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May 13, 2021 - Pastor's Corner

Melvin-head-shot

For today, our specific focus on our journey of pulling out brief insights from Paul’s letter to the Philippians is on 4:4-7. Please take a quick moment to read these verses afresh.

As we look at the below insights today, especially keep in mind that the overall theme of this letter is the gospel’s impact on our personal lives as expressed in a corporate setting. That is, the truths we see in this brief letter by Paul should impact us first as we live them out among our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, namely, the members of the biblical local-global church to which we belong.

From our passage today come the following insights:

  • The apostle Paul’s insistent command that the Philippians and all Christians are to continuously be rejoicing is unmistakable. And the mark of obedience to this command is reasonable gentleness on our part. If you’re like me, that does not always describe us. Yet, the command and the mark remain. Why? I think it’s because if we are constantly remembering and focusing on who God is and what He’s accomplished on our behalf through the gospel, then it will bring us joy; an inward peace that rests upon the Person and work of Jesus.
  • The declaration that “The Lord is near,” certainly speaks to the solid foundation of Jesus and the gospel for all of life. For this is the reason Paul commands believers to continuously not be anxious or distracted by anything. Rather we are to live a lifestyle of thankful reliance upon God expressed through continual dependent conversation with our heavenly Father. Children have no problem asking their fathers for what they need and desire; trust me on this. This is the amazing lifestyle we’re commanded to live by the apostle Paul.
  • So, with such a Christ-centered lifestyle as our life description, it makes perfect sense for the peace of God that He provides serves as our internal guardian. But if the peace of God “surpasses all understanding,” how will we know that we are experiencing it? Well, Paul already answered this question in verse 5: our reasonable gentleness will be unmistakable to others, and I dare say, even to ourselves. For if our continual life focus is influenced by Jesus and the gospel, then how we view life is tempered by the ultimate unshakeable foundation. Indeed, this is what the apostle is saying by using the gospel-centric title of “Christ Jesus” in verse 7, which means God’s Anointed One to save His people. Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.”

As always, I encourage you to read ahead to prepare for our time next week—Philippians 4:8-9. Beloved, may grace and peace be yours in abundance from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!