4 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stay true to the Lord. I love you and long to see you, dear friends, for you are my joy and the crown I receive for my work.
Words of Encouragement
2 Now I appeal to Euodia and Syntyche. Please, because you belong to the Lord, settle your disagreement. 3 And I ask you, my true partner, to help these two women, for they worked hard with me in telling others the Good News. They worked along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are written in the Book of Life.
4 Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! 5 Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.
6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.
Paul’s Thanks for Their Gifts
10 How I praise the Lord that you are concerned about me again. I know you have always been concerned for me, but you didn’t have the chance to help me. 11 Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. 12 I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. 13 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. 14 Even so, you have done well to share with me in my present difficulty.
15 As you know, you Philippians were the only ones who gave me financial help when I first brought you the Good News and then traveled on from Macedonia. No other church did this. 16 Even when I was in Thessalonica you sent help more than once. 17 I don’t say this because I want a gift from you. Rather, I want you to receive a reward for your kindness.
18 At the moment I have all I need—and more! I am generously supplied with the gifts you sent me with Epaphroditus. They are a sweet-smelling sacrifice that is acceptable and pleasing to God. 19 And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.
20 Now all glory to God our Father forever and ever! Amen.
Paul’s Final Greetings
21 Give my greetings to each of God’s holy people—all who belong to Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me send you their greetings. 22 And all the rest of God’s people send you greetings, too, especially those in Caesar’s household.
23 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
To me, there are 3 very key verses in this chapter, although it is all very encouraging.
First, Paul tells us to “always be full of joy in the Lord…” vs. 4 This is a big bold statement, that on the surface, is very easy to say. But how do you actually do that? Do you just turn on joy? From experience I can tell you, definitely not. What I love about scripture is when a question arises, the answer is there, we just need to look. Hence, the second key verse, which gives us part of the answer.
vs.6 “6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” (The NLT version gives this verse an interesting way of looking at it) Paul says we need to focus on Jesus, “pray about everything”. Do we do that? Then he goes on to say that we need to tell Him our needs but don’t neglect thanking Him for all He does for us. If we start praying for everything, that list of thankfulness will only keep growing. With this much focus on the good things of God, it is only natural that we will begin to be filled with joy!
Third key verse also gives us important instruction. vs. 8 “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” If vs. 6 wasn’t clear enough, Paul again breaks it down further. Focus in on these things, don’t think about things that are lies and dishonorable, wrong and impure. This only leads to sorrow. Discard this way of thinking. I really do love it when big ideas are coupled with practicle steps. Praise God for His Word!
Well I think the application is pretty obvious. Are we thankful? Do we pray about everything? Do we let our thoughts linger on things that bring us sorrow or joy? Let’s start by thanking God today for specific blessings.
God, you are so good to me. Thank you today for ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________