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Mike, Thanks for your comments on worry and prayer around Phil 4:6-7. Very applicable.

I so needed to read this passage in Phil. today because I am worrying myself sick over a particular situation. I know that "Worry doesn't prevent disaster, it prevents prayer" but I needed to hear that today. Thanks to God for being the source of our peace and caring about every detail of our lives and granting us peace, especially when we lay our burdens at his feet!

Jeremiah 1:1-2:30

Jeremiah is one of my very favorite books. I have rejoiced over it, cried over it, celebrated in it, been confused over who is speaking and to whom while reading it. I have probably read this book more times than all the other books in the Bible carving out months where I read one chapter a day or weeks, where I covered all 52. Is God speaking only to Jeremiah or is He speaking to Jeremiah a message to give to the people? Is this Jeremiah’s lament regarding Israel and Judah, God’s people, or is this God lamenting the choices His people have made?

Jeremiah began hearing from God during the reign of Josiah. Like Isaiah, Jeremiah prophases during periods of religious reform and times of apostasy; good kings and horrible kings, yet God’s message is the same. I wonder with us on this site and within our church’s do we think all our religious activities, all our doing stuff, things for God, exempts us from the messages and warnings of God? Do we have a sense of false security, like those who attended the Temple that we are not idolaters as we bow down to our idols? Do we think we are not blasphemous because we do not blaspheme by our definitions while we blaspheme by God’s point of view?


As we enter into the Words of God through the prophet Jeremiah may our hearts and minds be open for conviction, may they be open for correction, instruction and encouragement when we fall into despair. In Jesus’ Mighty and Glorious Name—Amen and Amen.


Sinners will sin because by nature they sin, but it is God’s people to whom much as been given and thus, much is required. We are without excuse. I think Jeremiah is a very dangerous book to read when one is a Believer but refused to believe the message God give is Jeremiah.

If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, pray, seek, crave, and require of necessity My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14 AMP)

God's Plan (Isaiah wrapup)

After three and a half years of being a Christian and studying His word (for most of that time), I have become more and more enthralled with the intricacy of God's plan.

How every little thing fits in and interlocks like a massive jigsaw puzzle that has yet to be completed. How our God is a personal God; a soverign God whose Will shall not be thwarted.

I am amazed that it took 48+ years for me to recognize and see God's fingerprints in the Bible. Whether it is Christ fulfilling the Law's requirements for a sacrifice, the relationship of Christ's ministry to the feast days, to the symbolism of the temple, to the prophets and the fulfillment of their prophecies, etc. - anyone who looks closely and wants to see the truth can see God's plan is marching forward. The signs are throughout the Bible and much like a hunter tracks an animal by footprints, bent branches, left behind spores - so it is with the Bible and God's plan - it can be tracked.

So what is his plan?

It is not just about fixing something or a people, I believe it is about restoring relationships. God does not just want to reconcile what happened between Himself and mankind. He wants to restore relationships and things to the way they were in the beginning.
======================================================
Some examples from the last chapters of Isaiah

Is 62:8 The LORD has sworn by his right hand
and by his mighty arm:
"Never again will I give your grain
as food for your enemies,
and never again will foreigners drink the new wine
for which you have toiled;

The curse(s) of Deut 28:

30b "You will plant a vineyard, but you will not even begin to enjoy its fruit"...33a "A people that you do not know will eat what your land and labor produce," NIV

Will not just be lifted, but the remnant of Israel will never again suffer those curses - they will be restored as the chosen people of God to live in a perfect land ruled by God.

Is65:17 "Behold, I will create
new heavens and a new earth.
The former things will not be remembered,
nor will they come to mind."

The world will not be just fixed but the heavens and earth will be made anew (restored), just like they were in the time of Adam - 'good in the Lord's site'.

[Note: I often chide Christian evolutionists with the question: "Do you think it will take God billions of years to create anew or restore the heavens and earth?"]

Believers will have glorified bodies (be completely sanctified)perfect and sinless and will walk and commune with God just as Adam did before the fall. The animals will be restored back to their former peacable ways - all except for the "serpent".

