40 Days of study

A human being lives, but he is given life.

Philippians 2:12-18

Well today we hit day 20 of our 40 day study of Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians, so we need to start thinking about what to study next. I have had request for Revelation and Proverbs.  We could cover Proverbs in about 35 days, but Revelation is very in depth and it would take us about 70 – 80 days to cover it and we would almost be required to cover the book of Daniel as well, this would take another 35 – 40 days to cover. This would take us well out of our 40 days of study per topic, but that really does not matter. My New Year’s sermon is on all the hype of 2012 anyway and so I could use the single focus. I will say that (Matthew 24:36) says it best “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” Just something to think about.

I am willing to talk about anything everyone decides on. Give me your thoughts and I will post this question again on day 30 and on day 35 I will let you know what we are going to study.

Philippians 2:12-18

New King James Version (NKJV)


Light Bearers

12 Therefore, my beloved, as you 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 who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

14 Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.

17 Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. 18 For the same reason you also be glad and rejoice with me.

My Thoughts:

  1. Let’s start with (v. 12) we read “Therefore, my beloved, as you 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;”
    1. They had not wavered in their faith even in Paul’s absents.
    2. “fear and trembling;” their work should be done in meekness and humility, just as Christ did.
  2. In (v. 15) we read “that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,”
    1.  “that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault” every eye was on the Christian faith; how they acted and not with just each other but in their everyday life as will.
    2. “in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation” most of the people where pagans and their actions where under scrutiny by all.
  3. Let’s finish with (v. 16) “16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain”
    1. “holding fast the word of life” the gospel of Christ, this was and still is for every Christian.
    2.  “so that I may rejoice” Paul would join them in their joy even if his labor for others would cost his life.

Thought of the Day

“Faith in Christ is not just a single step but a life of walking with Him.”


Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

Every January, health club memberships dramatically increase and exercise rooms become crowded with what some people call “the New Year’s resolution crowd.” Fitness regulars know that by March many of the newcomers will be gone. “They don’t see results as quickly as they think they will,” says one club director. “People don’t realize it takes a lot of work and perseverance to get in shape.”

It’s a phenomenon we experience in the spiritual realm as well. Author Eugene Peterson notes that in a culture that loves speed and efficiency, “it is not difficult . . . to get a person interested in the message of the gospel; it is terrifically difficult to sustain the interest.” To follow Christ faithfully, Peterson says, requires “a long obedience in the same direction.”

Paul urged the Philippians to adopt the same mindset as Christ, whose obedience to the Father was wholehearted and complete (2:8). He encouraged them to keep on obeying the Lord and to “work out [their] own salvation with fear and trembling” (2:12).

As new believers, we may have good intentions when we take our first steps of faith. Then, as we grow in Christ, God’s power enables us to keep walking joyfully with Him along the long road of obedience. —David C. McCasland

The Lord God is faithful, and always will be,

He’ll never give up on you or on me;

So let us continue to serve Him each day,

Faithful to follow His will and His way. —Fitzhugh

Personal Reflection and Discussion

  1. (v. 14) says “Do all things without complaining and disputing”; do you live your life this way?
  2. How do you see (v. 17)?
  3. What other things do you see in the text?

Prayer Activities

  1. Call your Partner and discuss this devotional.
  2. Continue to have a prayer list and continue to praying for them.
  3. Pray with them and ask for the following;
    1. For God to help us serve in meekness and humility.
    2. For God to strengthen our devotion to Him.
    3. For the individuals on your pray list.
  4. Let’s use (Proverbs 3:1, 2) for today’s prayer verse.


