15 Oct. Philippians 4:1-23

15 Oct. Don't worry - it's all in God's hands

"My dear brothers and sisters, I love you and want to see you. You bring me joy and make me proud of you, so stand strong in the Lord as I have told you."

"I ask Euodia and Syntyche to agree in the Lord. And I ask you, my faithful friend, to help these women. They served with me in telling the Good News, together with Clement and others who worked with me, whose names are written in the book of life."

"Be full of joy in the Lord always. I will say again, be full of joy. Let everyone see that you are gentle and kind."

"The Lord is coming soon. Do not worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks. And God's peace, which is so great we cannot understand it, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus…"

"I am very happy in the Lord that you have shown your care for me again. You continued to care about me, but there was no way for you to show it."

"I am not telling you this because I need anything. I have learned to be satisfied with the things I have and with everything that happens. I know how to live when I am poor, and I know how to live when I have plenty."

"I have learned the secret of being happy at any time in everything that happens, when I have enough to eat and when I go hungry, when I have more than I need and when I do not have enough. I can do all things through Christ, because he gives me strength..."

"And now I have everything, and more. I have all I need, because Epaphroditus brought your gift to me. It is like a sweet-smelling sacrifice offered to God, who accepts that sacrifice and is pleased with it."

"My God will use his wonderful riches in Christ Jesus to give you everything you need. Glory to our God and Father for ever and ever! Amen."

"Greet each of God's people in Christ. Those who are with me send greetings to you. All of God's people greet you, particularly those from the palace of Caesar."

"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all."

          (Philippians 4:1-23)

 

 

Paul finishes his letter to the believers in Philippi by sending personal greetings, first, to two women believers, Euodia and Syntyche, who have probably been arguing too much! We're not told the identity of Paul's "faithful friend" whom he asked to help these two women (Philippians 4:3), but it might well have been Lydia (see Acts 16:13-15).

Paul then greets Clement (who later became leader of the church in Rome and wrote the Epistle of Clement to the church at Corinth), and also his other fellow-workers in Philippi.

He tells them to rejoice in their union in Jesus and reminds them that “The Lord is coming soon” (Philippians 4:5). He urges them not to worry, because the peace of God which surpasses all understanding "will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).

Paul then thanks the believers for their recent financial support and for all the love they have shown ever since they sent a gift to him some ten years earlier when he was at Thessalonica on his second missionary journey (see Acts 17:1-9).

Throughout this time, Paul has learnt to be content with whatever he has. He has known what it is to be in need and what it is to have more than enough. “I can do all things through Christ, because he gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).

He ends by sending greetings from the believers in Rome, “particularly those from the palace of Caesar” (Philippians 4:22) (also see Philippians 1:13). It's clear from this that members of Emperor Nero's personal bodyguard or his household (or both) had become believers as a result of Paul being guarded while under house arrest in Rome awaiting his trial on trumped-up charges. It's quite likely that Paul's positive attitude to life and death, his thankfulness to God and his dignity while under house arrest impressed members of the Imperial royal household, and led them to become Christ's followers themselves.

Paul finishes with his favourite benediction: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all” (Philippians 4:23).

The photo shows the building in Philippi where Paul is reputed to have been held under arrest ten years earlier in 51AD (see Acts 16:16-34).

You can read the whole of Paul's Letter to the Philippians starting @ The Bible Journey | Paul's Letter to Philippi


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