This is part of the 66 in 52 Bible Journaling Challenge. Over the course of the 52 weeks in 2018, I will focus in on one verse from each book of the Bible with many others who have signed up to join me. Each week I will be posting a summary page with some thought about that week’s book(s) of the Bible along with some links that may help our reflection. Click here to sign up if you want to join us at any point along the journey!
The Big Picture of Philippians:
If grace seemed to be the theme last week in Ephesians, joy and thanksgiving seem to be the theme for Philippians. There are at least 15 specific references to the topic of joy (maybe more depending on your translation) in these 4 short chapters. Paul was thanking the church at Philippi for their partnership in the work he was doing and encouraged them to continue serving and sharing Christ. It is likely that Paul wrote this letter while He was in prison in Rome around AD 60.
Things we learn about joy from Philippians:
- God brings joy when we work together well (1:3-5, 2:2)
- When Christ is shared it is cause for joy and celebration (1:18)
- True joy comes from God alone (3:1, 4:4)
- Joy is not dependent on circumstances (1:12-18, 2:17-18, 4:11)
A Few Key Verses and Possible Reflection Questions/Prayers:
Some of us are planning to read through the whole book or books each week, while others are just focusing in on one verse per book. This section of the weekly intro post might help you narrow down a verse to reflect on for the week, but you do not have to choose one of these verse, pick any section of the book you want! These are just some ideas.
- “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14
REFLECTION: What is something you need to leave behind this week to be able to move forward toward what God is calling you to?
- “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.” Philippians 3:20-21
REFLECTION: What evidence do you see in your life or the world around you that this world is not our true, forever home?
- “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8
REFLECTION: Make a list today of at least one thing that fits each of the categories: true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, worthy of praise.
4:8 Your Brain
Here’s a list for my own life recently based on the last reflection option.
- True: God loves me. He’s been reminding me a lot lately of this simple truth.
- Honorable: Some of my teenager friends doing the right thing even when it’s hard
- Just: following a process
- Pure: the laughter of little kids
- Lovely: the chance to visit my exchange daughter in her country
- Commendable: friends who show up when you need them and celebrate life with you
- Excellent: my teammates at work
- Worthy of Praise: God, for the beautiful creation he’s made!
Some Other Resources:
- The Bible Project summary video for Philippians
- A Pinterest board with resources and pictures for Philippians
- The 66 in 52 Schedule and Tracking Sheet
So now it’s your turn! Pick a verse and settle in this week, or read through the whole book. If you post any picture or blogs on social media, tag them with #66in52challenge so we can all share in this journey together!