(for more devotionals see 2023) 
Hope you all enjoyed your family time and had Happy New Year's Day and ready to get back to a normal life schedule.  I am starting back into our verse by verse, book by book through Paul's epistles.
Today we start with Ephesians which is possibly next to Romans the greatest book of all in the bible. Ephesians tells us what Jesus did but more importantly who we are in Christ!
Who you are in Christ is more important than what you do for a living. Knowing who you are gives you identity and therefore meaning and purpose in life. Everything you do comes from the motivation of who you are!
Paul begins Ephesians by telling us who he is!  
Eph 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: 2 Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
He is an Apostle of Christ! One chosen and sent by God! One who has the responsibility of leading the church and doctrine for the day.
Paul is the Apostle to the gentiles, and he is your apostle even if you didn't know that or believe it. He says this in
Rom 11:13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:
His office was magnified meaning of greater importance!
He writes this letter to the Ephesian church which is the same as writing it to you!
"To the saints"...
now if you are a Christian and you are saved then you are called a saint. That is who you are, and it means to be "holy, pure, consecrated and blameless before God"! It means to you are spiritually set apart in Christ!  You are "HOLY" spiritually speaking and your spirit alone has been filled with the Holy Spirit and with the Lord Jesus Himself with in you. This is the regeneration process, and you are now alive in Christ, spiritually speaking.
We Christians are a Spirit-Soul and Body, and your spirit is Holy, but your soul and body are not. Your soul is your mind-will and emotions and body are your flesh. It has the five senses and that is, sight, hearing, speaking, smelling and touch! Your soul and body battles with the spirit and desires to do what it wants but the Holy Spirit within desires you to follow Christ, this is why we must renew our minds daily.
So, you are not a sinner who is lost but a saint who is found and in Christ! Remember WHO you are gives meaning and purpose and it is important, you are either a sinner who is lost or one who is saved in Christ!
grace to you,
All spiritual blessings in Christ!
As a saved saint in Christ, you have been blessed with all spiritual blessings. Notice it says "spiritual" blessings and not natural blessings.
Eph 1:3 "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,"
Our blessings are internal and, in our spirit, not external or in the flesh. We may not prosper financially and be wealthy or have great health, but we are spiritually rich and complete in Him.
Before the world was formed God the Father had already said that man would be saved by His Son Jesus! He had already decreed and ordered that man would be saved and have eternal life through Jesus. That we could be blameless and holy through Christ!
That everything was made by and through Jesus Christ and we are placed IN CHRIST!
Everything is about being IN Christ by faith! Without Christ we are dead fleshly beings but IN Christ we are an eternal living spirit in Him!  
Eph 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; 8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; 9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
The beloved is Jesus and we that are saved are accepted and received by God because we are in Jesus! We have been redeemed which means ransomed which means to be paid for by the sacrifice of Christ.
We are completely forgiven of all sins,
Col 2:13  And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
Not just those we know of or confess but ALL sins, past, present and future sins!
He has made His will known to us through His word, and that His great love for us and that because of that love He sent Jesus to the cross to die for our sins and to rise again to conquer death that we too may have eternal life in Christ.
He did all this and more according to His divine purpose! His purpose is that all man should be saved and given the opportunity to be reconciled to Himself!
1Ti 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
So, God's divine purpose for you and I was that we could be totally accepted, completely forgiven and redeemed and reconciled to God by Christ!
Give Him the Glory and say Thank You Lord Jesus!
God's complete purpose is summed up in Ephesians 1:9-10!
Eph 1:9 "Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: 10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:"

That those who believe and are saved will come together and be one In Him! There are two administrations you might say, a heavenly one which is called the Body of Christ and an earthly one through the nation of Israel. Both will be one Kingdom in what is called here "the fulness of times"! The time after the rapture and after the tribulation period and when Christ returns. This time is also called the "ages to come" but for now we live in the "But Now" period.
Eph 2:13 "But now" in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ".
The Body of Christ is a heavenly, spiritual Creature in Christ, so be comforted in Christ and in the fact that we will not see this tribulation period but someday we will all be one in Christ!
God's Purpose in Christ!
Eph 1:11 "In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: 12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory."
Predestinated simply and always means to decree and God decreed that everything would be by, through and IN Christ from the beginning. It is not as many teach that God chose certain individuals to be saved and not others.
God 's purpose for man is that they would glorify Him through Christ! It was always God's "intention" that man receive eternal life through Christ. God's purpose was predestinated not individuals. Let's look at another verse which better describes what I am saying.
Eph 3:11 "According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:"
You see God's eternal purpose was always IN CHRIST!
Now we who are saved first heard the truth, received the truth, believed the truth, trusted in the truth and then we were sealed by the Holy Spirit for eternity!!!! This sealing is a permanent deal as we might say OSAS which means
Once Saved Always Saved!
We are placed IN CHRIST and stamped "Eternally Mine" by Jesus!
Oh, how we should give thanks for all things always! Live a thankful life and it starts by being content in Christ!  
Eph 1:15 "Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, 16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; 17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: 18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, 19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, 20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: 22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all."
We are a part of His Body which is also to say His church! The wisdom, revelation and hope of all things are all found in Him! He is life and He is wisdom, and everything is In Christ, which is above all things in this world and in heaven!!!
Praise Him today and always be thankful!
Eph 2:1 "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others."
In "time past" meaning from the beginning, we gentiles were all dead in sin and were children of wrath. There was a time when we needed Israel to show the gentile world who God was but after Israel's fall and the rejecting of Christ, we now may be saved though faith alone!
Give God the glory for YOU are NOW ALIVE IN CHRIST!!!!
But God who is rich in mercy and love!
Oh, what Love! Oh, what mercy and grace the Father has shared with us. Think about that love! Think how He sacrificed His own Son because He loved us so!
Eph 2:4 "But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:"
He made us alive through Christ! He raised us to be in Heaven and In Christ! That is your home now and that is where you live! No longer in this world per say as much as you are in heaven and in Christ! Grasp that in your thinking and hold onto it daily! You belong to Christ; you are positioned in Him!!!!
When the word says "by grace are you saved" it means that God went around Israel and the law and offered salvation to a lost gentile world! He offered that salvation to us without law and without works but now only and completely by faith alone!
Renew your mind daily until it forms in your thinking that you are in Heaven and In Christ and that He loves you deeply!!!
With Love,
The Riches of God's Grace!
The riches of God's grace are found in Christ!
Eph 2:7 "That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast."
God is rich in love, mercy, and forgiveness! God has put all things in Christ and therefore as it says in
Eph 3:8 "Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;"
We too need to share the "unsearchable riches of Christ" with others! Share the cross, the blood the resurrection and the love of Christ with others.
Salvation is the gift, and we are saved by grace through faith! Grace is the offering of salvation without law and works! Faith is the means in which salvation is received but all of this is "the riches of Christ"!!!
Be thankful, blessed and walk by faith today!
Because we are saved through Christ, we have become God's workman. The good works were in Christ before He came and are for bringing praise and glory unto God!!  
Eph 2:10 "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."
Now as workman we allow the Holy Spirit to work through us and to do the work of the ministry that God has given us. Every believer has a ministry. This may not be a public one such as a pastor or teacher, but you have a ministry. First and foremost is to your spouse and family. They should be of top priority as far as ministry goes. Serving them by teaching them the word of God and bringing them to Christ. Then providing for them in whatever way you can. Shelter, food and clothing as well as educating them to read and write should be most important also. All of these things are a ministry as the Spirit works through us!
These good works are always spirit driven and accomplished. You can do a "good" thing with the wrong motives, or you can fail at some work but have the right motive. The heart must be for the glory of God and what is in His interest for another person.
We do not work hard to do good works as some religions teach for a reward or to be appreciated rather, we serve, and the fruit of serving is called good works!
May the God who comforts you, comfort others through you!
The Gentile World without God, Christ, Promises or Hope!