Is 65:25a "The wolf and the lamb will feed together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox,
but dust will be the serpent's food..." NIV

If you doubt these things will happen remember this:

Is 66:9 Do I bring to the moment of birth
and not give delivery?" says the LORD.
"Do I close up the womb
when I bring to delivery?" says your God.

God keeps his Word. He always has, and He always will.
======================================================
So why doesn't God just restore everybody?

Because He doesn't! There is a dividing line, a criterion for being restored in full relationship with God.

John 6:29 Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent." NIV

The difference between those who will inhabit the new heavens and new earth, and those who will inhabit Gehenna (hell) is not about "sin". We are all sinners.

The difference is one of belief. Belief in the Greek is a concept of acknowledging, believing, and trusting in something.

The work or plan of God is to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, to trust him to be in control of your life.

Those who do will be with God for eternity. Those who don't will also spend an eternity in separation from God.

Is 66:24 "And they will go out and look upon the dead bodies of those who rebelled against me; their worm will not die, nor will their fire be quenched, and they will be loathsome to all mankind."

An allusion to this separation from God in the future using terms of Isaiah's "present" points to this unpleasant eternity.

It is your choice. Do you stand with the world, or do you stand with God?

Philippians

In this epistle of Joy, why should we rejoice? Why should we not worry? Why should we be like Paul, content in all situations?

I too have found great comfort in Philippians, and its message. This book popped up in the readings at just the right time for me - as I have been struggling with understanding as to my role here on earth in the "church" and certain "ministries".
======================================================
Phil 3

Phil3:8a "What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord,.."

The loss here in Greek implies it was a loss of bad things. All the Pharisee training, the circumcision, all the ceremonies and rituals - are gone for Paul, and they were bad things (not inherantly), but because they were not of Christ. Knowing Christ is the goal. Knowing - Gk. "gnosis" - root "ginosko" - not just having intellectual knowledge, but a deep intimate knowledge of our Lord. The word is also used in talking about marriage relations - "being as one".

Phil3:12
"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me." NIV

Paul has not obtained this perfection in Christ. How then can we be discouraged when we feel inadequate or failing? We just need to be pressing on - striving for that perfection in and through Christ.

Phil 3:16
"Only let us live up to what we have already attained."

Wherever you are "in Christ" (in the Greek a completed action) stay in your lane ( a runner's metaphor) and keep moving forward. By staying in His Word and through consistent prayer, and by following the model of people who exhibit Christian maturity.

Phil3:20a
"But our citizenship is in heaven..."

Why do all this? Paul describes it in Ephesians1 but here it is a simple clause. Because we are ALREADY citizens of heaven. The Greek verb tense is present and ongoing.

"The word "citizenship," by the way, only used here, this particular word, means a colony of foreigners. It is used in a secular source to speak about a capital city that kept the names of its citizens on a register. In other words, we're registered citizens of another place. We are registered citizens of heaven. Our names are there, our father is there, our Savior is there, our home is there, our fellow saints are there, our inheritance is there," - John MacArthur
http://www.biblebb.com/files/mac/50-36.htm

Phillipians would understand this because they were of the colony of Philippi, but most were citizens of Rome.

We need to understand this - earth is a way station. Our home is heaven. That is why we should rejoice!
======================================================
Phil 4
Why rejoice?

Phil4:3b "and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life."

Because you are citizens of heaven, your names also are in the book of life.

The Book of Life, by the way, is the register where God keeps the names of the redeemed. Daniel 12:1, Malachi 3:16 and 17, and Revalation.

Phil4:6-7
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Why should we not worry? Because we have a resource non-believers do not. We can go to our God and pray with a THANKFUL attitude, and attain peace. How's that? Because we are not depending on ourselves, but depending on God - that is what pleases the Almighty. Instead of worrying about what you can do, how you can fix a situation - turn it over to God. We can then have peace - because if you truly believe in a soverign God - you have just turned the situation over to the one who has the power to address the situation - perfectly and completely. His Will be done, not ours.

Phil4:8
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."

One of my new favorite verses. When things seem tough, when you are unhappy wuith a "brother/sister", when you seem bogged down in the world - it is a great verse to have in your memory list of Bible verses.

This statement is a command - it is something we need to do - whether it is in regard to a dispute with other Christians (look to the good in the other) or our daily lives in the "world" (protecting our mind).

