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.





Joy

31 03 2014

I’ve posted the first definition of Joy below on here before among a longer article, but it’s come up so many times in the last couple of weeks I just wanted to share it in it’s own space.

Joy is an interesting concept. We so often think of joyful as just being happy, but it really isn’t.

In the bible it says “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: rejoice!” – Philippians 4v4. “always” would imply even when you aren’t happy.

Joy = “Unnatural reaction of deep and steady thankful trust in God”

Joy is not about how we should feel, but how we should think.

It’s almost a head vs heart thing.

When I was little my Grandma taught me the Acrostic below:

Jesus first
Others second
Yourself last


update 1st April: I’ve just added below 2 of the songs I love that focus on Joy 🙂





Gospel Perseverance – Philippians 4 vv 1-9

24 03 2014

We had a great sermon this weekend – here’s the passage and my notes 🙂

“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.

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.”

This passage gives us things to watch out for so we can stand firm in the Lord and persevere in our faith (v1)

  • Unity with other Christians – vv2-3
    Soldiers would stand shoulder to shoulder, and if they didn’t break rank they were virtually invincible.
    The enemy is looking for cracks and divisions in the church to exploit.
    One of the most common causes of church splits is personality clashes.
    In this example Paul doesn’t take sides.

    Disagreements, disunity and unforgiveness can weaken the church and destroy our faith.
    Warmth of close Christian friendship strengthens the church and builds our faith.

  • Relationship with the Lord
    Paul gives three ways to do this

    • Enjoy the Lord – v4
      Paul mentions rejoicing 16 times in Philippians, but not a certain style of joy.
      Joy may be expressed in silence, tears, delight or peace.

      The ground of our joy can never be in our circumstances.
      If our joy is based on our circumstances, then when they change we’ll be miserable.
      Our joy and delight must be in the Lord.

      When you get down in the dumps, read the promises of Christ.
      Try reading Ephesians 1 vv 3-14 and dare to still be miserable at the end!

    • Expect the Lord – v5
      Gentleness means moderation or graciousness. Being willing to forego retaliation.
      We should expect His return at any time.

      Crowds gather with excitement for royalty or celebrity.
      We should have expectancy and excitement for the arrival of the King of kings!

      The Lord is also near through the Holy Spirit in us.

    • Petition the Lord in prayer, with thanksgiving – v6
      “When I look back on all these worries I remember the story of the old man who said on his death bed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which never happened.” – Winston Churchill
      Worry can wreck out lives.
      Paul says that we must never be anxious.
      Rather than indulging in anxiety we are to pray about everything, no matter how small the issue.
      When we are anxious, it is because a situation seems out of control and we feel we can’t fix it. Either we continue like that, or we turn to prayer.
      God promises never to leave us of forsake us.

      It can be helpful to memorise verses that relate to personal issues for us, and then speak them to your spirit when you struggle.
      Some find it helpful to keep a prayer journal or prayer diary. It helps concentration, and helps look back and see how God has answered prayers. Then we can pray with thanksgiving and have greater confidence as we go on praying!

      As we bring worries and anxieties to God and leave them with Him, He gives us His peace in exchange.
      Peace means wholeness, soundness, well-being, oneness with God, every kind of blessing!

      Others can’t understand how we can be so peaceful amidst major worries.

  • Thoughts – vv8-9
    What we think about affects every area of our lives.
    If we want to become more like Jesus then we need to set our minds on the right things.

    The world we live in is quite different to this. We are bound to be tempted daily by wrong thoughts!
    “You can’t stop a bird flying overhead, but you can stop it nesting in your hair” – Martin Luther

    “Occupy your minds with good thoughts, or the enemy will fill them with bad ones; unoccupied they cannot be.” – Sir Thomas More
    The way to get wrong thoughts out is to get right thoughts in.
    Starting the day with this from the moment we wake up is a great way to start, to set the agenda for the day.

    Our unseen thought life is like the roots of a tree – our ability to withstand the storms of life depends on the strength of the unseen parts.

The hardest part of all of this is putting it into practice!
We must practice:

  • Avoiding quarrels and staying united with other Christians
  • Avoiding worry and anxiety by bringing it to the Lord in prayer
  • Thinking about good things