Context is Everything

A few weeks ago the Saturday Morning Blogger Chat was talking about our favorite verses & how important it is to memorize scripture.

Pastor Chuck who blogs at lakeside4Jesus encouraged us to memorize Phillipians 4:12-13.

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:12-13 NIV

Most of us know verse 13 by heart but without context you are missing Pauls’s deeper meaning of the passage. Take a moment and read through it again. What is Paul trying to communicate to the Philippians (and ultimately to us)?

My take on the passage is this:

1. Paul has experienced times when he was in serious need of the basic necessities of life.

2. Paul has experienced times when he had more than he needed. I believe that during these times he was generous and shared what he had with those who were struggling.

3. Paul learned how to be content & joyful, no matter what his current circumstances were. No whining, no pity party just abiding in Christ.

4. Paul learned that complete surrender to Christ is the only way to live. Once we surrender, God’s plan for our lives can truly begin to take shape.

Thank you, Pastor Chuck for encouraging me to look at this passage in a different way. It has changed the way I look at waiting on the Lord, while I trust & obey.

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord . – Psalm 27:14 NIV

“Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!Isaiah 30:18 NIV

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. – Romans 12:2 NKJV

For more about scripture memorization go to Brave, Blessed & Beautiful and check out these posts:

#BGBG2 #BIBLEGATEWAYPARTNER

11 comments

  1. I hope folks never tire of me talking about the importance of context within the Scriptures! As you you correctly said, Barb, the deep truth of Paul’s experiences has led him (and us) to know that it is indeed God’s power that sustains us.
    Blessings,
    Pastor Chuck

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful post today! I sat here and read verse 12 over and over again. You’re so right. Context is everything. At the end of 2019, I blogged that I wanted to find peace and contentment in 2020. I picked a doozy of a year to do that, didn’t I? LOL! I plan to blog about that goal or wish again at the end of 2020, so I’ve been giving it some thought. I’m trying to discern if I found peace and contentment this year. Stay tuned….

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Excellent post, and in context too! Good work Barbara. So many folk claim verse 13 and have no idea about verse 12. I often wonder if such folk would happily quote verse 13 if they were truly hungry or in dire need?

    Liked by 2 people

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