About bobh6

I am Seventh-day Adventist pastor in the Texas Panhandle

7 comments on “Philippians 2:12-18

  1. Rosi
    August 29, 2011

    For verse 17, I’ve read that the jews and greeks sometimes used wine in their religious sacrifices. We’ve read that Paul didn’t think he was going to die but be set free, so I don’t believe he meant a sacrifice in the typical way. He may have been talking about being poured out as a living offering on behalf of the faith of the Phillipians. As for verse 14, I wish I could say I never complain or argue. I do better at not complaining but have a really hard time with “disputing” There again the Holy Spirit has to be invited in to help me. I used to be a bad tempered person but God is truly wonderful and with His grace and His help, I am changed.

    • bobh6
      August 29, 2011

      I agree about how the Holy Spirit can help us with issues like our tempers. when we have the the Holy Spirit guiding us we become more like Christ and when we do that everything changes

  2. Amalia Mullen
    August 29, 2011

    Today we still live in a crooked and perverse nation (maybe even more so), and we’re called to shine as lights to the world. People always look and wonder how we respond to given cirucumstances. They even know what is right and how we’re suppose to ideally respond. When we fail they claim all Chrisitains are hyporcrites, but when we let the Lord lead in our lives they are offered a secrect opportunity to come to the Lord also, and a seed is planted. Living our lives in light of the source of light is our calling and duty. Vrs 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. It shouldn’t seem optional as Christians, whether we should do good or not and stand up for what is right. We need to shine the Son light in this dark world and be with out a doubt to anyone Sons and Daughters of God.

    • bobh6
      August 29, 2011

      I agree, our world seems to be getting worse every day. But I stop and ask myself; is the world getting worse or is it the fact that we have more people but the percentage is still the same. Or the fact that we live in a media rich society and we just see more of now.

  3. Victoria
    August 29, 2011

    There are many great things in these verses, but what strikes me today is when Paul says (in v. 12) “…as you 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…” I see Paul almost rubbing his hands together and saying Ah! You’re getting the hang of this! To me it seems that the Philippians are making a shift from external motivation (I am acting this way because Paul is around) to internal motivation (I am acting this way because it comes from my heart), and I find that idea very exciting. I can definitely think of times in my life that I did things simply because that was what I was supposed to do; if I didn’t do it there would be negative consequences. And now, even just recently with a renewed faith in God, I am noticing how I want to be a better person, not for fear of punishment, but because I want to be aligned with my Creator. And the more I become aligned with Him, the more I find that I am in awe of Him. I would like to think that this is me working out my salvation, as Paul suggests.

    • Amalia Mullen
      August 30, 2011

      I agree, the more we get aligned with God the more in awe of Him I find myself. The more we know him, the more we love him. What an exciting process! There’s nothing better than truely living and loving whole heartly. Praise be to God!

    • bobh6
      August 30, 2011

      I agree, that is what I see Paul saying also.
      I am not sure if you are a Seventh-day Adventist. If so you know who Ellen White and if not it does not really matter. The point is that here is a quote from a book of hers.
      “The tempted one needs to understand the true force of the will. This is the governing power in the nature of man—the power of decision, of choice. Everything depends on the right action of the will. Desires for goodness and purity are right, so far as they go; but if we stop here, they avail nothing. Many will go down to ruin while hoping and desiring to overcome their evil propensities. They do not yield the will to God. They do not choose to serve Him.
      God has given us the power of choice; it is ours to exercise. We cannot change our hearts, we cannot control our thoughts, our impulses, our affections. We cannot make ourselves pure, fit for God’s service. But we can choose to serve God, we can give Him our will; then He will work in us to will and to do according to His good pleasure. Thus our whole nature will be brought under the control of Christ.
      Through the right exercise of the will, an entire change may be made in the life. By yielding up the will to Christ, we ally ourselves with divine power. We receive strength from above to hold us steadfast. A pure and noble life, a life of victory over appetite and lust, is possible to everyone who will unite his weak, wavering human will to the omnipotent, unwavering will of God.”
      When I read this I think of the choice the Philippi church had made. They chose to yield their hearts to Christ, not just their actions.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on August 29, 2011 by in 40 days, Philippians and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 235 other subscribers


%d bloggers like this: