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Quiet Time in Philippians 4


EXPAND TO READ: PHILIPPIANS 4 (HCSB)

 

PERSONAL JOURNAL:


SIN (verse 5): I have struggled quite often since coming to faith with actually sharing the grace You’ve shown me in my faith with others. You tell us to let our graciousness be known to everyone and that You are always near. For some reason, I have found myself lacking in the sharing of Your graciousness to others through me. I don’t know if it’s my immaturity in my faith, my lack of confidence in general, both, or something else. Please forgive me for holding Your graciousness inside of me instead of allowing it to be known to everyone, Father. Forgive me for being selfish with the blessings You have provided in my life. Help me to continue to be better at this so that I become more confident and willing in making my graciousness known to everyone.

 

PROMISE (verse 9): Thank You for Your timeliness, Father. I needed this promise this morning. You promise us that if we do what we have learned, received, heard, and seen through Your teachings, then the God of peace will be with us. I do often fail at embracing the peace You have to offer me. I get frustrated easily, irritated easily, and sometimes even dig back into my anger easily. Please continue to remind me that Your peace is always there for me if I’m just willing to accept it. Continue to remind me that Your peace is stronger than anything my flesh or this life may want to rile up. Thank You for Your peace, Father, because without it I would truly be in a devastating place in my life.

 

ATTITUDE (verse 11): The attitude of contentment is one that I struggle with quite a bit, yet it seems that Paul may have mastered it thanks to You. I don’t know why I struggle with the attitude of contentment, but it seems that I am usually not satisfied with what I have or where I am in this life. This doesn’t mean that I just sit around and do nothing and be okay with that. It means that no matter my circumstances, You are there to give me strength to get through it all. Whether it’s great things or bad things that I’m experiencing in this life, You are always there for me to guide me through it. Help me to be better at embracing the attitude of contentment as Paul outlines here, Father, so that I may live in a way that is pleasing to You through ALL that I experience in this life.

 

COMMAND (verse 4): This is another thing I do not do often enough in my life, yet here You are repeating Yourself to me about it in a single verse. You tell us to rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS! Not just when good things are happening in our lives, not just through the positive experiences that happen, not just through the ups but also in the turmoil of this life, the negative experiences, the bad things—ALWAYS! I have struggled with this quite a bit, as I typically only praise You through the great things that happen or that I observe. I do struggle to see what to praise You for in the bad things that happen or that I observe and I am sorry for that, Father. I know that all things happen in this life for a reason, even if it’s our own flesh and selfishness, but all things in this life can also be used for Your goodness. If I can start to live in the vision that You have instead of in my flesh, then I will begin to see the way to praise You always instead of just when I feel like praising You in the moment.

 

EXAMPLE (verses 11-14): Paul gives us two great examples here. He gives us an example of how we can live in contentment in our lives, but then he also gives us a great example of how us Christians are meant to share one another’s burdens. The first part, Paul says that he has learned to live in contentment through ALL situations in his life because we are able to do all things through Him who strengthens us. If I truly and deeply embrace this relationship with You and I trust You fully in all aspects of this life, then everything is just passing by as You are able to get me through all things with Your strength and not my own. I definitely need to open my heart more, so that I can truly embrace the strength You are freely and openly trying to give me all the time. In the very last verse, Paul praises the Philippians for sharing with him in his hardship. I know I’ve been guilty of this at times, but how often in this world do Christians look the other way or simply do nothing when it comes to fellow Christians experiencing hardships? Looking at just this single verse as an example, this is not any way that You expect us to live, Father. You expect us to carry one another’s burdens so that the weight of those burdens becomes less and less for each of us. Help me to be better at following these examples in my life, Father.

 

*DAILY NOTE: Once again, Father, You absolutely astound me with Paul’s writings. Although these were written a couple thousand years ago, I often feel as-if Paul is writing these directly to me most of the time. The book of Philippians may have been a short book in comparison to some of the other of Paul’s writings, but I am so grateful for the lessons You’ve taught me in this book. Help me to be a better Christian, Father. Help me to truly embrace all that You are freely giving to me directly, through Your Son, and through the Spirit. Help me to also be a better Christian to my fellow Christians by helping them carry their burdens. Dr. Joe Martin from my Real Men 300 group often says that we are only as strong as the number of stronger Christian Men that we surround ourselves with. This statement is reinforced through Your word many times, even in Philippians. I have failed many times since coming to faith with both being there for other Christians to help them carry their burdens, but also with allowing other Christians to help me carry mine. Please continue Your great works in me, Father, so that I may one day become the Christian You expect me to be instead of the one that this society often dictates I should be.

 

EXPAND TO READ: GENERAL NOTE FOR MY QUIET TIMES


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