Philippians 4:4-5 NIV
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.”
To rejoice in the Lord is not to merely sing songs of praise to him. It means to delight (enjoy, take pleasure) in him, in his grace, and in his salvation. And this includes everything about him – his righteousness, holiness, and his justice.
And his salvation means us dying with him to sin and living to him and to his righteousness. And his grace instructs us to say “NO!” to ungodliness and fleshly passions and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives. So, we are to delight in death to sin and in living to his righteousness.
Our gentleness, as well, is not going soft on sin or only saying to people what will make them feel good about themselves. It is never to compromise our faith, or the truth, so as not to offend people with the gospel. Meek does not equal weak.
For, “gentleness” has to do with fairness and reasonableness, and with what is fitting and proper. It is like controlled strength. For, we don’t have to hit people over the head with a sledgehammer to make our point. Yes, speak the truth, but speak it in love. It is also to show compassion.
Philippians 4:6-7 NIV
“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.”
I enjoy looking up words to get their deeper or root meaning. I always think of “anxious” in terms solely of worry and of being fearful. And maybe this does not add that much to it, but the word literally means to be divided into parts, to be pulled apart in different directions. Maybe you can relate.
What I know is that when we are anxious, we let fear take over, and not faith. We lack trust in God and in his sovereignty, and that is why we worry. We become fearful because we somehow believe deep down inside us that God is not in control, and that he is not all powerful. Otherwise, why worry?
I see a lot of this worrying on social media. And social media promotes it, too, with their news stories and their memes which are intended to instill fear in people and to get them fretting about this or that. It is constant angst and pitting people groups one against another.
We need to be knowledgeable about what is going on in the world, or about what they are at least saying is going on in the world, and we do need to pray and to ask for discernment, and not buy into every story, but we should not let fear consume us. God is still in control!
No matter what is going on in the world or in our nations or with the healthcare system or with the New World Order or with viruses or vaccines or with presidential elections, etc., God is still sovereign. He’s got it under control! We just have to trust him and then we will be at peace.
Philippians 4:8 NIV
“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.”
This is really an antidote to being anxious. When our minds are fixed on the things of God and not on the things of this world, we won’t be anxious. And that is because our minds and our hearts will be focused on Jesus and on his truth and not on what is being reported in the news daily.
What we fill our minds with is what we end up thinking and believing, and they end up impacting our attitudes and behaviors, too. For, if we feed our minds mainly with TV, social media, the media (in general), the news, TV shows, movies, video games, and the like, that is how we will think.
But if we are mainly feeding our minds with the word of God, with good Christian music that is true to Scripture, with solid biblical teaching, and with encouragement from other Christians to walk in holiness and righteousness, then that is what is going to be in our minds and hearts.
I would encourage each one of you to test everything you watch and everything you listen to against this verse of Scripture to see if it matches. We did this with our movies 12 years ago and we ended up throwing them all out, even ones that seemed to be harmless.
We ended up getting rid of our TV, too, which has been such a wonderful blessing. There is so much garbage on TV, especially in the commercials, and it is so hypnotic and mind controlling, too.
Philippians 4:9 NIV
“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.”
Paul set the example for others in how to live godly and holy lives, pleasing to God, which are lives of purity, honesty, integrity, morality, and uprightness. So, he often encouraged other believers to follow his example and to follow also what he taught them, for his teaching was from God.
For us, we are to put into practice all the Scriptures in the New Testament which are to be applied to the church, and any Scriptures in the Old Testament which are consistent with the New Covenant. For, we are to obey our Lord in all things, and we are to model our lives after him.
Mainly we are to turn away from our sins and follow Jesus in obedience to his commands. We are to deny self and daily take up our cross (die to sin) and follow (obey) Jesus. And we are to walk (in practice) no longer according to the flesh, but now in agreement with the Holy Spirit.
[Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 2:3-6]
Do You Love Me?
An Original Work / July 24, 2013
Do you love Me now?
Will you seek My face?
I have given you
My love and My grace.
Will you walk with Me
Everywhere I lead?
Will you find in Me
All of what you need?
Won’t you meet with Me
Down upon your knees?
Will you obey Me,
And do what I please?
Will you hear My voice
Speaking now to you?
I am counseling you
To abide in truth.
I have died for you;
Taken all your sins –
Crucified with Me,
You have been forgiven.
I have set you free
From your slavery,
So that you can now
Live in victory.