Philippians 4

Philippians 4

Therefore, my beloved brethren whom I long to see, my joy and crown, in this way stand firm in the Lord, my beloved.
[2] I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to live in harmony in the Lord. [3] Indeed, true companion, I ask you also to help these women who have shared my struggle in the cause of the gospel, together with Clement also and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.
[4] Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! [5] Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. [6] Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. [7] And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
[8] Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. [9] The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

[10] But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity. [11] Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. [12] I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. [13] I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. [14] Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction.
[15] You yourselves also know, Philippians, that at the first preaching of the gospel, after I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving but you alone; [16] for even in Thessalonica you sent a gift more than once for my needs. [17] Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account. [18] But I have received everything in full and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God. [19] And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. [20] Now to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
[21] Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren who are with me greet you. [22] All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar’s household.
[23] The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

(Reading on Sunday, thoughts and observations Monday and following.   Multiple comments on the same verse is fine –  Scripture is living and dynamic, speaking to many of our varied situations – all at once. )


12 Replies to “Philippians 4”

  1. Jonell

    Monday –

    [8] Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good report, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

    This is one of my favorite Bible verses because it tells us that we are to think about good things. I was first introduced to this verse when I was in the second grade at summer Bible camp in central Nebraska. I went to camp with a group from my church. Carolyn and I were best friends. Carolyn was trying to memorize this verse, and I was listening to her and helping her when she got stumped. Since the verse was so long I wasn’t sure I wanted to attempt memorizing it. After listening to Carolyn say it over and over, I soon had memorized it myself, without hardly trying.

    Then a year or two later, my sister and I were in bed talking after the lights were out and she said, “Pick a verse.” So I picked Philippians 4:8. Then she said, “Pick an event that happened today.” So I picked the trick we played on Carolyn’s dad who was helping us load the U-Haul truck. Then she said, “Okay, take what Philippians 4:8 says and compare it with the trick we played on Carolyn’s dad.
    Was it true?
    Was it honorable?
    Was it right?
    Was it pure?
    Was it lovely?
    Was it of good report?”
    And I was to answer those questions and then “if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”

    Now today … some 30 years later, I have that verse as my computer wallpaper on my work computer. It helps me remember to live in such a way that I can take the events of my day and run them through this checklist to determine if what I accomplished today was excellent and worthy of praise.

    Jonell

  2. Phil

    Monday Afternoon –

    I’ve been thinking today about verse five:

    [5] Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. At first-read I thought, “He sure is, He’s RIGHT here. What better reason to behave. It’s like having a policeman in your rear-view mirror all the time. 😀

    Then I checked the NLT and found that it reads “Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.” OK, Coming soon. Still a good reason to be gentle with people.

    Ours is not a considerate planet. Nation. Okay, community (at least most aren’t). But we can help make it so.
    * The looks of mild amazement when I slow to hold the door for the person right behind me and their “hey-thanks!” bring a slight smile to my lips.
    * The “why thank you” I read on the lips of a driver now and then, surprised someone let them go first – same response.
    * The way someone I’m working with right now is being careful and considerate of those already in place as I’m introduced to a ministry in our local church. Paul would be pleased.
    * It even works at home, that considerate-thing, (maybe MOST at home) when the dogs want out – again.
    * And when life gets delicate, when disagreements stir the adrenaline, when I’d just as soon lash out as talk… “be gentle”, I’m reminded. Not a marshmallow, not a doormat, but gentle. Meek. Strength under control.

    Remember, the Lord is coming soon. If I keep that fact in mind it’s easier to consider others more important than my immediate wants and needs – or imagined needs. I think he said something along those lines in chapter 2? (try verses 3-4 and following).

    Gentle / Strong / Considerate. I want to be that 24/7/365.

    Phil—

  3. Jonell

    Tuesday –

    [4] Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!

    In my own devotional this morning, I came across this quote:

    “Your day goes the way the corners of your mouth turn.”
    – Anonymous

    Remember too that your heart can be rejoicing even if you’re not smiling on the outside. We can even rejoice in the midst of troublesome times knowing that even though we may not know the future, we know the God who is always in control of all things.

    – Jonell

  4. Phil

    Tuesday –

    I’ve been considering “the peace of God” and “the God of peace” today, as Paul uses the terms in verses 6 – 9.

    Don’t be anxious, he says.
    Tell God Everything. Pray about it – give it over to Him.

    And the peace of God will guard my heart, and my mind, in Christ Jesus. (The best-ever place to keep one’s heart and mind, I dare say)

    This peace “outruns” all of my reasoning capabilities. That’s easier to do some days than others, 😆 but it’s always true!

    Practice (put to use) the things you’ve learned from and observed in me, he says. And the God of this peace will be with you.

    That doesn’t strike me as the least bit arrogant; not knowing what Paul endured for Christ, the way he gave himself selflessly for the gospel and teaching others how to grow and mature in the faith after they’d come to Christ. “Do what you’ve seen me do. Do what I’ve taught you. It’s worth it!

    “He’s WITH you. and His peace is GUARDing you.” Is that a formula for success or what??!

    Father God,
    With Your ever-present work in my life and by the empowering of the Holy Spirit, I would like my life to be such that I can say what Paul said – (NLT) Keep putting into practice all you learned from me and heard from me and saw me doing, and the God of peace will be with you. – and be quietly confident that I’m worth following as I follow hard after You.

    Amen—

    -=-=-=-=-=-=-

    [6] Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. [7] And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

    [9] The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

  5. Jonell

    [13] I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

    This is also one of my favorites.

