October 14, 2011

Philippians Chapter 2

613 miles....that's the distance that Epaphroditus had to travel from Philippi to Rome. NO WONDER HE ALMOST DIED!! Across modern day Turkey, Macedonia, probably part of Greece ( I'm no historian here)...and then cross the Adriatic Sea and then over Italy to get to Rome.
THAT'S what E ( I am getting tired of slowly spelling out his name every time..and besides if we were in a real live Bible study right now I'd be calling him "E" because I can never pronounce names in the Bible anyways...so this makes it way more realistic), so that's what E had to do to bring some money to Paul in Rome.

I think after I had read the whole chapter and then did my research on E's travels it totally changed everything I was going to write about the chapter. It just became a lot more REAL. Paul talking about putting others before ourselves. Reminding his readers of the Example of Christ-who came to SERVE not to be BE SERVED ( Mark 10:45), who gave His very life for us all...my favorite "Easter" verses in this chapter being: (7-8)
rather, he made himself nothing
   by taking the very nature of a servant,
   being made in human likeness.
 And being found in appearance as a man,
   he humbled himself
   by becoming obedient to death—
      even death on a cross!

then Paul's reminder to the Philippians to not grumble or complain about doing good works ( this is no accident!! As soon as you start telling me to be selfless and humble, all the arguing and bad-attitude-ness in me starts bubbling over and I'm guessing its the same for the Philippians too!
And then Paul brings it back to talking about his own feelings towards them where we get to this verse:
(verse 17)
Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you..." 
Which when I thought about what that MEANS:
Ok, so a drink offering in my limited knowledge was basically pouring out some wine on to the ground. Now, its kind of a cool symbol of giving something up to God because-have you ever tried to scoop up a drink when you've accidentally spilled it ( let's say something precious like baby formula)?-its pretty well near impossible. So, the picture Paul is painting is here is that he's willing to literally spill out his life, "waste" it, not get it back, give it up completely for the Philippians. Wow.

I think its the idea that its "wasteful" which I kind of talked about in my last blog post. I seem to put way to much importance on whether its "worth it" not whether its just something that would honor God in doing it. Something to think about.

Anyway, back to the chapter. Like I was saying, after seeing the living example of this guy "E" I think I understand what verses 3 and 4 mean a lot more:
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interest but each of you to the interests of others.
613 miles.
So what's my application for this week? First let me tell you about this last week....I think that I was able to encourage someone else, in fact, God was very cool and allowed me to help someone on a particularly awful day: Army Packing Up All Your Stuff Day. So I was grateful for that answered prayer. And I was also able to tell someone who's been an encouragement to ME, "thank you"...but honestly it was not as well as I would have liked. It ended up being over text message and that's about as special as toast. But I'll try to do better on that one.
Ok, so this week...this week I feel like the study as shown me a lot about just HOW un-servant like I am. And that deep down, I am CONSTANTLY counting the cost rather than just diving in headfirst to love and serve others. So, this week I'm going to specifically do something that gave me a bad attitude all last week! More of my time ( and sadly money) to Brett's work environment. I'm going to stop there with the details because I don't really want to talk about it much here, but that should be enough for you to keep me accountable to doing it!!

Alright! What did you guys think of Philippians 2? And those of you who didn't write up a chapter 1 study...no biggie! Would still love you thoughts on either chapter just link them up here! :-)


Lindsay O'Connor said...

This chapter has me thinking about my need to be less selfish (and I understand what you mean about cuonting the cost rather than diving in to serve others!). Here's my response:

JCB said...

Here are my comments:


~Ruth Marie

Tabitha said...

And mine. http://keepingtheendinmind.blogspot.com/2011/10/philippians-2.html

Miranda said...

Well, hopefully better late than never, here's my response. :)


Christa said...


just lei said...

seriously...one of these days, I'm going to make it to your friday deadline....I was planning on reading C 3, but that would totally ruin the point of sitting and absorbing one chapter at a time.
anyway - here ya go:

Jennifer Wade said...

Okay, so I have a KJ bible and have realized I MUST change. My favorite part of this was verse 3- "Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves." I looked this up online and found it in ESV to be even better. I love the idea of simply doing things for others or for God or Jesus, not out of personal gain, but to make others better in some way. I personally think this is what our time here is about. I think this idea spills over into many different religions, including Buddhism (wink wink). Do good. Be good. Do for others and serve others- selflessly. Isn't this also what we are TRYING to teach our children? Be kind, be polite, love all of your friends, respect all beings. LOVE LOVE LOVE this verse.

I also had to laugh about parts of verse 8- obedient even to the point of death. A little scary if you ask me, but it reminds me of my wedding vows. Abigail's precious Papa married us and we have really enjoyed laughing about my needing to be obedient. It is really not in my nature to be so- but obedient to the point of death? Wow, it really related to me in respect to the vows I took with my husband. Yes- I will be obedient to the point of death. Till death do us part. I understand this is not at all the point of the verse, but when I read it this is what comes to mind.

And lastly, verse 12 "Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation." So much going on in this one. First off I love the idea that obedience is present in absence. Beautiful. It reminds me of being in HS and the teacher leaves the room and everyone goes crazy or cheats on work. Really? Is it so hard to be obedient when you "feel" like you aren't being watched? I really like that they have been praised, but I think this should be an expectation of us. I realize I am using obedience in a broader definition, but I think it applies. It says a lot about a person, in general, and their character to be obedient in absence- in any way. Whether it is in absence of JC or in absence of a teacher or a cop or video surveillance. BE GOOD- OBEY- Darn it! I do have one slight (go figure) problem with this verse. Work out my own salvation with fear and trembling? Umm no??? I really think sometimes the idea of punishment is a stronger incentive for things like say obedience, but I don't think it is the right way. I do it with my kid- yes, but after reading this maybe I should rephrase because I know how I felt after reading the verse. I should say put down those matches and I will give you a cookie instead of if you don't put down those matches I am going to give you a spanking. I read this verse to mean the threat of Hell. I don't like being scared into anything. Fear and trembling? I did wiki Salvation to see if I was missing something and I can see a little more relevance through the idea of salvation as being a passage from sinful moral character to a more positive life.

Any hoo- these are the thoughts of a yoga teaching, incense burning, coffee drinking, hippie. Hope they make you laugh, lil sis!

Melissa said...

Bam, done! Good thing there's no deadline :)