Key Verse: Don’t worry about anything: instead, pray about everything… Then you will experience God’s peace.” (Philippians 4:6-7 NLT)
2 I urge Euodia and Syntyche to iron out their differences and make up. God doesn’t want his children holding grudges.
3 And, oh, yes, Syzygus, since you’re right there to help them work things out, do your best with them. These women worked for the Message hand in hand with Clement and me, and with the other veterans—worked as hard as any of us. Remember, their names are also in the Book of Life.
Reflection: Philippians 4:2-3
Paul did not warn the Philippian church of doctrinal errors, but he did address some relational problems.
These two women had been workers of Christ in the church.
Their broken relationship was no small matter because many had become believers through their efforts.
It is possible to believe in Christ, work hard for His Kingdom, and yet have broken relationships with others who are committed to the same cause.
But there is no excuse for remaining unreconciled.
Do you need to be reconcilied to someone today?
If you’re facing a conflict you can’t resolve, don’t let the tension build into an explosion.
Don’t withdraw or resort to cruel power plays.
Don’t stand idly by and wait for the dispute to resolve itself.
Instead, seek the help of those known for peacemaking.
Reflection: Philippians 4:3
The identity of this “true partner” remains a mystery. It could be Epaphroditus, the nearer of this letter, or a comrade of Paul in prison. It could also be someone named Syzygus, another way to understand the word for “partner”.
4-5 Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!
Reflection: Philippians 4:4
It seems strange that a man in prison would be telling a church to rejoice.
But Paul’s attitude teaches us an important lesson. Our inner attitudes do not have to reflect our outward circumstances.
Paul was full of joy because he knew that not matter what happened to him, Jesus Christ was with him.
Several times in this letter Paul urged the Philippians to be joyful, probably because they needed to hear this.
It’s easy to get discouraged about unpleasant circumstances or to take unimportant events too seriously.
If you haven’t been joyful lately, you may not be looking at life from the right perspective.
Reflection: Philippians 4:4-5
Ultimate joy comes from Christ dwelling within us.
Christ is near, and at His second coming we will fully realize this ultimate joy.
He who lives within us will fulfill His final purposes for us.
6-7 Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
Reflection: Philippians 4:6-7
Imagine never worrying about anything! It seems like an impossibility; we all have worries on the job, in our homes, at school, etc.
But Paul’s advice is to turn our worries into prayers.
Do you want to worry less? Then pray more!
Whenever you start to worry stop and pray.
Reflection: Philippians 4:7
God’s peace is different from the world’s peace (See John 14:27).
True peace is not found in positive thinking, in absence of conflict, or in good feelings.
It comes from knowing that God is in control.
Our citizenship in Christ’s Kingdom is sure, our destiny is set, and we can have victory over sin.
Let God’s peace guard your heart against anxiety.
8-9 Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.
Reflection: Philippians 4:8
What we put into our mind determines what comes out in our words and actions.
Paul tells us to program our mind with thoughts that are true, honorable, right, lovely, admirable, excellent, and worthy of praises.
Do you have problems with impure thoughts and daydreams?
Examine what you are putting into your mind through television, internet, books, conversations, movies, music, and magazines.
Replace harmful input with wholesome material.
Above all, read God’s Word and pray. Ask God to help you focus your mind on what is good and pure.
It takes practice, but it can be done.
Reflection: Philippians 4:9
It’s not enough to hear or read the Word of God or even to know it well.
We must also put it into practice.
How easy it is to listen to a sermon and forget what the Pastor said.
How easy it is to read the Bible and not think about how to live differently.
How east it is to debate what a passage means and not live out that meaning.
Exposure to God’s Word is not enough. It must lead to obedience.