In time past meaning before the cross and before the dispensation of grace, the Gentiles never had any hope of salvation without Israel! Under the Old Covenant Israel was a nation of priest and to lead the gentile world to the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob.
Eph 2:11 "Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:"
We were lost and strangers to Israel and more importantly God! We gentiles would only learn of God through Israel. We did not have Levitical law or ordinances without coming to Israel.
This is why it is called "grace"! Grace is God offering salvation to the gentile world by bypassing Israel, law or works! This salvation is offered without works of the law, so it is called grace and accessed by faith! All that is needed now is to believe and trust in the works of the cross and the resurrection to have eternal life.
Eph 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
We are "near" and placed In Christ! By faith we are alive in Christ and no longer separated from God!
Walk by faith in the "BUT NOW" and be Thankful!!!
Jesus is our Peace!
Jesus is our peace and notice I did not say that He only brings peace but IS peace!  
Eph 2:14 "For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:"
You may be going through the worst time of your life but that does not mean you can't have peace! Anxiety, worry and fear are all internal emotions, but they can be overcome by renewing your mind until that peace comes.
Jesus is peace so He makes peace. He has made us one body without the law and ordinances of Israel. The cross has done the work that is needed so we can be one by His works and His blood! The book of Colossians is a great book that tells us that there are no ordinances for today for you are complete in Christ lone!!!
Col 2:10 "And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
AND... 13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;"
So put on faith and therefore walk in peace today!
We are no more foreigners but fellow citizens in the household of God!
We are not strangers, foreigners or lost anymore but we are now fellow citizens of the household of God!!! Hallelujah!!!
Eph 2:17  "And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. 18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. 19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;"
We that are saved are now one and united in Christ! There is no longer a wall between jew and gentile but rather a unity in Him!
We are one household of saints in Christ! We are all saved by faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord!
That should excite you and make you want to shout "AMEN"!!!!
We are reconciled to God and therefore at peace with Him. Be thankful and excited for you belong to Christ!!!
Built by Christ for God by the Holy Spirit!
In yesterday's devotional I said that we are not strangers anymore "but now" we are fellow citizens with the saints in Christ, and today we continue with that thought as Paul describes us as being a building, built by Christ for God and by the Holy Spirit.
Eph 2:19 "Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit."

When it talks about being built by the apostles and prophets it means that they were first to speak of God and to give direction to whom Christ was, yet don't make the mistake of thinking that we follow them OH NO, we follow Paul's pattern who is the apostle to the gentiles. They were apostles to Israel, but they did know Jesus first and told others who He was.
Now the Holy Spirit lives within each and every believer. He lives in your spirit and cannot and will not leave! You are sealed in the Spirit by the Holy Spirit therefore you have eternal life. Now the battle we all have is in our soul and body. Our soul is our mind, will and emotions while our body is our 5 senses.  
So, keep focused on the spirit and you will not follow after the flesh!
Praise the Lord your spirit is filled with the Holy Spirit!
The word dispensation is used here, and it means the dispensing of God's will! In the bible and throughout history God has dispensed or poured out His will.
Eph 3:1 "For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, 2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: 3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, 4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)"
The dispensing of grace to the gentile world was not known before and this is why it is called the "MYSTERY"! Prophecy was always known and given to Israel and the prophets to tell of what was going to happen, but the mystery was hidden!
Eph 3:5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; 6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:"
Our mission today is to make known the MYSTERY! Our mission today in the dispensation of grace called the mystery is to make all men see what is the "FELLOWSHIP OF THE MYSTERY" which is in Christ!!!
Eph 3:7 "Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. 8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; 9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:"
Do you understand the revelation and fellowship of the mystery?
Rom 16:25 "Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,"
Read and Study Paul's books and grow in the knowledge of the mystery and therefore,
be Forgiven, Free and Faithful in Christ!!!
There are 3 different time frames in the bible and all of them are found in Ephesians 2. The first one is called "TIME PAST", and this is where Israel is the issue and gentiles could receive salvation through Israel! Gentiles did not know God and were lost and without hope! Gentiles did not have the law and were called uncircumcision by the Jews which are called circumcision.
Eph 2:11 "Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
The next time zone is the "BUT NOW' time frame, and it is the time we are in today! The dispensation of grace to the gentile world without Israel, law or works. Paul's books Romans-Philemon are all written in this time frame, and they are our doctrine for today!
... 13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
The last time frame is the "AGES TO COME"! It is in the last day and will include Israel's earthly Kingdom as well as the Body of Christ's heavenly one! This will complete God's plan for the ages!
Eph 2:7 "That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus."
Make sure you are reading Paul's books from the "BUT NOW" doctrine for today for it is under grace, liberty and victory for today!  
The church now knows God's eternal purpose for all things and that purpose is found in Christ!
Eph 3:10 " To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, 11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: 12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him."
Everything is by Christ, for Christ and in Christ! EVERTHING!!!! We now know the principalities, powers and purpose of Christ, and by all that we now know the wisdom of God! Predestination was about Christ and everything God has done is based off that! Man was to be saved through Christ and therefore God would be glorified!
Don't forget that it is God purpose that was predestined and that is all found in Jesus our Lord!
Paul's Prayer for You!!!
Paul hit his knees in prayer for the Ephesian church, but this prayer is really for all of us.  
Eph 3:14 "For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God."
Paul prayed for 5 things.
1. That God the Father would grant us to be strengthen by the Spirit in our inner man!
2. That Christ may dwell in our hearts by faith.
3. That we are rooted and grounded in love.
4. That we know the love of Christ.
5.That we be filled with all the fulness of God!
WOW! We could pray that for every person we know couldn't we. If you run out of things to pray for and/or perhaps we should pray this for everyone regardless of their prayer request or needs!
Now look at #2, by faith we receive God's strength, love and filled with the fulness of God! By faith we are rooted and grounded in love! BY FAITH!!!
Be sure and take time to receive then give to others!
The phrase "unto Him" means unto God the Father, who is able to do everything! He is able to save, bless and comfort us through Christ Jesus!
Eph 3:20 "Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen."
Unto Him be ALL the glory in the church BY Christ Jesus for ALL ages! For ever and ever without end, God gets the glory and praise!  Forever He will rule and forever He will control ALL things! Forever He will conquer, and we will be with Him as He makes His Kingdom above ALL!!!!
Let us never forget the BIG picture and in HOPE of the promises of God through Christ Jesus our Lord!!!
Paul tells us to "walk worthy of the vocation" meaning godly and righteously. It means to do things for the right reasons while praising the Lord!
Eph 4:1 "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;"
Our daily life shows our daily mind and heart! Our daily lifestyle is our greatest witness that we are saved and in Christ! That we are "Christians" and are obedient, loyal and loving to Him!
Vocation means the calling and that calling is not necessarily a position per say but a spiritual walk. It is the calling as a child of God and an ambassador of Jesus Christ. That calling does not mean your work yet at your place of employment you are called to "walk worthy". We should be humble, patient and generous with one another. We should be loving one another and submitting to one another. We should be edifying each other so that we build each other up in faith and be one with one another in Christ.
Let us pray for one another and walk worthy in love!
The problem with all of us in this world started in Genesis 3 and that is the fact that we want to be God! We want to do what we want to do without regard to God's ways. We want to live independent of Him, and this is called sin, and it affects every one of us.
Gen 3:5 "For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. 6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. 7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. 8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden."
First, we are born into this independent way called sin and then after coming to Christ and our flesh can still behave in the same way. We sin because we choose to still be our own god and do whatever we want.
If we read verse 6, we see sin is 3 ways, good for food, pleasant to the eyes and to make one wise. 1 John explains it this way.
1John 2:16 "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world."
Lust and pride mean to covet, and it is self-serving. It is something that is self-centered, ungodly and unrighteous. It can be in doing anything even a good thing, because it is an inward self-centered heart and mind. Sin means to "miss the mark" which means to miss GOD! We miss the righteousness of God and His standards, and made His standards known through the law but even more so through Jesus Christ our Lord!  
