Friday, January 23, 2015

Still waiting (Philippians 1, Isaiah 40:31)

"An old prayer that Pres. John F. Kennedy had in his study."
I took this photo in Aruba.

© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.


It took me awhile to figure out, but I believe we're in Philippians now.  This is another letter from the Apostle Paul.  In this letter, he mentions Timothy.  I think we all have that feeling that the world is so big and we seem so small.  We've been having trouble getting our mail lately.  Someone ran into the mailboxes and I was able to get it open but now it's just stuck.  I put in 3 phone calls to the Post Office, so now I guess I best pray and wait.  Waiting is a challenge isn't it?  tap tap tap 

31 But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.
(Isaiah 40:31 NKJV)
Guess it's not just that we wait, but how we wait that matters : )

Philippians Chapter 1

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

Timothy was a young man who spent time with the Apostle Paul.  He became a Pastor and as we read the letters in the Bible the Apostle Paul thought of him as a son.  That would be quite an honor.  Paul was a hero in this time period for surviving many obstacles in jails and prisons.  You probably remember Paul started out trying to destroy Christians.  He thought it was the right thing to do.  God stopped him in his tracks and turned him in the right direction.  1 and 2nd Timothy were written by Paul's friend.

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

3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, 5 for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; 7 just as it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as both in my chains and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers with me of grace. 8 For God is my witness, how greatly I long for you all with the affection of Jesus Christ.
9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, 10 that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, 11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

Verse 6 is a good one to memorize.  I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels hopeless about myself sometimes.  He's not done with us yet so we shouldn't give up on Him or ourselves.  He forgives when we confess.  Actually there's really great memorizable verses in all the letters.

12 But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, 13 so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; 14 and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
This is one of the cool things about Paul and Peter.  They both were taken captive and then!  They led the guards to Christ.

15 Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from goodwill: 16 The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains; 17 but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel. 18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice.
To me, this describes people who want to appear holy and righteous but secretly seek perfection and approval.  If you've read the Bible at all you'd recognize God detests this attitude (the proud and lofty).  He hangs out with waitresses, police officers, programmers, and bus drivers.  Real people who aren't afraid to admit mistakes.  Paul is most interested in Jesus being preached.  Not whether or not people are perfect.

19 For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, 20 according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 
Paul has this awesome faith.  He knows that whatever happens to His body, he's going to be with Jesus one day.  He was the one that the Lord put scales on his eyes so he couldn't see.  Definitely got his attention.  Now he's with Jesus in Paradise.  And Jesus is working in us and those who come after us.

22 But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 For I am hard- pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. 24 Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you. 25 And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith, 26 that your rejoicing for me may be more abundant in Jesus Christ by my coming to you again.
We are hard pressed on every side too.  There's good TV and bad TV, so many temptations.  It seems like illnesses are getting more crazy every year.  Some of the schools seem lacking in purpose and hope.  Each generation has faced it's own demons haven't they?  Both of my Grandmas went through the depression.  They both had this distant look in their eyes sometimes.   Both of them used to save the wrappers from bread so they didn't have to buy plastic bags.  They were frugal with money.

27 Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel, 28 and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that from God. 29 For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, 30 having the same conflict which you saw in me and now hear is in me.
(Philippians 1:1-30 NKJV)
We too need to be focussed on Jesus and remind ourselves of what will come.

Dear Heavenly Father,
I lift up those in Saudi Arabia who mourn the death of their King.  I pray for the children who have been kidnapped that You will set them free.  Nothing is impossible for You.  I know You can do anything.  You saved me!  Please continue to bless our world leaders with wisdom.  Guide and protect Ukraine.

Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
10 Set the world right;
Do what's best––
  as above, so below.
11 Keep us alive with three square meals.
12 Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
13 Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You're in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You're ablaze in beauty!
  Yes. Yes. Yes.
(Matthew 6:9-13 Message)

In Jesus' Name I pray,

Tenth Avenue North- human trafficking, For Those who can't speak (link)
I have really come to admire Tenth Avenue North.  Their songs are so relevant to our world today.  My husband and I decided we'd buy more of their dvds to support them.


  1. I just listened to these passages on my iphone yesterday!
    God has really been making me think about Paul lately.
    I may even do a blogpost soon.
    Hope you have not suffered any of the recent storm...I am glad to hear that so far it was not as bad as they were predicting!
    I agree with you in your prayer for the children to be returned...and for the Ukraine also...I would add that God would protect his people from the pursuit and attacks from ISIS as well...In Jesus~ Amen~

  2. Amen Lisa praying in agreement. We came through the storm just fine.