without the truth of the paragraph before it. Paul is here sharing the important life for which to strive with God working in our hearts as explained in Philippians 2:12 & 13. Of course, he is speaking to the Philippian church that he has nurtured. Still, we can think of those who have helped us along the pathway in the Christian life. We can cheer their lives now if we are in contact with them, and we can bring them joy in eternity when we meet in Heaven at last by continuing throughout our lives to choose God’s way and life.

The “Word of Life” is something we can hold onto by faith, and with our faith we can pray to God Whom we cannot see and communicate with Him. Prayer and study opens our thinking to God and we grow. Reading His Word as we pray, the Holy Spirit teaches us.

I am very glad that God can work inside me so that I do not complain and argue with others. So true it is that we are criticized for complaining and arguing. Those who are critical are always ready to pounce when we let words slip. I cannot guard my unruly tongue, and I need the miracle of God so that I do not slip. When I cling to Him and know my need, He is there to give me what I need to speak the right words and have the right attitude that gives me dignity as His child. I am so thankful.


She was able to teach God’s ways to numerous generations in her more than 900 years of life. She had to watch as the generations made their choices in life to follow or not to follow God’s ways. Those who chose the better and higher paths of life and did follow God must have brought her joy. She must have loved them all, but seeing those who stayed on God’s side must have been such a blessing to her.


Mary lived that good life in her day. She was chosen by God because she was a believer even when she was very young.  She has been a blessing to countless generations over the past 2,000 years because of her choice to let God do with her what was His will. Her life inspires us as women of any age to believe and trust and to lay our lives out in surrender to God.

My Prayer

Dear Lord,

Please do Your work in the very heart of me and of who I am so that I will have a good attitude. Please help me to speak only what would please You and be a blessing to others, especially those who have invested much in my life. Thank You for the ones you have placed in my life as mentors and teachers. Please help me to learn my lessons well and honor You and them by my life and choices. Thank You that I can do all things through Christ Jesus who enables me! Amen!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Helping You to Do What He Wants

Philippians 2:12, 13

Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear.  For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.

Paul pleaded with the church people in Philippi to keep on doing those good things that he had taught them to do. He knew it was important for them to seek God first and above all else.  He knew from his own experience just how earnestly we must strive for the right. Still, he adds the wonderful truth and promise that God works inside us to give us the desire and the ability, the strength and power to do what He wants us to do.

How freeing and liberating it is to me to know that I can depend on God to give me everything I need so that I can keep stepping out and forward in obedience. Sometimes, I do not even desire what is right, but I can pray that God will step in and create that desire for doing what is right in my heart. The core of who I am and what I want to do can improve, and I really can become what I was always meant to be.

I do not have any limitations on abilities to keep growing in God and His plan for my life. As I keep on going in faith that God will lift me up, I am enabled by Him to do those things that make His heart glad. Meanwhile, I can know that what He wants is all for my good because that is what gives Him joy, my progress and the love I return to Him. No life is better than living it daily in submission to the miraculous saving power of God to transform me, to change what I do and to ennoble my motives for living and doing.


Eve had an entire lifetime of more than 900 years in which to choose God’s power working in her to overcome where she had failed in the Garden of Eden. We do not know how she lived her life other than the fact that she was a mother, having many children and caring for them every day. Maybe as she saw the grace she wanted to give to her children, she understood more of the love and grace of God for herself. Certainly, she had many years in which to grow wise and mentor those generations that came after her.


Mary, we are told, thought about things that happened and took things as they came to her. (See Luke 2:19.) She was with the believers after Jesus died, and so she learned just what the plan of salvation was really all about. I think there were scriptures in Mary’s home because Jesus knew so much of them when He was only 12 years old. Still, she did not fully understand Jesus’ mission on earth until after the resurrection.
The same is true today; I grow through the years of studying the Bible. I do not have all the answers at the beginning of my life, and I will keep learning throughout all eternity. Still, I am glad I have access to the Bible and can learn and grow. God really is at work in me.

I can look at others I know that are older and younger than I and know that we all grow at our own pace as God is working in us. My friend Esther may be older than me and studying her Bible every day, but she may always talk to me about how she is worried and afraid for herself and her children. She may have been a believer much longer than I, and  she still has daily doubts with which to struggle.

Then, Meg has only been a believer a short time. I know that she is studying her Bible, but she tells me that she loves to watch these shows on TV that I know promote immorality. I can pray for my friends, and I can ask them to pray for me. I hope that they do pray for me as they see in me those areas where I am far from perfect. We can encourage each other to keep striving for the right without a condemning spirit because we know how God is working in our own lives.

My Prayer

Dear Loving and Patient Father God—

Thank Your mercy on me as I grow. Thank you for the stories in the Bible about how You helped people grow in you throughout their lives. I can have hope from their stories and the promises in Philippians 2:12, 13 that I can show evidence of what You are doing in my life. You are helping me to want to do Your will and giving me the power to do Your will for my life. Then, I can pray for others when they share their lives and struggles with me. Please teach me how I can share the hope, love and mercy that I receive from You!! Thank You that this life is possible because of Jesus! Amen.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Philippians 2:8-11 - Jesus Gets His Due, Love Wins

Philippians 2:9-11

Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor
and gave him the name above all other names,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

I love the first 11 verses of Philippians 2, and I love the end of the story as expressed in verses 9-11. Still, it is hard for me to put into words the grandeur and the amazing thrill of that day when everyone will bow before Jesus and confess that He is Lord over all. The words that Paul has penned speak for themselves. When I am present on that day, I know the moment will be all about Him. We will all see that Jesus is Lord and His Love is the truest and the most faithful. . I look forward to that day when everything will be crystal clear in everyone’s minds.