Stop and think about your motives in life and why you do things is it for yourself or does it bring God the Glory! We may want to control others or circumstances because we fear people or consequences. We may fear rejection, failure or punishment so we try to control in these areas. We are prideful and always right yet fear being wrong. We talk to much or to little and always have to have the last word. We can do so many things that really is self-motivated and not Christ motivated. It is not loving God or others but is elf centered and seeking acceptance, attention or affection.
Stop and be honest with yourself and analyze your motives then go to God and just be real with Him and thank Him for forgiving you of your sin already!
There was a song back in the 70's that said, "one is the loneliest number", But it is really the greatest number! Paul says this in
Eph 4:2 "With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all."
There is only One God and One Lord and One Spirit! There is only One faith, One hope and One body! There is only One baptism and that is a spiritual baptism, and it is NOT water.
1Co 12:13 "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit."
We are One in Christ and therefore One with God by the Holy Spirit. You are One with the creator and we are one with each other. We are in His body of saved, sealed, saints and we work together doing the same job in different ways and that is to teach others about Jesus Christ our Lord!
Leaders have names... Dad, Mom, teacher are all names we give to those who have authority. The church has leaders also and they have names......
Eph 4:11 "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:"
They have what is called offices or positions but there are no more apostles, prophets or evangelist and some would even say there are no more pastor or teacher offices, but I don't agree with that thinking. But regardless there are those who lead and teach and take care of the Body no matter what their name is called.
Now most would say that pastor-teacher are one yet there can be teachers who are not pastors, but I think all teachers should be concerned with their students regardless of their title or position.
Regardless these leaders are too "perfect", meaning mature the body so that they can minister to the lost as well as love and edify each other. They are to teach the word and oversee the body and to protect, provide and persuade the body! They are to warn the body of wrong doctrine and to even confront others if needed. They are to exhort, encourage and establish the body in sound doctrine.
The pastor-teacher is no better or more important than the rest of the body, yet it is an important role also. They take on a responsibility that is noble and highly respected yet must be careful not to fall to temptation themselves. They are the spiritual leaders of the local body and do need prayer as they pray for the spiritual growth and heart of each person in the local church.
Pray for your leader and follow them as they follow Christ!
Tossed to and fro!
The biggest problem with the church today is that there is no unity. Now don't get me wrong all may believe in Christ and some may even agree with one another, but I am talking about ALL saints and ALL churches.  
Eph 4:13 "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love."
We are called to be in unity of faith and not "tossed to and fro" which means if someone says do this or that and you will be closer to God or do this or that and you will be blessed. I have so many get caught up in signs and prosperity doctrine that they don't know what to believe. There are those who do everything "just" so they can have an experience with Jesus not realizing that Jesus is within them already. Many of the orthodox churches still have Jesus on the cross and are trying to work their way to Christ.
The one thing they all have in common is they place themselves back under law and therefore in some form of "works"! This is why I say over and over there are no ordinances for today, 0, NONE!!! We are under grace and justified by faith alone.
Don't be confused and tossed by every wind of doctrine, you are complete in Christ and therefore can edify one another in love!!!
Sadly, many in the church need to hear this and many walk just like the world. They walk in the vanity of their own mind and not in what the word says.
Eph 4:17 "This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, 18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: 19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness."
They may be saved but they have taken to such a liberal side of grace that they walk in sin! The world is lost and without Christ. Their minds and understanding are dark, and they are ignorant of God even though many non-believers will tell believers what the bible says and how to live it! Their hearts are hard, blind and past any emotional feeling toward God and others. They don't love others they love themselves and lust for affection, power and control. While they may say they fear no one they really fear everyone but God. They are arrogant and prideful and need to come o their knees in humbleness!
Let's not walk, behave and look like the world dear saints but let us look like the LIGHT OF THE WORLD so that all may know we belong to JESUS CHRIST our LORD!!!
One of the greatest teachings on how to walk after the Spirit are found here in these verses. Our daily faith walk is written out for us and how to renew our mind also.
Eph 4:20 "But ye have not so learned Christ; 21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness."
We know that Jesus is true, and all truth is in Jesus. For that matter all "life" is in Him and so we want to walk in His life. Sin is death and just as Romans 7-8 talks about our flesh gets in the way but we can do something about that. We can put off that behavior and thoughts and replace it by putting on Christ.
Now we can think of it like this ...Just like our clothes and bodies get dirty and stinky we can go home and take them off and jump in the shower right. We don't just take off our clothes because WE are dirty and stinky too, so we need to take a shower. We don't just stand there naked because the elements of the world can attack us, like the sun, heat and cold but so can Satan and temptations.
We don't walk around naked or go outside either as that would be embarrassing and shame and guilt would come upon us too. No, we jump in the shower and PUT ON clean clothes! Now we don't want to put clean clothes over dirty ones either, they may look clean for a while, but they will smell yucky besides feeling heavy after a while, just like our burdens will feel if we don't take them off!
So, Put-off sinful thoughts and actions and Put on Christ love, acceptance and forgiveness and then LIVE THE VICTORIOUS CHRISTIAN LIFE IN CHRIST DAILY!!!
After putting off and putting on Christ and His love we then are to give and comfort one another.
Eph 4:25 "Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. 26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27 Neither give place to the devil. 28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth."  
A thief only covets and is self-centered. We can all steal and be thieves in some way. When we take from others emotionally and lust for love or don't listen to others. When everything is about us instead of others. When we just talk and talk about ourselves and never really listen to what others are going through or feeling. We don't care about others but only ourselves.
I always ask people when does a thief stop being a thief and the answer is usually when he stops stealing but that is not the answer Paul gives us. A thief stops being a thief when he has a heart to "give" and not "take"! Lots of people are in prison and can't steal (supposedly) but they still have a self-centered covet mind!
By not lying or getting angry or any other self-centered thing we are giving and being ambassadors for Christ. The world buys, sells and steals but God's economy is giving and receiving.
We are told to "minister grace unto the hearers", in other words we are to speak truth in love, tell others about the love and grace as well as the cross of Christ. We should share the gospel of grace and preach Jesus!
Eph 4:29 "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. 30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption."
One of my pet peeves I guess it could be said is hating cussing. There should be no cussing coming out of the believer's mouth. Now I know that all of us may say a cuss word occasionally, especially if we smash our finger in the door or hit with a hammer or something but that is it. It destroys your witness if you have filthy mouth. The same goes for gossiping or always negative talk. We want to correct in love and then build up the body of Christ. Yes, we may need to discipline or rebuke at times but that is still ministering grace if it is for that person to come to Christ and grow in faith.
Some say we cannot grieve the Holy Spirit, or that it means something else there, but I think we grieve the spirit when we walk by the flesh and sin. Grieve means to make sad, offend or sorrowful and just to be clear we do not lose our salvation at all but it is just a grieving of the Spirit, much like a parent might feel grieved or sad by a child who disobeys yet never ever stops loving them.
As much as you can Minister grace which encompasses everything in Christ!
Just as Christ has forgiven you, you too can forgive.
Eph 4:31 "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."
The forgiveness we have received is not based on whether we forgive others as it was under law to Israel. It is not conditional as it is in Mat 6:14 "For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:"
The believer is completely forgiven of ALL sin!!!
Col 2:13 "And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;"
Col 3:13 "Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye."
We now have the power of the Spirit within us, as well as the blood of Christ which has taken away all sin so in turn we may "CHOOSE" to forgive others. We can Put off anger, bitterness and wrath and put on forgiveness. It is a matter of the will not feelings or as some say to me "God will have to tell me to do it or do it because I can't forgive" OH NO it is a choice we make!!!
Understanding how bad your sin was and experiencing God's forgiveness and Christ sacrifice for all your sins, will help to forgive others. Always remember forgiving does not mean agreeing or approving of the sin and offence others have made against you it is just forgiving them. We are to always extend forgiveness toward everyone, regardless of the offence yet we may need to also separate from them depending on the offence or persons heart toward Christ and others.
