Philippians | Part 7

Pastor Patrick starts to wrap up our Philippians series with Part 7. Paul in the final chapter of his letter is giving some final greetings and some final instructions to the church at Philipi. He even goes as far as to call out some leaders and people within the church. Imagine you are in church listening to Paul’s letter be read out-loud to everyone in the church and then all of a sudden you hear your name! And for those who were called out in this chapter, it is not for good things or actions. Paul is telling you specifically to “Stop what you are doing!” Ouch! That had to have been one rough Sunday in church.

Therefore, Paul is giving us an example of how the body or family or congregation is truly to live. How can we expect to become any better without trying to specifically help on another in our walks in Christ? Paul writes, “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!” (Philippians 4:1) Knowing that there is so much at stake for the church, The Apostle Paul here, tells them to stand firm!

Paul continues on, “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.” (Philippians 4:4-7) This theme of joy and rejoicing continues. In other words, even while in the midst of facing whatever life throws at you, being filled with joy is possible. Jesus is here with you every step of the way guarding you and keeping you face. Therefore, you can trust Him!

As a result, what happens when we put all of your trust in Christ? Peace. Becoming filled with and covered in God’s peace. Paul says, “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.” (Philippians 4:8-9)

Above all, to have the Lord’s peace, we have to focus on the things of God. Focusing on whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. Think about these. Putting your focus on them shifts you into have the eternal or heavenly perspective that Paul has previously written about. Are you getting distracted by the things of the world or are you focused on Heavenly things? Put your attention on Christ. Keep Him central to what you think about as you go throughout your day.

What would it look like for you this week to focus on these things? How would that change your earthy perspective into a heavenly one?

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