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Devotional Study in Philipians 4:1-9

The Battle is not yours. But God’s

God takes the most eminent and choicest of His servants for the choicest and most eminent affliction. They who have received most grace from God are able to bear most afflictions from God. Affliction does not hit the saint by chance, but by direction. God does not draw His bow at a venture. Every one of His arrows goes upon a special errand and touches no breast but his against whom it is sent. It is not only the grace, but the glory of a believer when he can stand and take affliction quietly.

Paul had gone through many battles during his 32 year ministry yet he writes...

Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

I will try and address all of Paul's suggestions for the church of Philippi

So here we have Paul in prison again! This is the second time for the apostle Its about to be the last. Nero had plans for him. He spent approximately 4 years in total imprisonment.

What did he do wrong?

Before Jesus met him at Damascus Paul’s goal was to kill and imprison men and women for sharing the love of Jesus.

Women, it didn’t matter to him, his heart wasn’t convicted of this terrifying crime. You’ll see in this letter to the Philippians he is now protecting women, they played a big part in his missionary ministry.

Was Paul accused of things he didn’t do? Yes,

Personal complaints against Paul:

  • He is fickle.
  • His bodily presence is weak.
  • He writes terrifying letters.
  • He is not a good speaker.
    Some found Paul's pulpit preaching lacking. They said that "his speech is contemptible" (2 Cor. 10:10) and that "he is rude in speech" (2 Cor. 13:6). Apparently, Paul's opponents were not impressed by his pulpit delivery and used that to undermine his work at Corinth.
  • Another was He doesn't accept support.
    -But that He used others to take money from the Corinthians. They charged that the funds raised by Titus for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem was really Paul's craftiness in deceitfully taking the Corinthians' money for himself (2 Cor 13:16).
  • Paul is full of himself.
    Some appear to have made the charge that Paul was so caught up in what he was doing that he was a "zealot" who had lost all balance that he is "beside" himself (2 Cor. 5:13).
  • He was dishonored, had evil reports spoken about him, and was charged with being a deceiver (2 Cor. 6:13). that he had wronged, corrupted, and defrauded brethren (2 Cor. 7:2).
    They charged that he "walked ac-cording to the flesh" (2 Cor. 10:2). Paul was falsely accused of breaking God's law. For me it seems that Paul cut to the chase and said it like it was.
  • Paul's former friends didn't like him anymore.
    Anxious
Not being anxious is sometimes easier said than done. We have to go to Him in prayer and remember. What our Lord has told us.

“Be anxious for nothing.” In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus made it clear that anxiety stems from a lack of faith and from a wrong focus on the things of this world instead of on the kingdom of God (Matt. 6:25-34 especially verses 30 & 33). If we excuse our anxieties by saying, “Well, it’s only human,” or, “Anybody would feel anxious in this situation,” we will not be able to overcome it because we are not confronting the root cause of it, namely, our sin of not believing God and of not seeking first His kingdom and righteousness.

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. let not your heart be troubled. nor let it be fearful” (John 14:27). Jesus spoke those comforting words on the most difficult night He faced on this earth, the night before His crucifixion. Seven times in the New Testament our God is called either the God or Lord of peace. That peace can be the constant experience of every Christian, even in the midst of trials.

In our text, Paul the prisoner gives us the recipe on Peace and Righteousness:
Meditate on These Things. Whatever things are true,
Whatever things are noble,
Whatever things are just,
Whatever things are pure,
Whatever things are lovely,
Whatever things are of good report.
If there is any virtue and if there is anything, praiseworthy meditate on these things.

I have a question for you; If you walked down the street and asked five people what they thought the word gentleness meant, how many would say that a gentle person is docile, easily intimidated or passive? Or that gentleness would be a good quality for a pet or a horse? In our culture, assertiveness and forthrightness are more highly valued personality traits for human beings than gentleness.”