Paul tells us to not just be saved spiritually but to also follow God as children would follow their father.
Eph 5:1 "Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; 2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour."
This is an act of our will because our spirit is saved and set apart, but our daily walk comes through our soul which is our mind, will and emotions. We need to think and choose to follow God in all things.
And when we do that, we can love others just as Christ loved us. Notice this is not conditional but is a done deal as they say. Christ died for us because He loved us and therefore, we now can be secure and love others.
Christ GREAT sacrifice was well pleasing to God and was a "sweetsmelling savour" to Him! This means that it filled God's desire, and the heart of God was well pleased.
Follow God daily and love others just as you have been loved by our Lord Jesus Christ!!!
The Lord Jesus lives within us and therefore we belong to Him. We are His children and children of light. His light shines through our spirit so that others may know Him, and because we are "LIGHT" let us now act like it!!!!
Eph 5:3 "But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; 4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. 7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them. 8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:"
Sometimes it is beyond my comprehension how some denominations can allow homosexual pastors or priest to lead them. Here in these verses, it even says twice "fornication" which means ANY illicit sexual relations and then "whoremongers" which means male prostitutes or male homosexuality. This is beyond my thinking as to how you can justify this, and that people actually allow it.
There are other sins listed here and we should not do them either but only homosexuality is accepted by some churches and Christians, (that is if they are saved at all).
We are to be "LIGHT" in this dark world, not join it! Be LIGHT, be BOLD and be COURAGEOUS against this evil world!!!
The fruit of the Spirit means the bi-product or what manifest in daily life. It means that in all righteousness and truth which is in Christ is produced. Love, peace and discipline are all a part of the fruit, but Christ is the root!
Eph 5:9 "(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) 10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. 12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. 13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. 14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light."
We are told to walk by the Spirit, and we will not do the things of the flesh,
Gal 5:16 "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh".
The flesh is all that is dark and is in sin! Sin is ugly, dark and offensive! It is always selfish and ungodly!
When walk in the Spirit we are also walking in the Light of Christ. This light is righteous and good and Godly!!!
Walk after the Spirit and let Christ light shine through you!
Paul warns us to walk circumspectly which means carefully, diligently and perfectly. Not perfect as never sinning (yet we shouldn't do that either) but rather faithfully. We should be aware of what is going on around us. We should know our own weaknesses and faults, as well as our strengths. We should be willing to admit to our sins and be aware of why we do sin in situations.
Eph 5:15 "See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is".
We should try to redeem the time instead of watching T.V. or just staying "busy" just for busyness' sake. Sometimes being busy is a way of not dealing with our emotions or deeper thoughts and things that need to be addressed.
What is "the will of the Lord"? Well, it is always for us to be transformed spiritually, mentally and physically. It means we renew or minds and worship, praise and give God the glory!
Rom 12:2 "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God".
So in your daily schedule make time to read and study the word, as well as pray and spend time with the Lord. Deal with your own thoughts and emotional things and Walk with a renewed mind and heart while giving Christ the praise and glory!
Paul tells us to not be drunk with wine or anything else that can take our mind off of the Lord. We should be filled with the Spirit and share with each other in hymns and spiritual songs of worship and make melody in our hearts to the Lord!
Eph 5:18 "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; 19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; 21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God".
In other words, be one with the Spirit and with the body. Then he tells us to be thankful for all things unto the Lord and submit to one another.
In other words, we should be humble, loving and accepting of each other. We should be willing to allow others to have a say and to input and respect their thoughts. The body should help one another in whatever they can if possible. We want to edify which means to build up one another.
Now that does not mean we believe or accept everyone's opinion or religious views it just means to listen and hear those who we are one with and to serve each other the best we can.
This part of scripture is addressed to wives. The next part which I will get to in the next devotion is addressed to men. We both have a responsibility regardless of our spouses' hearts and works.  
Eph 5:22 "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing".
Wives are to submit which means to "yield to", follow and obey.  The reason why this is so hard for many is because they don't understand their identity in Christ. They don't know "WHO" they are in Christ! They are insecure and needing to and trying to feel secure, so they try to control their husbands.
Jesus is God yet yielded to God the Father WHY? Because He knew who He was! He knew WHO He was and the power and strength of that.  Paul says it this way in Philippians.
Phl 2:5 "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross".
Let this mind be in you he says.... to have the power of God within and able to stand on your own without "needing" someone else.... YET YEILDING to your husband or someone else is a FAR GREATER strength then demanding your own way out of insecurity and lust for power!
Renew your mind constantly and remind yourself you are a "child of God who is deeply loved, totally accepted and completely forgiven in Christ" and that you can serve your spouse and others just as Christ served you!!!
Last week I touched on the "wives" role, now this week it is the "Husbands" turn. If you remember and go back to Ephesians 5:22-24 you will see only 3 verses for wives but now the men have 8! We have a great role and responsibility for the family. Unfortunately, we men do not always meet the standard that we should in society.  
Eph 5:25 "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband".
We are to love our wives just as Christ loved the church. We are to be devoted to them and take care of them. We are to put everything on the line for them even death if necessary. We should desire what God wants for them which is always being saved and in Christ!  Men need to lead in bible study daily with their spouse. I always say the most intimate thing a husband can do for his wife is read the word of God to her.
The male is made in such a way to bring correction and discipline while the woman is to nurture, and both are to teach in different ways. Honor your wife always and respect her when others are around. Never make fun of her in public or talk behind her back with other men!
Notice it says in verse 29, that no one ever hated his own flesh meaning we already love ourselves, so we are to love her as much as we love ourselves after all you are already one!
Read the word, lead and love your wife and sacrifice your wants and desires for Christ's sake!
Family is so important but not as important as our Lord Jesus! Oh, how I wish I would have obeyed my parents better than I did. Oh, how wish that kids today would obey the parents.
Eph 6:1 "Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. 2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) 3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. 4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord".
It sems that rebellion against authority is getting worse although it has been around since the beginning of time. Even God had children who did not obey.  Adam and Eve disobeyed in the beginning and so it has been the same ever since.
Teach your kids to listen, obey and respect all authority even the ones you disagree with but especially you as parents. Respecting does not always mean agreeing with everyone.
Dads should love your children and don't antagonize them. Play with them but be firm with them. Laugh, teach and correct them but always be patient with them. Read the word to them and teach them how to live a Victorious Christian Life in Christ!
These two are to work hand in hand for a particular mission. The earthly mission is to make money to live off of, but that money should also be used for the heavenly mission.  
Eph 6:5 "Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; 6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; 7 With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: 8 Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. 9 And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him".
We should work hard for our boss regardless of what kind of boss they are. Jesus is our boss and if we approach our daily work as if we are working for Him then we will work hard and do a good job. We shouldn't shirk our work and do our best at all times.
Those that are in charge are to treat those under them with respect, but we know that does not always happened because they are human and may not be a believer either, but this is God's design.
Either way we should give our all and not men please which means to work hard only when the boss is around, or to speak kind words and try to puff them up but talk bad behind their back when they are not around.
Keep focused and Work unto the Lord always and keep a clear and good conscience.
We are to take a STAND against evil by putting on the amour of the Lord! This means to be aware of what is going on in your mind and heart. It means to know your opponent which is 3-fold. 1. Satan, 2. the World and 3. your flesh!
Eph 6:10 "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God":
We want to put on our defensive amour and also our offensive weapon and that weapon is the word of God! You need to understand that the amour is protecting your front, but your back is exposed. That means you can be attacked subtly from behind by putting your guard down. You need to realize that life is not just a playground but that there is a real life or death battle going on. Your enemy is not someone necessarily, but it is an evil spiritual and dark world that will affect you and others.
So, you need to read the word daily and study it often. You need to apply it to life constantly and renew your mind with truth. You want to walk by the spirit and know your identity in Christ!  
Pray for the Great Ambassador!
Eph 6:18 "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak".
If Paul the Great Ambassador ask for prayer, surely, we can too, after all we are ambassadors also! He tells us to pray in the Spirit for all saints.
