Family Bible Study

A simple Bible Study for everyone


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We must be willing to give up the good to get the better, and be willing to give up the better to get the best.  (30/60/100-fold harvest)

Written by Carolyn Anne Venable

December 22nd, 2009 at 6:30 pm

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Quiet Time Thoughts on 10-22-08

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I woke up feeling sad this morning and didn’t know why until I looked at the calendar. (It seems that this happens every month on the 22nd.)  I asked God to encourage me in my QT and He was faithful as always.  This is not about Phil. 4, because I don’t really know how to do this Biblefox thing very well yet but I think it is really cool.  The Amplified version of 1:12 says, “Now I want you to know and continue to rest assured, brethren, that what has happened to me has actually only served to advance and give a renewed impetus to the sperading of the good news.”  1:19 says, “I shall rejoice for I am well assured that through your prayers and a bountiful supply of the Spirit of Jesus, what has happened to me will turn out for my presevation, spiritual health and welfare of my own soul and avail toward the saving work of the Gospel.” 

When Paul says, “what has happened to me” he’s talking about being in prison but I’m appying it to losing Marshall.  It’s encouraging to know that our difficult circumstances and our sufferings are ordained by God to advance the gospel and cause our own spiritual growth and wellbeing.   Today I got to share the gospel with one of my classmates, Jennifer.  Please pray for her!


Written by mark

October 22nd, 2008 at 4:54 pm

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Tagged with Philippians 4


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4 Rejoice in the Lord always: again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your forbearance be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

If God is everywhere, how can He be at hand with some and far from others (unbelievers)?  If He is with and in all believers, how can we draw nearer to Him than we already are (Jas. 4:8)?  This has to be describing it in relational terms rather than spatial (intimacy verses distance)  or perhaps revealing His tokens of favor verses withholding His grace. 

Anyway, I like God being near/at hand.   But, if He always seem like that, then I guess I will take His nearness for granted.

Written by mark

October 9th, 2008 at 6:52 pm

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Tagged with Philippians 4

Support Raising

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It seems that there are a lot of encouraging points about support raising in this chapter.  I was thinking particularly of Heidi and Derek as they are about to embark on support raising and how this chapter may give them a lot of encouragement.

I think verses 4:14-20 are pertinent.  First, Paul commends the church for supporting him when nobody else was.  He also praises them for giving to him even when he was away from him.  And then he makes a striking point in verse 17;

Vs. 17 – “Not that I am looking for a gift but I am looking for what may be credited to your account.”

In other words, Paul is happy that they are giving to him for their sake! He knows that really it is to their credit (even if the credit in his bank account goes up) because of the blessings from the Lord that will be showered upon them.  And then, he reminds them of this promise:

Vs. 19 – “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”

When you give to others, you can rest assured that God will take care of all your needs.  So, as you (ex. Heidi and Derek) go out to support raise, you can remember that in some ways you are helping people receive blessings from the Lord.  Of course, you want to share this with them in kindness.  But I do think it would be encouraging to tell people that their gifts are a blessing not only to you but also to themselves.  And you can remind people that God promises to supply all their needs.

Written by Hannah Venable

October 5th, 2008 at 1:43 pm

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Tagged with Philippians 4


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Ok, I guess I can’t go to the bible part or else I lose all that I have written.  So, I will go to the Bible part first, copy, and then come back and paste.  I will make sure I don’t leave this page until I am done writing everything I want to.

1:1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, to all the saints in Christ Jesus that are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:

Hannah just sent me an email saying I can open a new window for the bible part.

Bishop is interchangable with elders.  I had a discussion this past week among some fellow Texas pastors about the term elder.  Does it have anything to do with physical age?  Would we appoint a 15 year old pastor (elder)?  Were all the apostles young?  Nothing in Scripture indicates any age of the apostles.  Wasn’t Timothy young?  It was 17 years after timothy joined the apostolic team when he was exhorted to have no one look down on his youthfulness!  So, he had to be at least in his 30’s when Paul encouraged him to be careful of ones looking down on his “youth”.  So, what was considered youth in regard to leadership?

The term Elder undoubtedly comes from a Jewish heritage which would certainly refer to someone older in age.  1Pet. 5:5 – “you younger men likewise be subject to your elders”  – it seems strained to say this verse is all about spiritual maturity (age) and not giving a plain meaning referrring to physical age.

The OT gave minimum age requirements for certain positions to serve in the temple.  So, how old should an elder be?  That question can not be answered, but I simply want to say that in the term elder it seems to contain a qualification for the office.  This is radical, especially in GC circles.  Don’t quote me on any of this – I could be labeled a heretic :-)

Ok, one thing I noticed about the church officers – there is no mention of deaconesses.  Why is this?  I don’t want to open a “can of worms” regarding whether women should be in church leadership or not, but I am simply saying if there was a place to make a case for deaconesses, I think this would be the place.

Written by mark

October 4th, 2008 at 4:33 pm

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Tagged with Philippians 1:1

Raw & Honest

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I am so glad to blog with all of you!   I look forward to not only learning how to use Biblefox but also learning from each one of you!   Before I make my first post/comments, I want to say I will try to write my thoughts with upmost honesty (raw), yet I will also try to be humble and respectful towards those who differ.  I am excited to dive into the word with you all and go deep.   Since I am a pastor, I would appreciate no one taking my comments and quoting them as LBC doctrine or rules of practice.    Ok, I hope this works!