Let your gentleness be evident to all. Gentleness:
2. Tozer writes that God is the most winsome of all beings and His service one of unspeakable pleasure. The fellowship of God is delightful beyond all telling. He communes with His redeemed ones in an easy, uninhibited fellowship that is restful and healing to the soul. He remembers our frame and knows that we are dust. He may sometimes chasten us, it is true, but even this He does with a smile, the proud, tender smile of a Father who is bursting with pleasure over an imperfect but promising son who is coming every day to look more and more like the One whose child he is.”

True...Just.....morally right, Pure, Lovely and of Good Report. “A woman who speaks words of encouragement and has an attitude of contentment is inviting; she draws people to her, even if she faces times of crisis and pain."

Is there something you have been praying about, yet no answer? Sometimes we read or hear scripture and miss God's telling us just exactly what He wants us to do. I don’t want to admit how many times I’ve missed His message to me.

A few years ago, I attended a Calvary Chapel missions conference, I have a love for the Missions field. I sat in a work shop only to discover I was in the wrong workshop, I thought, they were teaching on how to build a website with the ability reach women all over the world with God's word. I hadn’t figured out Facebook yet, I started to look for the nearest exit, then the Holy Spirit spoke to me of the power in a web site. I could stay at home and reach women in countries I would probably never see in my life.

So I did, and it has. Our Lord has blessed this site, we have reached almost the entire world with His Word. There have been approximately 100,000 visits from 169 countries.

I listened to the voice of the Holy Spirit. There is virtue in this and much Praise.

Worrying...
Wiersbe writes: What is worry? The Greek word translated means "anxious" "and in Philippians 4:6 it means to be pulled in different directions. Our hopes pull us in One Direction our fears pull us the opposite direction and we are pulled apart. The old English Root -word for - worry means to strangle. Worrying will strangle us if we let it.

Some can't get out of bed from fear and worry, I lost my job, the rent is due, utility bill hasn’t been paid. I’ve maxed out my credit card, and once again he didn’t send the child support check. How can I feed my kids..... “Strangled.” So many things to worry about and it's hard not to.

Except we have our Savior's Word and promise Not to worry. The Jews have a word, lolidog, which means “not to worry” Jesus said “don’t worry about tomorrow, what you will drink, what you will eat what you should wear. Jesus repeated to them not to worry about their drink, their food, or their clothing, He said that the heathen worried about these things. The answer was for them to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteous and all of these things would be added to them.

So don’t be a lolidoger

Meek
Joni Erickson writes: I think the best definition of meek I've ever come across is that meekness is "strength under control." In other words, to be meek is not necessarily to be weak, either physically, or mentally, or both! Jesus was tremendously strong, morally and even physically (he was, after all, a builder for many years prior to His going public), yet He said clearly in Matthew 11:29 KJV, "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls."

Another example of strength under control is King David. Tozer writes on David's situation, he is running around the wilderness hiding in villages and caves from King Saul who wants to run a spear through him. David is not to weak to defend himself after all It was

David who threw the rock and ran a spear through Goliath. David had the opportunity to kill Saul but wouldn’t. He would not kill God's anointed, even though, David knew that God had appointed himself as King. He was not weak but meek, he placed his trust in God. Meekness is implicitly Trusting God.

The meekness Paul defines:
a. In Galatians 5, Paul defines agape as joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.
b. What is the opposite of joy? Being miserable, irritable, upset.
c. Of peace? Strife, contention, those who always seem to be striving to prove a point.
d. Long suffering, and patient.
e. Gentleness: harshness, severe. Goodness: bad or evil. g. Faithfulness and trustworthy: Unreliable, intolerant, unforgiving, unfaithful, untrustworthy, h. Meekness: Arrogant, proud, pomposity. Temperance: excessive indulgence.

I've been through Ovarian Cancer twice, Breast Cancer once, a daughter who at 16 years old ran away from home and in the process was kidnapped, held hostage –continually raped for 3 days by more than one man, before she escaped. I have had two marriages which ended in divorce, the loss of my husband to cancer. Recently my 23 year old grandson died from a drug overdose. Did anxiety play into this, yes! That and a lot of pain, did I pray yes I did!

