Following God with Courage

"This is my command--be strong and courageous! Do not be

afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." -- Joshua 1:9 (NLT)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Lessons from Philippians 1:1- 6

On Thursday nights I lead a ladies bible study in my home. We have just started studying the book of Philippians. We are going through a book by Elizabeth George and studying how to have the peace Paul talks about in Philippians. I have been looking at the lessons from the perspective of a new wife and not just how to have peace in my life but how to have peace in my marriage. My husband and I really want a marriage that has God at the center. This was an easy choice for us to make in our heads, but putting it into action is taking some learning. The following are a few things that I have been learning for my marriage from the book of Philippians.

Philippians 1:1

"1Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons:"
  • Paul saw himself as a servant of Christ. Servants were to be quiet and not heard and to follow the precise orders of their master. Christ is our master. We should obey Him without fighting and arguing. This includes following His teachings through Paul on how wives should treat their husbands.
  • Ephesians 5:21-24 says, "And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything."
  • To be a servant of Christ, I need to respect my husband and submit to him. It is not up to negotiation. It is something that I need to do. And, I need to really do it from the inside, not just the outside actions. The outside actions are nearly impossible if I do not internally think of him with esteem. As a little side note, as I have worked on the homework I gave myself and tried to praise my husband in front of others, it has helped to change the way I think of him. The more I try to think of ways to praise him and think highly of him, the softer I feel toward him inside and the easier it becomes to submit (give up my power over my life) to him. I am so thankful that I have married a man that works at submitting to God! I love you, my love.
Philippians 1:2

"2Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."
  • Elizabeth George says, "God's grace is His unmerited favor poured out upon those who have trusted in Jesus Christ. But did you know that the whole sustaining power of God is packaged within his grace and favor? God's grace means God's force and His power. It's God's marvelous grace that enables us to go through all the trials of life. Just as God is all that you need, so God's grace is also all that you need it to be."
  • In my marriage, this means that God's grace is from my Father and the Lord Jesus Christ and it is all that I need. It is God's force and His power helping me to properly love my husband. This is so encouraging to me! I feel so inadequate to be a good, Godly wife. However, with the power of God strengthening me, this is a goal that I can strive for.

Philippians 1:6

"6being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. "

  • No only did God start this good work in me of trying to be a good, Godly wife, but He will finish it. I can be confident of that. My husband and I sought God each step of the way from courtship, through engagement, and into marriage. God will not abandon us to do this alone now. God will complete His work. He will continue to pour out His grace on us. This is so very encouraging to me!
Philippians 1:3-5

"3I thank my God every time I remember you. 4In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5because of you partnership in the gospel from the first day until now"
  • Paul thanked God for his friends and how much they loved God every time he thought of them. We see that he had joy in his heart as he did so.
  • I should pray for my husband this way. I should pray for him daily. And, I should thank God for him every time I do it. My husband strives daily to be a man of God in actions and feelings as well as in talk. I am truly blessed. I should not take this for granted. I should support him in prayer. It will bring joy to my heart. It will make my heart soft toward my husband as I pray for him and the decision and daily tasks that we must make together and separate. It will help my husband for me to agree with him in prayer and to pray for him, but it will also help me to love him better. God is so great to make a thing like prayer double edged with a double blessing!

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