Dun-dun-dun-DUUUUNNNN!!!! We're here!! And If I could make a trumpet sound I totally would! Almost every day this week someone's jumped on board the Bloggin' Bible Study train and I've become more and more excited about it. You guys have shown me that its NOT scary to study the Bible, especially if its in the un-scary ( hehe) realms of the internets where no one can come to your house and TP it because you didn't answer "Jesus" to every question ( that would never happen) and apparently you guys are totally willing to join in this little experiment with me and hopefully bring this particular blogging community closer together! Excellent!
So lets get this party started:
Philippians. The background:
It was written by this guy named Paul ( read how Paul became a follower of Jesus here) . And he probably dictated it to this other guy named Timothy ( basically Paul's right hand man, quite a bit younger but had also helped Paul start the Church at Philippi ) . He wrote it while he was in PRISON ( now there's a long story, and if you don't know it...I suggest you read the book of Acts sometime) . And he wrote it to the church in the city of Philippi in around the year 63 A.D. ( whatever that means! Man, I wish I was good at history sometimes!!) .
Now, I got most of my background info on this book from this handy-dandy other book called "Halley's Bible Handbook" but you could probably find most of your basic background on the book of Philippians in most Study Bibles or....the wonderful world of Wikipedia.
Some of the things that were clarified for me by doing my background research is that, it had probably been three or four years since Paul had last been to Philippi and it had been about ten years since his first visit when he founded the church there. It looks like the church had sent this guy, Epaphroditus ( don't name your son after him...please) with some monetary support for Paul and he'd gotten really sick on the way. When he recovered Paul sent him back with this letter ( Phil. 2:25-30, 4:18).
themes thoughts of the Letter (I guess I'll stop calling it a book now...)
Without even realizing it I picked a nice seemingly "lighthearted" book to study. Which I dig. But its also a bit of a mishmash of topics and I got waaaaay overwhelmed trying to make it into any kind of outline/major themes. So instead I'll just point out some things that stuck out to me this read-through.
~Using seemingly difficult/awful circumstances for the good and glory of God. ( Chapter 1: 12-, 27-)
I definitely need to have this attitude more often. The attitude that even when things do NOT go my way, my prayer should be that my circumstances in some way are advancing the Kingdom of Jesus. I guess I'd call that "Heavenly Minded"...which I am not.
~A reminder of how Christ lived( and how we should live):
Treat each other in a servant hearted manner ( first section of chapter 2). Something I really want to do better in. Especially with the people that have been placed in my life that may not be the easiest to love.
Remember you are a light in a world that may not know Jesus. You might just be someones only chance of meeting Him ( through you!). (second section of Chapter 2)
~A reminder that just because Paul had 'everything together' none of that really matters for Christ has made us ALL equal in our salvation in Him. ( Chapter 3:2-11) I need to stop looking at my "street cred" as a Christian...the fact that I give money to the poor...that I volunteer...the fact that I've read the Bible...memorized verses etc. etc. as what makes me cool or uncool. Bottom line. NONE of us are "Good People" unless we have Jesus in our lives. Period.
~Striving to be like Christ, look to others that are doing the same and look to them to help you in your growth. ( chapter 3:12-20) I really want to reavaluate and make sure that the people I'm looking up to, the people I'm spending my time with and who influence me the most are REALLY the type of people that I want to be like. aka...are they following hard after Christ?
~Chapter 4:4-6...these are the verses I quoted yesterday and that I need to seriously write on my forehead sometimes!! They are SO helpful.
Chapter 4:8-9...very helpful to me in keeping my mind from dwelling on whatifs and fears and concerns that I've contrived in my head..they've even helped me from spending my time daydreaming and thinking about things that I WISH would happen...which can be just as detrimental.
One thing that reading through this whole letter reminded me of this week, is that there may just be sections that I just DO NOT GET. And that's ok too....in fact, that's one of the major cool-factors of doing this bible study with all you awesome people. So I'd like to go ahead and add that to next weeks homework: Ask some questions that you do NOT have the answer to......I think sometimes the "A-student" in me comes out and I only want to ask questions that I immediately have the answer for, but there's something really great about reading the Bible with the attitude that we do not understand everything in it...and that we can come away with new questions and answers every time we read it! again and again!
OK, now I'm SUPER EXCITED to hear what you guys think!! I'll be collecting your studies ( if you want to send them in!) via email and blog-link. And I'd love to share some of your thoughts here on my blog if that's ok! Maybe a little sum-up-age later this weekend? ;-)