Now praying in the Spirit does not mean in tongues or some super spiritual thing but just as you walk after the spirit so pray after the spirit. This is not a repetitive prayer yet sometimes we will say the same thing in prayer. This is not a recited prayer but a genuine sincere prayer that comes from thinking about God's desire for this person.
Pray for those who know Christ and pray for those who don't know Him. Pray for the saints and pray for the lost. Pray continually for the authority that leads us in government, church and home! Pray for all of us to submit to that authority and especially for our kids. Pray for me and this ministry and know that I am praying for you! Pray for all and especially for the message of the mystery to be shared, taught and received!!!
Eph 3:9 "And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:"
Paul wanted to share life with the church. He wanted them to pray for him and know how he was doing. So he sent Tychicus to inform them.
Eph 6:21 "But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things: 22 Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts. 23 Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen".
We too should share life with other likeminded saints. We should try to be open, honest and transparent with them. I see way too many lone rangers who never socialize with anyone. No man is an Island we all share this thing called life.
Sadly, most of the time those who don't want to share life with others is because they set a lot of standards for them. They do this and they do that, and they never meet the persons standards.
Now doesn't need to be a lot of people and doesn't mean meeting with those who are not likeminded either, but we should strive to share life with people.
Paul ends this letter with words like peace, love and grace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, and so I will do the same to you all in the faith, Grace and Peace with Christ Love!
I always enjoy starting a new book! Philippians is another of Paul's prison epistles! The theme is found in,
Phl 2:5 'Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus":
Our hearts and thinking should be the same as Christ! We are to have one mind and have His joy, unity, love and mercy! We are to be humble as He was humble before His Father! We are to know WHO we are in Him and walk with that same mind set! Because we know who we are, we can serve, love and minister to one another!
We should be as Christ, so we too can lay down our lives and say as Paul said
Phl 1:21 "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain".
Put your mind on Christ today and be in unity as you receive from Him. Let His Joy be your Joy! Let His love, mercy and humbleness be yours today!
Grace, Peace and Prayer!
As we begin this new book study, we see that Paul give his usual greetings. But he first acknowledges who he is and that he is a servant of Jesus!  
Phl 1:1 "Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: 2 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4 Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, 5 For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now";
We should all know who we are and to whom we serve. People may ask you "who are you" and "what do you do"? Our usual response will be our name and then what we do for a living. But perhaps deep down in our thoughts and perhaps even out loud we should say "I am a child of God and a servant of Jesus"! I know that may sound corny or weird to say to someone, but we can still think it, RIGHT!
Paul then acknowledges the saints in Christ. Did you know that you are a saint also. YES, you are if you are saved you, are a saint! Saint means Holy and the Holy Spirit resides in you! God the Father and Jesus Christ live within your spirit and so Paul calls us saints! That does not mean sinless yet hopefully you sin-less, but it means that you are saved, alive and in Christ! Your spirit is set apart from your soul and body and is Holy, righteous and godly!
Then he addresses the bishops and deacons, the authority figures in the church. They are the preachers, teachers and counselors of the church! They are to serve the Body by teaching them not only correct doctrine but how to live this Christian life. What it looks like to live a godly, righteous and victorious life in Christ.
Paul then says that he always prays for them and has great joy for this church as it is a good, obedient and growing fellowship. They supported him financially as well as prayerfully.
Paul then gives his normal Greek and Hebrew greetings. The Hebrew word Shalom means peace and the Greek word Charis which means grace!
So, remember who you are in Christ and that there is no peace without God's grace!
God will do His job!
God has done His job and will always continue to do His work in You! He is faithful even when we are not!  
Phl 1:6 "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:"
Paul loved the church meaning people. Paul loved the saints, and he was so grateful for their hearts. He wanted them to see them and share more revelation and teaching of this Great Gospel of Grace!
7 Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace. 8 For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.
He wanted them to grow in love and be able to know and discern right from wrong, good from evil and the works and hearts of men! We should be able to not only know our own heart and mind but also that of the Body. Good works are different than bad works or maybe a better way of saying it is good fruit from rotten fruit.
9 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment";
We too should grow in knowledge, judgment and discernment about these things and while we do, we should desire to keep growing in God's Love!!!
Paul is the Apostle to the gentile world and as our Apostle and teacher, he tells us that we are filled with the fruit of righteousness! God is Righteous! Jesus is Righteous! The Holy Spirit is righteous and all three live within us!!!
Phl 1:10 "That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; 11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God".
The fruit of a tree is the byproduct of the tree. It is what is manifested, such as an orange comes from an orange tree so then so does the fruit of righteousness. Because we have Christ within us, let us dwell on Him and let Jesus work through us to manifest His fruit! This fruit will also allow us to discern and know those things that are excellent!
Have you heard someone teach something and you say no I don't think that is right. Because what they said was not of God or excellent, but then someone says something else, and you go ok that sounds right. Now everything that is excellent is found in the written Word! EVERYTHING!!!
So read the word daily and then allow Christ righteous fruit to be picked!
Bad circumstances in life can lead to Christ!
Paul was in prison and while his circumstances were not great the gospel was still reaching others for Christ.
Phil. 1:12 "But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel; 13 So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places; 14 And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear".
You see no matter what circumstances you are in you can still share the gospel. You can share the gospel no matter what, in fact I would say that the worst circumstances can sometimes be a good thing for Christ's sake. The more people suffer the more likely they will see their weakness and need for Christ. This is why I say don't rescue people let them sink into a deeper hole so they can see the need to come to Christ!
When our circumstances are at their worst, we tend to seek help in some way. Most seek help from people or an external worldly way, but some seek internal and eternal need for Life and that is in Jesus Christ!
Be prepared to share Christ no matter where you are at, for you never know where others are in life and their need maybe at the surface of receiving Jesus our Lord and Saviour!
Paul says that the gospel is spreading even though he is in prison. He says that some are preaching Christ out of envy and strife not with pure motives.
Phl 1:15 "Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: 16 The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds: 17 But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel. 18 What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice".
Now we have many that do that today. They preach A different Christ or preach to gain. To gain power, prosperity and praise from man! They seek to "get" not give and we must speak out against them just like Paul did at times.
What Paul is saying when he rejoiced is that regardless of their motives for preaching, Christ is being preached. Bad doctrine is not good but if the person is preaching Christ with bad motives, yet good doctrine then let us praise the Lord!
Let us preach Jesus Christ with good motives and sound doctrine and ALWAYS REJOICE IN OUR LORD JESUS!!!
Phl 4:4 "Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice".
One of the greatest verses in all the bible is found in verse 21, "TO LIVE IS CHRIST TO DIE IS GAIN"!!!
Phl 1:19 "For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, 20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. 21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain".
Paul was saying that he and we get LIFE from our Lord Jesus. Before our salvation we were dead in sin but when we are saved our spirit becomes alive and we are put in Christ by the Holy Spirit.  So, to have eternal life is unbelievable but it also says to die is gain.
In other words, it would be wonderful and peaceful to die and to be with Christ in heave forever! No more pain or suffering or unrighteous behavior but only the brightness and glory of the Lord!
Oh, spend time thinking about it and put your heart at ease over dying. We should look forward to it. We should not fear but rejoice in it. We are not to be morbid and want to commit suicide in fact while we are here let's share Christ and take some with us to that most GLORIOUS place called HEAVEN!!!
While Paul looked forward to being with the Lord he knew it was best for him to stay and edify the church.
Phil 1:21 "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. 23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: 24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you".
This should be our attitude too, that while we are here, we have a job to do. Our job is to edify meaning build up the church. We can share the gospel to unbelievers. We can teach the revelation of the mystery, the freedom we have in Him and the love of God through Christ. We can correct bad theology and encourage others to know God and make Him known!
We are to Stand Fast in One Spirit and have One mind for the faith of the gospel!  
25 "And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith; 26 That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again. 27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel";
Sadly, we have so many denominations and perverted churches today! In the name of liberty, we have tainted the gospel by allowing so many to do their own thing which has destroyed unity.