    Ya know what? I’m discovering that selecting my favorite verse is like my favorite color or my favorite song.

    I have a bunch of favorite songs and when a favorite starts to play, I say, “Oooo, this is one of my favorites!” When my Gma wanted to crochet an afghan for me, she asked for my favorite color. I told her I had a favorite shade of every color. My afghan ended up being hot pink, chartreuse green, bright yellow, light blue and dark brown. I know its not the normal colors to combine, but I love it!

    So, it is with verses, my list of favorites just continues to grow. And Philippians 4:13 is special because I can do all things (not in my own strength) but through Him and His strength.

    I am so comforted to know that each verse is there for me to claim when I need it.

    – Jonell

  6. Phil

    From Wednesday –

    If the apostle Paul had to learn contentment I shouldn’t feel bad about having to learn it too. It’s a process.

    “Life University” doesn’t announce its tuition ahead of time and half the time I don’t even know I’m enrolled in a course until I’m half way through the first exam!

    But it can be learned – it took me years. When I finally got it down, I’d been through enough of life’s lessons to know as Paul did —through Him who strengthens me, I can do anything.

    What he didn’t say but is also true, is that when I attempt life in my own strength —-> certain disaster.

    Phil—

  7. Phil

    From Thursday –

    (vv 21-22)

    (yes, I wrote these long-hand first and am just now posting them – my apologies)

    In 2001 my wife and I were part of a 7-member team that went to Russia for ten days, looking for a church our USA church could align with and “adopt” as a sister church. Our first Sunday abroad we attended Moscow Bible Church on our way further east into Tatarstan the next day.

    Pastor Olek spoke that day from Romans 16, the end of his series in the book of Romans. If you’ve not read from there recently, Romans chapter sixteen is nothing but greetings. I’ve wondered “Why are these included?” Pastor Olek answered from experience and first-century culture.
    – These were real people. News travelled slowly in those times, by foot or by ship. (not digitally, by telephone, telegraph, radio, TV, etc.)

    As a result, personal greetings meant a great deal. When you see them, please tell my friends
    – I’m thinking of you.
    – I’m praying for you.
    – You are valuable.
    – You are not alone in your faith!

    The last one impressed me. I can imagine how lonely it might have become in that era, precious-little contact from the outside, and people of The Way (what they called Christians for a long time) were not looked upon favorably in the public eye. There are many many places like that today. People matter. Your greeting has value.

    Here’s a brief assignment for you.
    Take your hands off your mouse and keyboard for a moment. Sit on them if you need to, and note who the Lord brings to mind. Christian friends and encouragers, people enduring difficulty or facing trails.
    Take 60-seconds and let God bring the names to mind.

    (It’s not 60 seconds yet) 😀

    Have someone or a handful of people in mind?
    Pray for them.
    Thank God for them.
    Intercede on their behalf.

    OK – now pick up a pen or pencil and jot down their names.

    NOW you can use today’s technology, thankful you don’t have to send word by foot or tall-ship to let thime know
    – I thanked God for you today
    – I’m praying for you during this trial
    – I don’t know why, exactly, but God brought you to mind today, and I took a minute and prayed for you. How are you?

    People matter. Greetings are valuable.

    Phil—

  8. Phil

    From Friday

    The joy of giving – from vv 15-19

    More than once this church (in the city of Philippi) had sent tangible support to their friend and colleague. It meant sacrifice. They went without so Paul could go on. Theirs was an act of worship, fragrant to the Heavenly Father, acceptable and well-pleasing.

    Paul reassures them. “God is not going to overlook you. He will supply your needs just as He used you to supply mine.”

    The hard part –for me anyway– is not confusing genuine needs with wants I percieve as needs.

    Thankfully God knows the difference, and while He works on providing my needs I’ll work on my contentment some more. I want to see life exactly as He wants me to.

    Phil—

  9. Jonell

    Thanks Phil!

    Excellent points. It is neat how you can share from your trip to Russia and encourage us who haven’t gone, to remember others in prayer and with a note of encouragement … b/c being thought of and prayed for is so special. Have you ever received a “just because” card in the mail? It brightens my life for the next week, just because someone took the time to say, “I care and I’m thinking of you!” 🙂

    Thanks again!

    Jonell

  10. Jonell

    Okay, I know it’s been a month since we looked at Philippians 4, but the following came today from David Jeremiah’s Turning Point devotional that I get via e-mail every morning. It was good, so thought I would share it with you.

    Choice Thoughts

    “A sleeping dog makes noises and his legs twitch—he’s dreaming, just like we do. In that sense, animals share cognitive similarity. But try handing your dog a list of house rules and asking him to think about them, and you’ll get the proverbial cocked head and blank stare.

    “Human beings are the only part of God’s creation that can be told to think about good things. Not that we always do—we often allow our minds to drift and wander and dwell upon random thoughts that come to us without our bidding. But we do have the ability to discipline our minds to think about the kinds of things Paul suggests: truth, matters noble and just, pure and lovely things, things that come highly recommended, virtuous and praiseworthy things.

    “When we consider how few of those kinds of things would come to us “accidentally,” it means we must be proactive in choosing what we think about.

    “Your mind is a gift from God. Using it wisely is a means of expressing love for Him (Mark 12:30). “

  11. Phil

    That’s one of the great things about blogs – it’s super-easy to revisit things from back aways.

    Thanks for this, Jonell – GOOD stuff!
    Phil—

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