Philippians 4

5 04 2014

Verses from this chapter seem to be everywhere I go at the moment.

We’ve just done it in church and at housegroup, and I just keep seeing it quoted on twitter, on facebook, in devotionals, all sorts of places. So I thought today I’d just read it through again in one go, and share…

It’s full of so many “quoteable” verses, so many nuggets of wisdom and things to reflect on. Each time I read it, something else jumps out at me!

I was going to bold some of my favourite bits, but actually I don’t want to influence your reading of it, so I’m just going to leave it as is… enjoy.

Closing appeal for steadfastness and unity

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends!

I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.

Final exhortations

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Thanks for their gifts

I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 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.

Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need. Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account. I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Final greetings

Greet all God’s people in Christ Jesus. The brothers and sisters who are with me send greetings. All God’s people here send you greetings, especially those who belong to Caesar’s household.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

Held in the palm His hand

29 12 2013

I’ve been holding this blog post back for weeks because I can’t find a biblical basis for it anywhere, even though it’s a phrase we use all the time in Christian circles! (So do let me know if you know of one!)

Before I went to Uganda I was pretty nervous. I’m not in the slightest bit well travelled, and the idea of adapting to such a different culture was a bit concerning too. I was so grateful to have so many people praying for me. One thing someone said to me, I’m not even sure who anymore, was to remember that I’m held in the palm of His hand. And this stuck with me.

I reflected on this a little, I don’t think I’ll be any good at explaining my thoughts, but what’s new?! Here goes!

Hold your hand out face up in front of you.

Make it as flat as possible.

There’s still a dip.

Even if God didn’t have His hand closed tightly, there’s still a valley.

Even in an open palm, because we are tiny in comparison to Him, we are so safe, there’s no way to fall out.

Probably theological twaddle, but hey, maybe the idea helps? I don’t know – sorry if I offended at all!

Wisdom from the Jones ladies on Worship

16 07 2013

Just before I went to uni I had drinks with my friend Kim and her mum Shona. All of the ladies in this family have the most beautiful voices, and we had the immense privilege of having Shona leading worship in church on Sunday’s with that beautiful Scottish lilt we miss so much.

The beauty of their voices came up in conversation, and I joked how obviously I’d never match up to them, and they shared this wonderful concept with me, which I now share with you if you’ve never had much confidence in your own ‘worship’ voice.

They told me how God has this worship filter. Where we hear the quality of the voice, that’s all sifted out. What He hears is the pureness of heart, the meaning and sincerity behind what is being sung. That which is sung in all honesty and passion is what sounds most beautiful to Him. You could have the most beautiful voice in the world, but if you didn’t mean a word you sang, it’d sound tone deaf to Him.

What a lovely thought!