Thankfully the gospel never changes, and the grace message is still God's dispensation for today, regardless of the law biding, bondage making churches today!
Don't get caught up in what you can see like the law and ordinances that so many want you to do, but rather stand fast in faith with one spirit and one mind OF CHRIST!
I don't know about you, but I don't like to suffer at all! I like my Lazy-boy recliner and T.V and comfort of a home. I like to eat well and have clothing and nice things, don't you! But Paul says we are called to suffer for Christ's sake.
Phil 1:28 "And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God. 29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake; 30 Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me".
I don't think I have suffered hardly at all compared to many across the world. In some countries they will hunt you down and kill you for being a Christian. In communist countries they will put you in jail and for some it is a life sentence just for believing in Jesus!
That should tell us the power of His name, after all "what difference does it make if I believe in a God that you don't", we might say! "Does it hurt you in some way" OH NO they just fear the name of Christ! They fear death and they have no answer for it! It is fear that makes them kill and in prison others.
That same fear lives in those who scoff at you for believing in Christ! They laugh and make fun of you for believing in fairytales! But it is they who persecute you who are in bondage to fear and death, and they who will die in their sins!
So, keep on believing, sharing and claiming the name of Jesus and you too can be proud to suffer for Christ's sake!!!
Fellowship of the Spirit!
Paul is asking questions but really is he is saying "there is"! There is consolation in Christ, and there is comfort in love! We should be of one Spirit and loving one another!!
Phil 2:1 "If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, 2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others".
We should be likeminded in one accord and with one mind! We should be humble and looking out for one another.
Sadly, this is not the case in many ways! First there is the disunity of doctrine in churches today. This brings law and works and therefore confusion which brings insecurity to the believer. If there is insecurity there will be defensiveness and strife. Everyone looks inward instead of outward. We go into self-protection mode. It also means that correction is not possible as the defensive issue comes up and cannot be overcome, and therefore sin and offences continue.
We need to be humble and know who we are in Christ! We need to renew our minds daily that we are God's children, and that we are deeply loved, totally accepted and completely forgiven in Christ and then we can serve others as well as be served!
WOW!!! let this mind be in you which was in Christ!! In other words As Christ thinks you should think! As Christ was we should be!
Phil 2:5 "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father".
Notice that it says "Who, being in the form of God," in other words Christ was God and we too should understand that we too are a form of God! Our spirit contains God! We are in Christ and Christ is in us! The HOLY SPIRIT LIVES IN US! You're not just a poor dead sinner anymore YOU ARE A SAINT! ALIVE AND A HOLY ONE in the sight of God! God sees Christ within you! You are a NEW CREATURE that is HOLY AND PURE AND RIGHTEOUS!!!
Now because you are in a form of God and Holy and righteous humble yourself as Christ did! We can Humble ourselves to death if necessary. No, I don't mean we should kill ourselves or even let others abuse us, but we can take the insults and rejection and come out the VICTOR! We don't need the approval of others anymore. We do not need to live in fear anymore!
WHY YOU SAY? Because we know WHO we are IN CHRIST and WHO LIVES IN US!!!! We are accepted, approved and adored by our Lord and Saviour! We belong to Him and He has made our spirit HOLY and perfect in Him! HE LIVES WITH US!
Every tongue will confess Jesus as Lord even those who are not saved will say this is the KING OF kings and LORD of lords and bring GLORY TO GOD THE FATHER!!!
Phil 2:12 "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 with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure".
God is the one who has done the work and still doing the work within us! He did the work through Christ who did the work on the cross!  Really the work is finished but when it says to "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" it means to put our mind on the things of God! To renew our minds and put on Christ! It means to be faithful and to walk by the Spirit and by faith! When we walk by faith, we are allowing God to "do" the work" within us!
This is not a works-based salvation but a heart that has positioned itself to receive! The only "work" we need to do is to receive by faith!
Perhaps nothing could be truer today then these verses!!!
Phil 2:14 "Do all things without murmurings and disputings: 15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; 16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain".
It seems we live in a nation and world that has become more perverse and crooked. The state of our political systems and governments may be just as crooked as in the ancient days and our moral decay certainly is as perverse as the Romans were back in Paul's day and that is saying something!
But just as Paul tells them to be, we too should be! We shouldn't join them in their perverse crooked and immoral ways, but we should SHINE AS LIGHTS IN THIS WORLD! Take a stand for morality and keep yourself from complaining, putting down and griping about everything in our government officials and candidates.
Pray for them and Put on Christ and SHINE SAINTS SHINE!!!
Paul's great love for the saints!
Paul so greatly loved the saints! If he could not be there to teach and encourage them, he wanted someone there. So, he sent Timothy and Epaphroditus and edify the church.
Phl 2:19 "But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state. 20 For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state. 21 For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's. 22 But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel. 23 Him therefore I hope to send presently, so soon as I shall see how it will go with me. 24 But I trust in the Lord that I also myself shall come shortly. 25 Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants. 26 For he longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick. 27 For indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. 28 I sent him therefore the more carefully, that, when ye see him again, ye may rejoice, and that I may be the less sorrowful. 29 Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness; and hold such in reputation: 30 Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to supply your lack of service toward me."
Something we can learn from this is that we can be concerned about other believers. We too can care for them with the heart of Christ. We too are fellow soldiers in Christ. We too can share the gospel and teach and serve. We too can bring joy to others and exhort all to Christ. Don't be someone who always needs to be cared for but turn around and serve others in some way.
So, keep praying, loving and caring for others to come to Christ as well as serving the Body of Christ in whatever way you can!
Paul is constantly writing the same things over and over again. Sometimes they are worded differently but the meaning is the same. We are to rejoice in the Lord always and keep our focus on Him. When we rejoice, we are resting in Him and therefore not struggling with the day-to-day things.  
Phil 3:1 "Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe. 2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. 3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh."
It is east to get caught up with wars, political and government stuff that goes on, but we need to keep focus on Christ.
Paul goes on to warn us of those exact people that are against us. Who do not believe or those who want us to follow law! I see this more and more and even a good friend of mind now is caught up in following Jewish traditions and law!
Paul says BEWARE, BEWARE, BEWARE! So be aware of who you are talking to and what is their agenda and if it is NOT in Grace thinking separate from them.
Now we are the circumcision who worship in Spirit and truth and who rejoice in Christ and notice it say NO confidence in the flesh which also means not doing the works of law to be justified in Christ!
You are saved by grace through faith and your daily walk is by grace through faith!
Phil 3:3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. 4 Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: 5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; 6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. 7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
Paul's greatest gift may have been his zeal! Whether his zeal for the law or his zeal in grace, he always had a great zeal for God!
Once he was saved and understood more, he then counted everything as a loss compared to Christ. He understood that none of those things under law were of value. This is why he writes in Colossians 2 that all those traditions and ordinances are but a shadow!
Have a ZEAL for Christ and don't get caught up in law, ordinances or traditions.
The righteousness which is of God by faith!
I am constantly seeing or hearing from those who want to follow the law. That put themselves under law and do works of the law and do the traditions of the law and of Israel.  
Philippians 3:9 "And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;"

ANY and yes, I will say it again, ANY form of works of the law is "SELF RIGHTEOUNESS"!!! YES I SAID IT! You may think you are doing something for Christ or doing the law brings blessing or whatever reason you pick but it is nothing more than self-centeredness and self-righteous behavior that is attempting to be justified and righteous before God!
Paul says this in Galatians 2:21 "I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." Did Christ die in vain NO OF COURSE NOT!!! Then stop trying to find righteousness by the law!
Paul says this about Israel in Romans 10:1:1 "Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth."
You see Christ has done all the works and our faith is shown in HIS WORKS not ours! When we do the works of the law in order to be righteous, we are saying we are better than Christ and that He died in Vain, COME ON SAINTS let us not fall back into our own efforts but let us enjoy the rest, freedom and joy of being in Christ righteousness!
