Philemon 1:1-25; Philippians 1:1-2:11
~ Click here to read today's Scripture on BibleGateway.com ~ // Mobile Site Link
~ Listen to today's Scripture on ESV Online.org ~
Philemon: Today we read Paul's letter to Philemon!
~ Philemon ~
Author: Paul the apostle
Date: A.D. 60 or 61
Content: A slave named Onesimus, who was owned by a Christian in Colosse named Philemon, had run away, ultimately making his way to Rome. Here he heard the gospel from Paul and became a believer. This letter was written by Paul to encourage Philemon to take Onesimus back, this time as more than a servant, indeed, as a Christian brother. There is a play on words in verse 11 where Paul says that now Onesimus (the word means “useful”) will in fact be Onesimus – useful both to Philemon and the ministry.
Theme: This short book is quite important in many ways. Two things stand out. First, we see the way in which the gospel worked. No one is beyond the reach of God. If anyone will trust in Jesus, he will become a new person. Second, the ancient barriers of class hatred are being broken down by the gospel – Philemon and Onesimus are now Christian brothers. (Above commentary is from Tyndale Publishers “The One Year Bible Companion” pp. 30-31) A great overview of the book of Philemon by Daniel B. Wallace is at this link.
Verse 4 stands out to me in Philemon today - "I always thank God when I pray for you, Philemon..." How often do we tell our family or friends that we thank God for them? How often do we tell them that we pray for them? How often do we actually do both of these things?
Philippians: Today we begin Paul's letter to the church in Philippi! See # 5 on the map below -
~ Philippians ~
Author: Paul the apostle
Date: A.D. 61
Content: Paul wrote this letter from prison in Rome to some very dear friends in Philippi as a response to their sending some money to him in order to meet his needs. He begins by expressing his confidence in them and then describes dome of the problems he faces in Rome. Whether he will die or not he does not know, but if death does come, he will rejoice in the presence of Christ. If he remains, he will continue to serve God by serving the churches. The example of Christ’s humility is set before the Philippians as an example to follow. False teachings are to be vigorously rejected. Two quarreling sisters are admonished to make up and all believers are admonished to set high ideals for themselves because God will supply all that one needs in life.
Theme: In this very personal letter of Paul the theme of rejoicing may be seen throughout. If one lives, he may rejoice because God loves him. Christ died for him, and all things are given to him by God for his life. If one dies, then he may rejoice by being in Christ’s presence forevermore. This does not mean that Christians will have no problems, however. Even as Jesus had to endure the cross, so we must be ready to follow that example of submission to God, if it must be. But we are citizens of heaven (Philippians 3:2) and should live with that thought constantly before us. (Above commentary is from Tyndale Publishers “The One Year Bible Companion” p. 27) More great commentary on Philippians is at this link.
Today in Philippians chapter 1 verse 21 we read this powerful statement of Paul's:
Bible.org's commentary on today's readings in Philippians titled "Paul's Perspective on Life and Death" is at this link.
Our readings in Philippians chapter 2 today have some powerful verses on imitating Jesus’ humility. In verses 3 & 4 we read: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Are you doing nothing out of selfish ambition or vanity in your life today? Are you humble? Do you consider others better than yourself? Do you look to the interests of others? I realize these can be hard teachings to put into practice – in fact, it seems almost impossible in our modern world. But, let us remember that indeed all things are possible with Jesus Christ in our lives and hearts. Let us not give up on imitating Jesus’ humility in our lives today. I pray each of us is becoming more like Jesus in some small or significant way each and every day. Don’t stop the transformation process. Don’t quench the Spirit. Let God change you.
Bible.org's commentary on today's readings in Philippians titled "The Ultimate in Humility - Leaving the Comfort Zone" is at this link.
Worship God: Today's readings remind me of the fantastic song by Mark Harris called "One True God:"
Do you know the One true God? Click here and meet the One!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." Philippians 1:21 (NIV)
Prayer Point: Pray that you are living for Christ. Pray that you are not living for the world. Pray that you are looking forward to dying because you know that you will live in eternity in heaven with Jesus Christ, your Lord and Savior.
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!