To the saints at Eastside Baptist Church, Twin Falls, Idaho:
Dear beloved of God,
As I prepare to preach through the letter written to the church in Philippi by the Apostle Paul (beginning December 4, 2016), I want to let you know that I’ve been praying for you. It has been my prayer that the time we will spend together in this letter will be a blessing.
I will attempt to give historic context to the entire letter of Philippians in application to our lives today on December 4.
I want to encourage you to do some things with me in both the preparation for the preaching and in the season of time while we journey through this letter together. I want to use the letter to the church in Philippi to encourage some disciplines in all of our lives; prayer, Scripture memorization, meditation on that Scripture, and application of that Scripture.
It is not required of anyone to do the things I’m encouraging you to do. It is simply my encouragement to you of the benefit I have received in my own life. Please do not attempt any of these disciplines as an attempt to save yourself. It is not possible.
Pray about them before attempting. If you decide to do any or all of them, commit your ways unto the Lord. To do some of these things you may have to make significant adjustments to your daily routine. You may have to give up some things in order to have the time and energy to do them.
- Write the entire letter from Paul to the church in Philippi in your own handwriting.
Moses instructed the LORD’s people to put people before them who would know who their God is. The precept of this discipline is worth consideration. Here’s how Moses instructed the LORD’s people to do this concerning their desire for a king to rule over them. (Deuteronomy 17:18-20; emphasis mine)
- …he shall write for himself a copy of this law (instruction)…
- …It shall be with him and he shall read it all the days of his life,
- …that he may learn to fear the LORDhis God,
- …by carefully observing all the words of this law (instruction) and these statutes…
- Memorize the entire letter or at least portions of the letter.
After Moses died, Joshua instructed the LORD’s people to meditate/recite upon the word of God. (Joshua 1:8; emphasis mine)
- …This book of the law (instruction) shall not depart from your mouth,
- …you shall meditate on it day and night,
- …so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it…
- Commit to attending and taking notes from the preaching.
Since the Apostle Paul instructed Timothy to “preach the word…” (2 Timothy 4:2) it goes without saying that there is an important benefit to hearing the preached word. “He who has ears to hear, hear what the Spirit says to the church.” (Revelation 2:7)
If you are unable to attend due to sickness or travel, you can listen to the archived sermons at the church website (www.esbctwinfalls.com).
- Sing songs of the faith together and at home.
I’ve included several songs in this booklet (will be available soon) that we will be singing over the days of our time in the letter to the church in Philippi. We will sing at least one of these songs every week in our weekly gathering; in addition to concluding our time together every week with the “Gospel Doxology”. I’ve included them here so that you might sing them at home as well.
Let songs of the faith be the “soundtrack of your home”. (Matt Boswell, Providence Church – Frisco, TX)
Charles Spurgeon said of John Bunyan; “Prick him anywhere; his blood is Bibline, the very essence of the Bible flows from him. He cannot speak without quoting a text, for his very soul is full of the Word of God.” (C. H. Spurgeon, “The Last Words of Christ on the Cross,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, Vol. XLV [London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1899], 495.)
May Eastside Baptist be known as a people who, when pricked by the world, bleed the Word of God.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, (Philippians 4:23)