Forget your past and reach forth into the future in Christ!
Shame and guilt can keep us in bondage forever. We all have something we regret doing or have lived through and we just feel bad about, but we can move on in Christ!
Phil 3:11 "If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. 12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."
Realizing WHO we are in Christ now can change everything. We are accepted in Him therefore we do not need to seek others acceptance. We do not need to fear punishment for He was the propitiation for ALL sin. We do not need to walk in shame for we are made a NEW Creature therefore our old shameful self is gone.
Live by faith in Christ and that is in the present. Live in the present and you will have Joy and Peace!  
Walk by the same rule and mind!
Sadly the church today does not walk by the same rule or mind set.  
Phil 3:15 "Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. 16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing."
One church adds this, and another adds that and before long we have all kinds of different rules, traditions and ordinances. This is why I have said over and over, take them all out and then we are all one!
It is not hard to do but you can't do it if you live under law! We need to be in grace follow grace and walking by faith. The perverted gospel is living by the law so live by faith and receive what Christ has given you as you walk by the Spirit!
Follow Paul!
Paul says to follow him as he is our apostle AND he is the one to who Jesus gave the revelation of the mystery too!
Phil 3:17 "Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample."
While I am going through the book of Philippians, here are several other verses that Paul says to foolow him.  
1Co 4:16 "Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me."
1Co 11:1 "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ."
1Th 1:6 "And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:"
The reason we follow Paul is that the doctrine he was given by our LORD JESUS CHRIST is the doctrine to the Body of Christ! It is the doctrine to the gentile WORLD! It is the doctrine for today, under grace and by faith alone. It is the revelation of the mystery, and we are to tell everyone about the fellowship of the mystery in Christ!
He then says to mark those which means to take note or to separate from those who cause divisions and offences to the doctrine that was given to Paul. Those who teach law and pervert the grace message.
Rom 16:17 "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."
Read Paul's books over and over! Romans through Philemon and then Follow Paul and then you will be following Christ!
Your Home is in Heaven!
There are many who are enemies of Christ cross! They not only reject Christians they boldly say there is no God! They serve only themselves and are self-centered, but they will perish into hell. As it has been said those who are lost are dead already!
Phil 3:18 "(For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)
BUT NOW we are in heaven as our Home is there NOW!!! Take comfort in knowing this and have no fear of your place in Christ in Heaven!!!
20 "For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: 21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself."
Our hurting disfigured, and "old" bodies will be made new, strong and vibrant as we worship our Lord Jesus Christ!!!
So keep your heart and mind on Christ in Heaven and do not fear but STAND STRONG IN CHRIST!!!
Paul tells us to do 3 things here.
1.STANDFAST which means to be immovable, persevere and persist! It means to not give in to the world but to stand strong in Christ!  
Phl 4:1 "Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved. 2 I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord. 3 And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life."
Notice the love that Paul has for the saints. He calls them his beloved, joy and crown! Oh, how he loved the church, and we should too. The church and by church, I mean people not buildings, are so very important. They are to be valued above all else because of Christ!
2. Then he says to REJOICE! Rejoice always he says. We are to be constantly renewing our minds and focused on Christ not this world's problems. Now that doesn't mean we are blind but not focused or overwhelmed with the world's problems.
4:4 "Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. 5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
3. We then are to not be anxious but think on WHATSOEVER is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, good, virtues, praiseworthy to think on these things! Think on what Paul teaches, Think, Think, Think!!!!
4:6 "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you."
Jesus is all of those things! He true, pure and lovely! He is good, virtues and praiseworthy! JESUS, JESUS, JESUS!!!
While I wrote on the verse below yesterday I wanted to go back and share some more.
Phil 4:6 "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you."
The words "careful for nothing" is talking about Anxiety. We all have anxiety because anxiety is fear of the future. We all have some fear as it is part of the flesh and sinful part of us. BUT it is getting worse, and Anxiety is rampant among us today. The reason for the anxiety is that there are more ways of showing us and the world how bad it is and the fear of the future is scary. It doesn't matter if it is your family, neighbor or wars in the middle east or Europe. It doesn't matter if it is in our streets or in our houses, we see more and more violence. But we also see things that bring on more rejection like on T.V., movies or social media. Lusting for something or someone causes anxiety. Lusting for affection, acceptance and applause brings more and more anxiety! Success seems to be the goal these days in whatever you do and striving for it brings more anxiety.
The world says take this pill it will calm you down. Or do this or that and you will get rid of anxiety and have peace of mind, but it is not true. It is like putting a band aid on cancer. The cancer needs to be cut out or destroyed.
When we have a relationship with Christ and go to Him and share our heart, our request, our needs and then realize that He IS the answer we then can have peace. Seeking peace in the wrong places doesn't give peace it only "calms it down for a while"!
With Christ we know the past, present and future is taken care of. We know that death is not the end and we do not need to fear it!
We know that no matter what is going on in our present circumstances nothing is greater than Christ Love which brings security in an unsecure, rejecting world!
1Jo 4:18 "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love."
Jesus is the answer, and His love takes care of fear and anxiety away! So, keep renewing your mind and by standing on the "whatsoever's" and peace will come into your heart and mind through Christ!
Paul tells the church that he has been full, meaning having everything he needs or hungry, meaning without everything he needs.
Phil 4:10 "But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
We too need to have the attitude of not holding on too tight to the things of this world. I have seen over and over in couples who for 1. live way above their means. and 2. they can't handle having nothing, while some have nothing and quite content.
Sadly, to many believers want wealth and health above Christ. I have seen some believers divorce over their monetary problems. Trying to control life will not help the situation in fact trying to control everything will get you in worse trouble as well as it is sin!
Don't lust for more and when you are mad, upset, frustrated or fearful just remember that this is your flesh crying out. Turn to God and admit your heart and then walk by faith. Whether full or hungry, be content in Christ alone and you will have peace regardless of your circumstances.
You can do all things through Christ which strengthens!
Verse 13 gets thrown around a lot in Christendom. "13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Often it is used wrongfully to say something like "I can become President if I wanted through Christ" or "I will be the greatest basketball player of all time" type stuff, but that is NOT what Paul was getting at!  
Phil 4:12 "I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Paul was saying through Christ "I HAVE EVERYTHING" and regardless of suffering or abounding, Christ is enough.
The Philippian church also helped financially support Paul. The word communicate means to partner with and be in fellowship with. They gave financially and prayed for Him in order for his ministry as well as for the gospel to spread.  
14 "Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction. 15 Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. 16 For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity. 17 Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account. 18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God. 19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
Giving and receiving are God's economy plan and there are 4 things we should give financially too as believers. 1. widows in need, 2. orphans, 3. the poor in need and 4. the ministry and spreading of the gospel! We should Not give to build some huge building or funding for some lavish lifestyle. Just like a personal mortgage and not going beyond our means so should the church be responsible. This is why I like and support home churches or someplace rent free or at the least something cheap to rent. I once had a fellowship in an airplane hangar rent free, so it doesn't need to be fancy.
Now one more thing we can do with our "free will" offering if desired to do is to help and bless others. Like someone who has a birthday and wants to gift them something they have on their heart to do but couldn't afford. We once gave a girl a birthday present that she wanted to do for years but couldn't afford. She always wanted to jump out of an airplane and parachute down. She loved it and it was a pleasure to do. Another way might be if someone needs a car, or bike or something these are things the Body of Christ also.  
By the way Paul says it wasn't that he couldn't work if he had to but the gift from the Philippian church helped him to do more ministry AND it blessed them even more, for it was a great sacrifice for them to give and well pleasing to God!
Love in the Spirit!
As we start this new book, we see Paul give his normal greetings. He starts every book with Grace and Peace. One is Greek the other Hebrew and also who this book is addressed to. To the saints, that is the saved holy ones and faithful brethren in Colosse. This is something every church should desire to be called, "faithful brethren"!
Col 1:1 "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother, 2 To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."