As to the second thought:

"The point is, you've got to protect your mind because that is what determines what you want and what you desire and that's what determines how you react to the stimuli of life." - John MacArthur

Philippians 4:6 (NIV)
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."

In today's reading, I discovered a hidden gem in Phil. 4:6. I've read this verse many times, but I overlooked one key phrase, "...with thanksgiving." God want us to submit our worries and concerns to him, but he wants us to do it with a heart of thanksgiving. This verse commands us to start thanking him, in advance, knowing he will answer us according to his perfect will. Wow...what a concept!

Jeremiah 1:1-2:30

Jeremiah is such an intense book and one I can relate too. Here we have a man who loves his country and countrymen but God gives him an assignment to deliver a harsh message to the people he loves, judgment. All truth is confrontational and Jeremiah has been called before the foundation of the world to deliver this confrontational message. If we desire to be used by God according to what He has purposed within us, we will have on-the-job confrontations.

One of the things I have taken note of is the consequence of sin. Reaping and sowing, cause and effect, which is one of the laws God has set in place upon the earth so sin, just like righteousness, has its own rewards.

This is what the Lord says: "What possible fault could your ancestors have found in me that they strayed so far from me? They paid allegiance to worthless idols, and so became worthless to me. .. Your prophets prophesied in the name of the god Baal. All your leaders worshiped idols that could not help them…. "… my people have committed a double wrong: they have left me, the fountain of life-giving water, and they have dug cisterns for themselves, cracked cisterns which cannot even hold water." … You brought it about by leaving the Lord your God, even while he was leading you along the way.
(Jer 2:5-17 NET.)

We would only be fooling ourselves and in deep deception if we think this Word is only for “those back there in Israel” No, this Word is for us today because God’s Word, like Him has no beginning nor ending. And it would behoove us to remember this Word was given to Jeremiah by God to speak to “Church folk.”

Philippians 4:1-23
6 Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

In Paul’s letter to Ephesians, in the six chapter, Paul lists the Spiritual Armor we should always cloth ourselves with. Do we really know what the shoes of peace, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the spirit, etc, are. Do we know what they are analogous too? Or do we just recite the pieces and say “That’s nice.”

Too often I find myself giving mental assent to what the text is saying, yet I don’t really have a “clue” of what is being said or one iota of understanding of how the text relates to my life, much less understand how to apply the text. But I had the light turned on today in understanding what the “Helmet of Salvation” really is. (Eph 6:17). The soldiers’ helmet protects the head and thus the brain, where our thought processes take place. This spiritual helmet is the Peace of God that guards and blocks every thought that is not of God. It is the peace of God that makes up the helmet and that protects my thoughts and guards all that has been transformed by my renewed mind. (Romans 12:2)


Psalm 75:1-10

2
God says, "At the time I have planned,
I will bring justice against the wicked.

For all of us that try to sneak in our licks against those who have wronged us, this second verse should stop us in our tracks. If it is not God’s time, we will never be successful in extracting our pound of flesh; besides we would be stealing from God. (Rom 12:19 Do not avenge yourselves, dear friends, but give place to God's wrath, for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay," says the Lord.)

Proverbs 24:17-20

Enemies and the wicked, God has given us guidelines to follow in dealing with them that are difficult to follow in the flesh. But in the Spirit, all things are possible. The downfall of our enemies and the seemingly prosperity of the wicked should drive us to the throne of God when we are tempted to celebrate our enemies downfall or when we desire the putrid and decaying fruit of the wicked.

JEREMIAH 1
5
"I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my spokesman to the world."

JEREMIAH 2
13
For my people have done two evil things: They have forsaken me--the fountain of living water. And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all!
19
Your own wickedness will punish you. You will see what an evil, bitter thing it is to forsake the LORD your God, having no fear of him. I, the Lord, the LORD Almighty, have spoken!
20
Long ago I broke your yoke and tore away the chains of your slavery, but still you would not obey me. On every hill and under every green tree, you have prostituted yourselves by bowing down to idols.

PHILIPPIANS 4
4
Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again--rejoice! 5Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.
13
For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.

