I remember the slogan from my youth. "When you are in a fix, look up Philippians 4:6," so just do it! Here is the command: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God" (ESV).
The Message Bible says, "Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns." "When you are in a fix, often the fix is in you" (Ashok Kallarakkal). And since Christ is in you, I can go along with that.
Using the artful aid of alliteration, the precept is to worry about nothing. The prescription is prayer and petition with thanksgiving to God. The promise is peace (verse 7).
The precept is not lengthy or difficult to understand. We all have challenges, problems, difficulties in our earthly life. The command is short and to the point: "Don't fret or worry." Just stop worrying; that's the imperative in the prohibition. As a citizen of heaven (Philippians 3:20), the King will always look after us wherever we are, unlike some modern countries some of us live in. So remember who you are. Read More
"Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written" (John 21:25 ESV). "... I can't imagine a world big enough to hold such a library of books" (Message Bible). It would be very rare to hear a teaching or a sermon on that text! So what's up, preacher?
John had already told his readers that he only covered selected events in his gospel. "Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book" (John 20:30). Matthew, Mark, and Luke are called the "synoptic gospels" because they describe mainly the same events, while John only wrote of seven incidents that are in common with other gospels (Dake).
The expression "the world itself could not contain the books that would be written" is what is known as the figure of hyperbole, or in everyday English, exaggeration for the sake of emphasis. This has been a legitimate usage of language ever since writing began. Since I live in the driest state on the driest continent in the world, I could say "the ground is dry," and that would be factually correct. In order to emphasize the low moisture level of the dirt I could say "the ground is thirsty," and that is hyperbole. The ground cannot drink, so I am emphasizing that the ground is really, really dry, and is pleading for a drink, and you get the picture immediately. Read More
It may come as surprise to some Christians that the main purpose of the Day of Pentecost was not to make speaking in tongues available to believers. The experience was certainly part of the package, as is clearly seen in Acts chapter 2, but when Jesus taught his disciples about what was about to happen, only once did he mention speaking in a "new tongue" (Mark 16:17) and that was on the day of his Ascension. I speak in tongues, as do millions of Christians, and I encourage others to do so. But this experience is not the "be all and end all" of the Christian life.
Let's look again at what Jesus said about the coming Day of Pentecost and see if he reveals its purpose. "For John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now" (Acts 1:5 ESV). The word "baptized" means to be covered wholly with a fluid, to be totally immersed in the subject, here with John it is water, and with spirit "not many days from now." In Luke's gospel he speaks of being "clothed with power from on high" (Luke 24:49 ESV), completely covered with power. This is therefore stronger, more comprehensive than having the spirit for just a period of time for a particular task, as in the Old Testament. In John's gospel we learn that "the Spirit of truth... dwells with you and will be in you," that is, within the believer (John 14:17). Read More