However, I want to believe in Him and worship Him before I am compelled. I want to be counted as one of His followers beforehand so that I am standing as one of His children who love Him. While sin is rampant in our world, while my life is far from perfect, I want to stand for Jesus.

I may lose my reputation, but often it could easily be my own fault either through mistakes I make or poor communication on my part. I may not be understood. My love may be rejected, but Jesus has had to suffer so much more on such a larger scale and never because He deserved it. He was willing to take the journey even when He knew what it would be like way before He took it, all because of love.

We do not fully understand. Through years of eternity we will study and learn more and still more about God and His love. Still, I am glad there is a point where we understand enough so that everyone will bow and acknowledge that Jesus is Lord.

 He gives His following, believing children everything. We do not lack. He strengthens us to stand. He protects us when we call out to Him. Even if we must suffer in this world and be in it, He is there every step of the way. He has already won and only a short lifetime on this planet is still necessary to show just how Satan’s plan of government works out to its end. In the end, Jesus will stand tall and all will see that His plan of life and love are best, that Love truly wins every time.


She had the promise of God that one day, the evil one will be conquered completely. Sin will have an end. This hope must have made her glad in her life.  She wanted her own boy to be the promised savior of the world, but she knew that Jesus would come somewhere down the line of her descendants.


She thought for a very long time as did most of the Jews that the Messiah would come and set up His kingdom on Earth in His lifetime in our world. She thought He was born to be crowned King, but He was crowned with thorns and killed in the most degrading and cruel manner.  When Jesus rose from the dead, her understanding of the scriptures broadened to see God’s true plan of salvation. She looked forward because she knew the day was coming when every knee will bow. All those who never understood Him would understand.

My prayer

Dear Father in Heaven –

Thank You for Jesus and the hope that You give. One day we will all bow before Jesus. He deserves all our adoration now, however. I pray that You will help my heart to reach out to You in true worship now, before that final day. Please help me by Your grace to walk with You, believe in You and draw others to You during my life in this world. Thank You that all this is possible because of Jesus! Amen.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Attitude of Jesus & What He Did: Philippians 2:5-8

Philippians 2:5-8

 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
 Though he was God,
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
he took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,
 he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

I love to read this part about the beauty of Jesus’ humility, but that first thought that I must have the attitude of Christ Jesus seems like a tricky sentence unless I remember that what God tells me to do comes with His promise to provide for me all I need to accomplish it. Think about this promise! He will work this miracle in me and you that we can have the attitude of Jesus! To be like Jesus is an awe-inspiring thought and miracle.

I am so glad He is the One in charge because He is so loving and good. He knew He must always choose the hard and painful path in order to complete His plan and make a universe where everyone truly understood that He is fully trustworthy and loving. He continues to carry all the pain felt in this world until that time when He will say, “It is completed.”

Now even though I will not ever fully comprehend what Jesus has done and is doing and the sacrifices and suffering He endures, I pause and think on these verses. I am always amazed. I find volumes in the one above paragraph from Philippians chapter 2. I take it phrase by phrase and try to understand or at least catch a glimpse.


Would Eve despair if she saw the sufferings of Jesus? Or would she have had joy in the hope that He brought to this world through all of the things He endures for us? I see the mercy of God that she did not live to see just how bad things got in our world by the time Jesus was here. As it was, she lived through over 900 years of this world and saw much misery.

She had hoped and hoped to see Jesus come from her womb, but He did not. He waited until He knew the time was right, and none of us can really comprehend when the time is right for important world events like He can. He came and then returned to the Father with the promise to come again. We wait, work and live until that time.


What must life have been like for her before the resurrection when the scriptures about the Messiah made sense with the life of Jesus? She lived all of those years remembering that the prophet Simeon had told her in the temple that a sword would pierce her soul. She watched the life of Jesus and wondered that He really was God’s Son, but He lived a life of shame and humiliation in poverty. So many things she didn't understand, but many of them became clear after Jesus rose from the dead and she listened to the disciples discussing the prophecies together.

How wonderful it must have been to be with those disciples and the other women who believed in Jesus after He died and rose again. I am so glad that Mary had the chance to know the truth about her Son after those years of wondering and confusion. She understood the Lamb giving His life for sinners and the plan of salvation. She had trusted and obeyed through the years even though she did not understand, but joy must have thrilled her when she did comprehend the answers to those questions she had about Jesus’ life in this world.

My Prayer

Dear Lord,
I come to You in awe of You and Your love and humility. Please help me to let Your attitude inside so that I can be like You. This wonderful miracle is Your promise. Please help me to remember and think about all that You have done and are doing. The more I look to You the more like You I can become. Thank You for taking all the risks and suffering to make Your life and love available to me! Thank You that this love and life is available to all people who will accept the gift! Thank You, Jesus! Amen.