NOTE:
The way we have THE JOY OF THE LORD is through: INTIMACY AND OBEDIENCE. Obviously, obedience, by itself, is not enough. For if we could be made righteous and pleasing to the Father through our “good works” without Jesus, we would have been.

INTIMACY AND OBEDIENCE are the keys! This verse really jumped out to me yesterday in cell group:

HEBREWS 10 (Amplified)
16
This is the agreement (testament, covenant) that I will set up and conclude with them after those days, says the Lord: I will imprint My laws upon their hearts, and I will inscribe them on their minds (on their inmost thoughts and understanding),

This verse quotes from Jeremiah 31:33 and 34.

If we deliberately disobey God, we experience what I quoted above in Jeremiah 1 and 2. Though God imprints within our being a particular calling from birth (like Jeremiah) we are in danger of falling from our calling and we jump into hardness of heart and sinful brokenness. This is different from godly sorrow and brokenness which leads us to repentance, which leaves no regret. Worldly brokenness (because of sin NOT repented of) only brings heartache and sorrow.

THE JOY OF THE LORD IS IN INTIMACY AND OBEDIENCE !

Notice:

“This is the agreement (testament, covenant)… says the Lord:
a. I will imprint My laws upon their hearts
b. I will inscribe them on their minds (on their inmost thoughts and understanding)…”

We need to study God’s Word. But, we need to give ourselves to the Father and the Holy Spirit in the Name Lord Jesus, asking the Spirit to imprint His Word upon our hearts.

Personal relationship with the Lord Jesus in Holy Spirit establishing us in God’s Word.

Then we will know the joy of the Lord—of finding and fulfilling the purpose for our lives—as we discern the voice of the Lord in very personal ways. How? Because we will know the voice of the Lord Jesus because we have yielded ourselves to Him and listened to Him as He taught us His Word!

THANK GOD FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE TAUGHT BY THE LORD HIMSELF… HIS WORD!

THIS IS confirmed in the next verse in Jeremiah

Jeremiah 31 (Amplified)
34
And they will no more teach each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, Know the Lord, FOR THEY WILL ALL KNOW ME [RECOGNIZE, UNDERSTAND, AND BE ACQUAINTED WITH ME]

Vance

Phil 4
Exhortations

There is a disagreement. Paul says two things:

Agree in the Lord: For two Christians to do that will take some swallowing of Pride by both parties. Easier to do when you are yielding to God and accessing the Holy Spirit. Then you will be exhibiting the fruits of humility, gentleness, patience, and love. As citizens of heaven two Christians should not be arguing (heated argument with dislike displayed). Be in agreement - come to an agreeable position - in the Lord.

Rejoice in the Lord - for what he has given you and for your citizenship in heaven.
======================================================
Phil 4:6
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."

This is finally a place that after 3 1/2 years of being a Christian I have come to in my walk.

I simply do not worry or get anxious over anything. God is sovereign. God will handle it as all things come from God. Our job is to trust in, depend on, and rely on the Lord. There is nothing we can do about the situation except yield to the Father-child relationship, submit our wills to God, access the Holy Spirit, and lay it at His feet in thanksgiving.

It is amazing the burden that is lifted off one's shoulders when we quit trying to manage affairs. When we can say - no matter the situation - this is interesting, I wonder how God will handle it as we step forward in the Spirit.

Paul says, 'Don't worry - Don't be anxious'. Jesus said the same thing in
Gospels. It is good enough for me.



Jeremiah 9:12-16
12 Who is the wise man who may understand this? And who is he to whom the mouth of the LORD has spoken, that he may declare it? Why does the land perish and burn up like a wilderness, so that no one can pass through?
13 And the LORD said, “Because they have forsaken My law which I set before them, and have not obeyed My voice, nor walked according to it, 14 but they have walked according to the dictates of their own hearts and after the Baals, which their fathers taught them,” 15 therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: “Behold, I will feed them, this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink. 16 I will scatter them also among the Gentiles, whom neither they nor their fathers have known. And I will send a sword after them until I have consumed them.”

phillipians 4;13 has brought me through alot in my life n i Thank God for the verse

wow, amazing. actually while worring i don't usually pray and now God opened my eyes while reading your article to realize that worry has prevented my prayers.

thank you for sharing. god bless you with grace and peace!

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