Well, at this point I am already stuck!  I just wanted to go to the book of Phillipians and copy a verse, but do not know how to navigate back to that page.  OK, I will figure this out, or someone can tell me how to do this.

Written by mark

October 4th, 2008 at 11:43 am

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Tagged with Philippians 1


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I have been pondering verses 7-8 the past few days.

Vs. 7-8 – “But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.  What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.  I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ.”

1. Everything is nothing compared to knowing God.

So, everything that we have done where our purpose is not to glorify God (perhaps to glorify ourselves or someone else) is a complete “loss”.  Paul gives the example of all the “good” actions that he did as a righteous Jew.  None of those things are to his profit now.  And everything that we do now is nothing in comparison to knowing Christ.  Paul is not saying that what we do now – in following Christ – is nothing.  It is just nothing in comparison to knowing Christ.  I think this helps us keep our perspectives straight.  If our actions are not for the purpose of knowing Christ, what is the point?

2. Do the actions that God desires because He knows the consequences of them.  All other actions are rubbish.

Along the same lines, the actions that are for the purpose of knowing Christ are what count.  So how should we live?  I have been studying a political philosopher, Hannah Arendt, and while not claiming to be a Christian, she hails the Christian idea of forgiveness as essential for a political system.  She talks about how we will never know what the consequences of our actions will be.  And if we think about it long enough we might be afraid to act at all!  But she says that this is why we need to have forgiveness.  We need to be able to forgive each other for actions so that we can move on to continue acting – otherwise we will be stuck with one action and its consequences lasting forever.  As I was thinking about that, I realized how important it is to then seek the Lord about every step in our lives.  We don’t now the consequences of our acitons but He does.  I want to live where my actions are in line with Christ, where their goal is to know Christ better and where others may see that as well.

Written by Hannah Venable

October 1st, 2008 at 3:21 pm

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Tagged with Philippians 3

He speaks.

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You know, I put off reading this for so long because of a fear that I’m just now realizing I have habitually: I’m afraid God won’t speak to me.  But yet again He has come through.  I need to start logging these instances.

Several things struck me in this first chapter of Philippians:

1. Paul’s love for the believers. I thought it was sweet that he said he always has joy when he prays for them.  It made me think of the love God has given me for my students this year.

2. The fact that God will complete His good work in the believers. I should apply this to my students also.  Sometimes I get so caught up in all that they are NOT.  It causes me to: stress out, worry about them, get frustrated, reprove them.  When I instead focus on God and what He’s doing, it causes me to: love them, encourage them, laugh with them, instruct them.

3. Because of Paul’s chains, the brothers in the Lord were encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly. Funny.  I would have thought chains would have had the reverse effect.  Seeing chains as a consequence might make me afraid to say anything at all.

4. Paul said “to live is Christ.” I ought to have such a strong connection between the two.

5. In the second to last verse, we’re given the promise that we will indeed suffer for Christ. So why do I live life trying to avoid any kind of suffering whatsoever?  It’s not like I can avoid it, nor should I.  It’s good for me; everything given to me by God is a good thing.

Written by karina

September 30th, 2008 at 5:34 pm

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Tagged with Philippians 1

Audience of Philippians

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Paul seems to feel more confident about the maturity of the Philippians than he seems in other epistles. He doesn’t have much rebuke for them, and he doesn’t spend much time talking about the basics.

In chapter 3 he elaborates on what he seemed to consider a mature way of following Christ. He speaks of himself, saying he has not obtained perfection, but he presses on “to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me” (3:12).

Then he mentions that “All of us who are mature should take such a view of things” (3:15a). He seems to be expecting a certain level of maturity from the Philippians; even skipping right by a chance to correct the immature ones: “And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained” (3:15b-16).

So, then Philippians can perhaps be seen as an overview of what mature believers should continually pull out of the Gospel. From Paul’s exhortations to continually live a life worthy of the Gospel (1:27-30), and imitate Christ’s attitudes and actions (2:1-18), and finally to remain firm in the true Gospel (Chapter 3). Those are things we all need to continually renew our minds with.

Written by Richard Venable

September 28th, 2008 at 4:49 pm

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Tagged with Philippians


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There are two references to obedience in chapter 2.  First, in verse 8, Paul talkes about Christ’s obedience to death.  Now, I think there are two implications of this.  Christ was obedient to death in that he obeyed death’s wishes (and here death can be thought of as connected with Satan) by allowing himself to be killed.  He was humble enough to allow that to happen.  But Christ was also obedient to his Father in heaven.  He obeyed his Father no matter the cost – even unto death on a cross!

The second reference to obedience is in verse 12 where Paul praises the Philippians for being obedient (probably to him and to God) during his presence and his absence.

I think there must be a connection between these two references of obedience.  Here is Christ’s example of the ultimate obedience and here is how our response should be.  Just as Christ was obedient, we should also be obedient.

Obedience isn’t a popular word today.  It can often denote a sense of complacency or maybe being a push-over.  But when I think about Christ, he was so passionate and so righteous and so just!  He loved what was right and yet he humbled himself to let what was not right be done because that is what the Father desired.  It is an act of the absurd, as Kierkegaard would say, but it is what we must put our faith in.  And it is the act we must emulate – just like the Philippians did!

Written by Hannah Venable

September 25th, 2008 at 3:31 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with Philippians 2:8,12

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