Devotions in Philippians – Introduction

Time for a new book in our devotion blog.  We are going to move to the New Testament book of Philippians.

Is Jesus the most important thing in your life?  Sometimes it is easy for us to say He is, but much more difficult to live this out, especially when times are rough.  It is pretty cool how God gives us books in the Bible to deal with everything in life.  You might be saying, “You know, I want to live for God.  But you don’t understand how tough it is right now.”  But no matter how bad we have it, none of us are in as bad a situation as the Apostle Paul when he wrote the book of Philippians.
From a Roman jail Paul wrote the most joyous book of the Bible, the book of Philippians.  His life situation was horrible.  He had lost his freedom, was in chains, and struggled to know what lied ahead.  He was waiting for Roman officials to determine his fate, which could include execution. Yet, he had the ability to be full of joy and wonder because he was a man who was totally surrendered to Jesus and in the middle of His will.

He writes this book to people that he loved and who loved him.  Paul had spent time in the Roman city of Philippi on his missionary journeys. He started this church, and loved the people.  In fact, among the first converts were the Philippian jailor and his family who were saved (you have to read this story in Acts 16) The book of Philippians is a thank you letter to a church in  Philippi, thanking them for their help in his time of need.  They apparently had sent some financial help to Paul while he was in prison.

For the previous two decade Paul had traveled from town to town sharing the Gospel and planting new churches.  It would have been easy for him to look up to God and cry out, “Why me,” or, “God, I have done so much for you, why can’t you get me out of this situation.”  But his response to persecution and suffering was drastically different than most of us.  Paul knew he was possibly near the end of his life, and he looks back on his life, realizing that the only thing worth living for is Christ.  The book of Philippians is a challenge — that if a person is totally committed to Jesus Christ, he or she will be full of life, no matter how bad the circumstances can get.

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