September 7/Philippians 4

Verse 1 > In this verse we see the love for people that the Holy Spirit put in the heart of Paul. Crown was the wreath that the Olympian runners got for winning a race. So in our day Paul would be saying you people are my gold medal. O that we would love our fellow brothers and sisters in Jesus as much!

Verse 2 > remember it is not starting a race that matters, it is how you finish. Settle your differences, work for harmony and stay true to Jesus. That shows that relationships are more important than being right or winning an argument. King Saul started well in living for God but finished very poorly. See 1Samuel 31. When I read this chapter yesterday my heart ached for Saul.

Verse 3 > As much as it depends on us lets keep unity and harmony in Hilltop and in our families. This is thinking less of ourselves and more of others.

Verse 4 > The mark of a Christ follower is that he or she enjoys following Christ!

Verse 5 > We know that Christ’s coming back is now even sooner than it was back then.

Verse 6 > What qualifies as a worry? Anything that steals my joy. We pray out of a heart of gratitude for all that the Lord has done. As we recall the goodness of God and are grateful our faith rises so that we are praying from a heart of faith not a heart of anxiety. It is faith that pleases the Lord not fear. In Hebrews chapter 11 it says by faith Abel… not by fear Abel. It goes on to use the words ”by faith” for the rest of the people.  Without faith it is impossible to please God those who come to Him must believe that He is God and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him. Faith is rewarded and Fear isn’t. Faith shows spiritual growth and Fear and worry and anxiety choke growth.

Verse 7 > First pray, then be thankful and then you will experience God’s peace.

God’s peace is superior to any other peace. Jesus said my peace I give you a peace that the world cannot give. The world cannot give lasting peace it can only give a pause between wars! This peace is so great we can’t understand how we can be at peace in the midst of trouble. This peace is active as a guardian to not let thoughts of worry and anxiety enter our hearts or minds. It is a picture of guards standing at the gates of a city monitoring what comes in or goes out. Peace stands at the gate of our hearts and minds to monitor what comes in and out.
Heart = desires, feelings, passions, affections, and impulses. Mind = thoughts, reasoning, and understanding.
Verse 8 > Be careful what you fill your mind with. Fill your mind with the type of thoughts that will lead you to do good things for Christ. Replace thoughts of anxiety with thoughts of God. Let good thoughts occupy your mind. Ponder good thoughts not anxious thoughts. The body goes where the mind has already been!
Verse 9 > Keep trusting God. Keep praying. Keep living for Jesus. Hang out with people of faith so they can help you in troubled times. They can remind you of the joy of the Lord and the peace of Jesus. They can pray with you so that the superior peace of Jesus is released to guard your heart and mind.
Be Inspired Hilltop!

Comments

  1. Mark Gundersen says:

    Verses 11 through 13 sum up Pauls thoughts on possessions. He advises us to be content with what we have. He assures us that what God provides will be enough. Also he reminds us that we can do all things, that are in God’s plan for us through the power of Christ / the Holy Spirit.