A Study of Philippians 4:1-5 encourages Christ-followers to maintain spiritual readiness, lose your personal agenda, demonstrate a joyful spirit, and put God’s Kingdom first.
A Study of Philippians 4:1-5 encourages Christ-followers to maintain spiritual readiness,
V.1 Stand firm in the Lord
Following Jesus is not easy. Because we swim against the current of culture. And live according to God’s truth, which is unpopular in a sea of moral relativism.
But Paul encourages us to “stand firm in the Lord.” And that begins by submitting to the lordship of Jesus Christ. It’s assuming a posture of readiness, like a soldier braced for attack. But take heart. It’s not a battle you face alone.
Read Psalm 112:7-8 and record your thoughts on how it encourages your spiritual readiness.
A Study of Philippians 4:1-5 encourages Christ-followers to lose their personal agenda
V.2 Agree in the Lord
Can Godly people who love Jesus still disagree? Yep. Happens all the time.
Because we differ in our understanding of scripture. Form unique perspectives out of our backgrounds and experiences. And let’s be honest, sometimes we have a personal agenda. Even if well-meaning, it can still become a sticking point.
And here Paul calls out a couple of ladies in the middle of one. He doesn’t identify what it’s about or take sides, but encourages them to work it out and “agree in the lord.”
“To agree” is from the Greek auto phronein, which means to have the same mind. In other words, focus on your shared goals and ultimate mission. And that should include the best interest of the church rather than your personal interest.
Genuinely listening to one another and a humble spirit will also move you towards common ground.
A Study of Philippians 4:1-5 encourages Christ-followers to demonstrate a joyful spirit
V.4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice
This is the twelfth time Paul uses the Greek word chairo which is translated both joy and rejoice. And in case it wasn’t clear the twelfth time, he immediately says it again.
Keep in mind, Paul is in prison. Uncertain of his future. Physically uncomfortable. Likely fighting fear and doubt. And perhaps experiencing moments of depression.
A crushing weight for sure. But he didn’t let it overwhelm him. That is what’s powerful about Christian joy. It can flourish in spite of earthly circumstances. Why? Because it’s based on an unshakeable promise that is secured in Jesus Christ.
Joy makes following Jesus compelling. And the gospel contagious.
REFLECT & RECORD
Are there circumstances in your life that are impacting your joy? Record your thoughts and feelings about what is going on. Then pause for prayer and ask the Lord to renew your joy.
A Study of Philippians 4:1-5 encourages Christ-followers to put God’s Kingdom first
V.5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone.
Reasonableness is the Greek word epieikes and means appropriate, gentle, moderate. And what is right and fitting. It also helps to consider that sometimes it’s not what you say, but the way you say it. Your word choice and tone of voice.
Read Proverbs 15:1 and 1 Peter 3:15. What do they say about your manner of speaking?
Jesus gets right to the heart of it. Read what he says in Matthew 6:33. Although the context in the surrounding passage addresses materialism and personal well-being, his words in V.33 have a broader application.
As a Christ-follower, I must always examine my heart and honestly ask myself: Am I putting God’s Kingdom first? Are you?
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About Chip Tudor:
Chip Tudor is an author, blogger and professional writer. He publishes books, humorous Christian drama, and thought provoking blogs from a Christian worldview.