Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Spotlight: Philippians 4

I had occasion to read this chapter in Paul’s Philippians a few days ago, and much of it resonated. So I thought I’d share a little commentary here.

Philippians 4, selected verses

4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Here, to me, Paul is promoting a mindset. Keep your thought filled with good, and be at peace. Be sure to include rejoicing as well. Be moderate. Don’t worry about anything. Bring your requests to God, and He will fill you with peace. This washed over me like a cool breeze on a hot night. Just reading it again makes me breathe deeply and relax. All is well.

9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.
11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Seems to me he’s referring here to what he’ll discuss more below, how this church is supporting him not only spiritually but practically. And while perhaps they couldn’t send as much as they had before, “now at the last your care of me hath flourished again.” Yet he doesn’t blame them, but understands they were doing the best they could. And this most gracious realization, “I have learned, whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Would that I could learn this! But I am, day by day. For, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

14 Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction.
15 Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.
16 For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity.
17 Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.
18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.
19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

In more detail here, he discusses how this church “sent once and again unto my necessity.” And he reassures him that even as they are giving, “my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” This comforts me so much today as I continue in the constant human battle to live abundantly. God is supplying all my need.

20 Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
21 Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren which are with me greet you.
22 All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar's household.
23 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

I salute you, everyone reading today, with a hope for your continued blessing and your deepening connection with Spirit. God bless.


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