During COVID-19, my Bible study has gathered virtually. Since the shut-down, we haven’t missed a week and are currently working our way through the book of Philippians. Join us by review the notes and watching the encouraging videos.
In Philippians 1:1-11, Paul begins his letter to the saints in the church at Philippi. Paul planted this church on his second missionary journey around 49 AD (Acts 16:6-34) and he greatly loved these people. His compassion and affection for these people is clearly seen in his letter. Paul wrote to encourage the Philippian church and he wrote while imprisoned under house arrest in Rome. Chained to a jailer, Paul wrote about joy in any circumstances and told that it begins with being confident based on what God has done for us, in us and will continue to do in and through us (Phil 1:6). We should remember that the amount of joy we experience will be directly related to the amount of gratitude we feel toward our gracious and loving God.
Watch this short video and decide what your answer is to the question, “is your glass half-empty or half-full?”
Watch this short video that illustrates Paul’s teachings about finding joy in the midst of suffering. This video was filmed in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and teaches us about joy in suffering. Watch for the interview with a man who was a teacher in a seminary. When he felt the rumblings, he left his second floor classroom where his students were taking a test. He went down to the first floor, then outside, to see what was happening. As he looked around, the building he had just exited came crashing down. Everyone inside was killed—including his wife. Be inspired by a Haitian man who found joy in the midst of tragedy and sorrow.
Watch this short video. Pastor Matt Chandler was diagnosed with brain cancer in November 2009. Prior to his surgery, he addressed his congregation via video and proclaimed his faith and hope in the midst of his fiery trial.
1 Pet 4:12 -13 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
In every trial, tribulation, every challenge, every conflict, in the good times and the bad…Jesus is enough. Enough joy for the day and enough peace for our souls.
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***A Hidden Message in Psalm 23?***
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Do not be anxious about anything. (Phil 4:6)
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must rightly remember who is in control. Our God is sovereign over all things, including COVID-19. As Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) said, “The sovereignty of God is a soft pillow on which weary people lay their heads.”
Remember also God’s gracious promise, and that it is true and He is faithful to keep it: Hebrews 13:5 …”I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” The next verse remind us of the power that comes in trusting God and how we can live: Hebrews 13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man [or COVID-19] shall do to me.
God loves us, and in Christ we find confidence and calm in times of uncertainty and trouble. When we trust in God, fear is replaced with faith, stress is replaced with strength, anxiety is gone and hope abounds, problems become opportunities, and we are able to receive the blessings God has for us in the midst of difficult circumstances. Turn to Jesus. He will lead you to the still waters and give rest for your troubled soul.
This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast…Hebrews 6:19
Be Ready Always...
to give a reason for the Hope that you have (1 Peter 3:15). When you can’t share the gospel with your words, share it by leaving tracts that tell people about God's grace.
When leaving a tract, always be diligent to pray about the short gospel message. Pray that it be found by someone who is in need of Jesus’ saving grace, and pray that the person will have a tender heart and open ears to receive the gift Jesus desires to give them.
By the power of the Holy Spirit, even a small tract can help in turning a broken sinner from darkness to light.
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