Be anxious for nothing , but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.

To rejoice is to – be exuberant, exult, be jubilant, feel triumph or be on cloud nine. That’s not the way we feel when something this tragic happens, what do we have? The total assurance that God is completely in control, He has known all along how we would react what we would think, –-or if we chose to get mad at Him for awhile.

He was human once, Jesus knows what its like to lose a loved one. He grieved over Johns death.

After having cancer along with losing my sister to ovarian cancer, I formed a foundation for Ovarian Cancer research which the Lord blessed greatly, for 5 years the foundation flourished, we raised over $200,000.00 for research. then new board members joined, the board became hostile, their goal was to push me out and take over the foundation. I saw the board members tear the foundation apart. I was lied about and accused of things I didn’t do, it couldn’t have happened at a worse time, I was in my fourth month of chemotherapy treatments, it's a time when you can't think straight. The board members used this time for the planned attack, I lost the foundation that I loved and felt that was where the Lord wanted me.

Meditate: the act or process of spending time in quiet thought, ponder. To meditate implies a definite focusing of one's thoughts on something so as to understand it deeply.

I meditated on how my board treated me, it was disastrous, how could they do this to me. My thoughts were tearing me apart. Where was my joy, pure, lovely thoughts, there was no good report in me. Being anxious, I was very anxious, I wanted their new endeavor to fall apart, Satan was having a field day with my thought life. I would pray ask for forgiveness then my mind went right back to wishing the worse. How could they do this to me. There were no pure thoughts in my mind.

With much prayer and supplication, my Lord and Savior, reminded me of how much He loves me, that He had other plans for me. He knew from the beginning, how this was going to end. Along with how I was going to respond. He patiently loved me, held me, waited for me.

Our God doesn’t give up on His children. He will finish the good work He started in us. We have His word for it. Psalm 94:11 The Lord knows the thoughts of man, That they are futile. True...Just.....morally right, Pure, Lovely and of Good Report.

What were Euodia and Syntych arguing about, we don’t know, what we do know is they could have caused a division among the women, possible the men. Division: to divide to tear apart. The good work of Paul through the Holy Spirit, it was such a concern of Paul’s he asked the leadership to step in, fix the problem, get your mind off of this and be of one mind in the Lord.

God's Word does not speak of a new set of brains, but it does say to believers, "Be renewed in the spirit of your mind" (Ephesians 4:23), and, "Be not conformed to this world [or age], but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind" (Romans 12:2). The new man requires a new mind, and provision is made to that end. The old mind, with all its habits of self-occupation (a sure breeder of unhappiness and discontent), its morbid tendencies, its craving for excitement and sensation, its imaginations, appetites, tastes, inclinations and desires, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, is to be displaced, and a new mind substituted; for Godliness has the promise of the vigor of the life that now is, as well as of that which is to come.

True...Just.....morally right, Pure, Lovely and of Good Report. Humility and Gentleness derives from suffering, losing all we hold so close to our hearts. “ A woman who speaks words of encouragement and has an attitude of contentment is inviting; she draws people to her, even if she faces times of crisis and pain.

Something to think about...
The Ethiopian treasurer was strategically placed to bring the gospel to his people and their leaders. In the same way, God may have placed you in a strategic position to bring the gospel to someone. Are you taking advantage of that opportunity? Ask the Holy Spirit to open your ears to hear and receive what He wants to share with you, That’s one of the jobs of the Holy Spirit, have fun and put Him to work. For all you know He could be standing back bored just waiting for you to call on Him. Wiersbe writes – It is worth remembering that the world around us knows only the gospel that it sees in our lives. Psalms 85:10 says that Righteousness and Peace have kissed each other, Jesus is the King of Righteousness and the King of Peace.

Genesis 15: God said I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.

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