Paul has prayed for them and is proud of their faith and love for all the saints. That does not just mean in Colosse either, as they loved all the saints everywhere.
3 "We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, 4 Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints,"
He tells them of their hope in Heaven and that will be with the Lord someday, and that the gospel message of being in Christ brings fruit that is called "good works".  
5 "For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; 6 Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth: 7 As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ; 8 Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit."
These good works are a byproduct of being in Christ and walking by the Spirit. We too have that same Spirit within us, and we too have good works to share the gospel, the cross and the love of Christ! Remember you are not here to just receive but to also give. You are saved that so others may be saved also! Reach out and share the gospel message and teach all that you know with others.
Paul's desire for all of us!
Paul's great desire for the church!
1. To be filled with the knowledge of will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding! We get this from studying the word and allowing it to help us understand, discern and grow in Christ.
Col 1:9 "For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
2. The we would Walk Worthy and be fruitful in "good works", which means being faithful in all we do, while increasing in the knowledge of God.
10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
3. That we be Strengthen with all might in His power, which means to allow Christ to work through us! That the Word of God would makes us more and more confident and secure in our relationshipwith Him and that we would be patient, longsuffering and joyful in Him.
11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;
4.And always THANKFUL!!! Thankful that we belong to God and have eternal life and have the Holy Spirit within us! That we have a heavenly inheritance and a righteous inheritance with all the truly great genuine and faithful saints in Christ!
12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:"
Be thankful, confident and always Walk by faith!
Delivered from darkness, death and into Christ Kingdom!
Paul says that God the Father has delivered us from darkness which is death and placed us in light which is life! That light and life is found in "the kingdom of his dear Son", Jesus! This is why we can say we are "IN CHRIST"!!!
Col 1:12 "Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:"
We have been redeemed which means ransomed through His blood. That means Christ death and blood paid for our sins thus making it possible to be completely forgiven by faith! We are now reconciled to God and God is not angry with us and no need to punish us.
I think we often focus so much on sin that when we sin, we feel horrible. We feel so ashamed and guilty and fear we deserve punishment. What we need to understand is that God simply wants us to walk by faith and to come running back to Him. He wants us to be focused on Him and not on being "good enough" or not sinning but relating to Him! He wants us to be intimate with Him, by being transparent and vulnerable with Him. He wants us to receive from Him instead of trying to get His approval by working harder.
You are redeemed, reconciled and in Christ so run, rest and receive from God by faith!
Jesus is the exact image of God the Father!  
Col 1:15 "Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence."
Everything was created by Jesus and made to worship Him. Jesus is the creator and Jesus is the word and the one who spoke things into existence. Jesus is above all authority and Jesus is the head of the church, which is His Body! Jesus is the one who has the preeminence which means the place above all others.  
Reconciled, holy and unblameable in HIS sight!!!
We have been declared reconciled, holy and blameless in God's sight through Christ!!!
Col 1:19 "For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; 20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. 21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled 22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:"

Christ has done the work, and He is the fulness of all things, meaning through Christ salvation, eternal life and wholeness is found in Him. It means that the heavens and the world are now able to be reconciled and purified through Him. It means that there is no more searching or understanding needed to be done but is if finished, complete and righteous in Him!
There is peace between God and man, and Christ will present you before the Father holy and blameless! When you stand before God you don't have to be afraid or fear punishment, so just be thankful and grateful and at rest in our Lord Jesus! 
Be grounded and settled in the faith!
Paul states that the gospel has been preached to every creature under heaven, which means all mankind now knows and may be saved!
Col 1:23 "If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; 24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church:"
He also says that we need to stay grounded and settled in faith meaning we should understand the Word and growing in faith daily! Studying the word should be your #1 priority in life. It should even come before your family yet when you study the Word you will find that your family benefits even more then if you had made them the priority.
Paul says he rejoiced in his sufferings for Christ for the church's sake! The church is Christ Body, and it is a living organism not a building or institute of some kind. It is alive without boundaries! The Body is not bound by laws, ordinances, nations or government. It lives in communist countries as well as free, IT IS ALIVE JUST AS CHRIST IS ALIVE!
So be grounded and settled in the faith by reading and studying the word "rightly divided" daily.
The Mystery Message!
We are in the mystery dispensation. The dispensing of God's will for today was not known and not prophesied. No one knew of this new dispensation that gentiles would be offered salvation without Israel, law or works!
Col 1:25 "Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; 26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: 28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: 29 Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily."
God would make known the riches of His Glory to gentiles is amazing!!! That we could be saved by faith without works of the law and that Christ would live in us is unbelievable!
Paul then says that we should preach Christ, warn all and teach with the wisdom that edifies so that every man may be mature in Christ! This is our ministry today. This is our purpose today!
Preach The Mystery Message, that grace message, that message that saves, builds and frees....
Absent in the flesh yet with you in the spirit!
Paul describes his great love for the churches by saying even though I am not with you physically I am spiritually.
Col 2:1 "For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; 2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; 3 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words. 5 For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ."
He always wanted the church to be united in love and to understand the great riches of being in Christ. You know that is what we should all want for each other. We should desire that understanding of the mystery of God and Christ. We should desire to love one another and to share time with one another.
Unfortunately, most Christians are so weak and immature that any criticism, counsel or help comes with defensiveness and rejection. We should want to be mature enough to receive from others and that takes time and willingness. As I always say the greatest character change in the believer should be humbleness and the willingness to receive from others as well as give to others. Without humbleness there is pride and with pride comes independence and with independence comes defensiveness!
Paul is encouraged by this church's steadfastness of faith in Christ, and this is what we should desire for all churches and saints. A humble, persevering church that desires the Word of God and a relationship with Christ!
As you go through this week think about your desire for God, Christ, the Word and for others. Think about if you can receive counsel from others and if you are truly humble! Be honest with yourself and then pray about it and see if there are areas in your life that need to change.
in the love of Christ,
As we have received Christ Jesus as our Lord and Saviour we are then to walk in Him.  
Col 2:6 "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: 7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving."
Walking in Him means that our soul which is our mind, will and emotions, is doing the walking. Just as our Spirit is saved sealed and sanctified by the Holy Spirit, our soul has to think and do something! It can think of sinful thoughts or righteous ones. So, walking means that we think about Him and put Him on by renewing our minds. Renewing is the daily process we must all do. No one gets away with not doing this as a believer.
As we renew our minds and walk in Christ we will grow and become rooted in Him. Rooted means to grow deeper like roots of a tree.  The more water and nourishment the deeper and stronger they become.
We are to be built up which means just like a person who works out gets stronger by lifting heavier weights, so we too get stronger in Christ. Our mind becomes set and forms in Christ. Our minds get freer and freer and less about ourselves and more on Christ and others.
As we renew our minds and grow and become rooted and built up in Christ, we become established in the faith, and we become Thankful to our Lord Jesus Christ! If you're not thankful then perhaps you're not built up in Him!
Get built up, rooted and stronger by reading, studying and walking by faith!
Years ago, when working at a different ministry, we had the privilege of counseling a person who was high up in the psychological field. They had no answers for their issue, and they were desperate for answers. This was because they had a philosophy that was after man and not after Christ. Christ is the answer to all issues especially eternal life itself!
Col 2:8 "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. 9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:"
The traditions of men will not bring life. Following the law, ordinances and principles without Christ just brings more rebellion. Now when Paul talks about the traditions of men here, he is not just talking of worldly traditions but also church or religious traditions and ordinances. This whole chapter in Colossians 2 teaches us about what is important today for the Body of Christ and it isn't in ordinances but Christ, for you see we are complete in Him!
In Jesus dwells the complete, full Godhead in bodily form. There is nothing more that we need to do for Jesus has fulfilled it all in Himself. We are made whole, holy and blameless in Spirit. We are IN CHRIST and HE is in us! We cannot get more spirit or a better spirit in us for He is complete in Us. Our spirit is full, whole and complete in Him.
You are Complete in Christ so Stop trying to work harder and do more works of the law and just be content in the love of our Lord Jesus Christ!