Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Stand Fast in the Lord! - June 7th, 2011

 1 Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved. 2 I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. 3 And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:1-6 (emphasis added)

History and Context:
These scriptures are how Paul begins to finish his letter to the church in Phillipi. The church in Phillipi was one of the first churches in Europe. This means these are some of the first believers in what we now know as the "Western World". He visited them around 49-50 AD and then at least two more times after that in 56 and 57 AD. One of the first Christians in Phillipi was the jailer who was assigned to guard Paul and Silas (and the other prisoners) when they were thrown in prison. God used an earthquake to set them free and to convince this jailer of His reality. (Acts 16:25-34) This letter was written in response to the church sending Epaphroditus to Paul to help him in his time of need.

The Text:
Here, in these verses, we see one of the most complete, yet condensed, descriptions of how to live as Christians. He begins with a general statement to Stand fast in the Lord but then describes what that looks like:
    1) Help those who labor in the Gospel
    2) Rejoice in the Lord always
    3) Be gentle to the point that you are known for it
    4) Don't be anxious 
    5) Pray and Intercede
    6) Give thanks
    7) Make your requests known to God
    8) Let the peace of God guard your heart and mind
How many of us are doing these things? If each individual in the church would follow these eight simple points, how different do you think the church, and in response the world, would be? But instead we see the church fillled with people who fight each other, grieve continually, are fierce in gossip, continually worry, don't pray, always complain, and then they wonder why they don't feel the peace of God in their lives.

The Challenge:
When you look at this list you probably see a few of them that you can honestly say you are good at, but you probably also see at least one or two which you are weak in. My challenge to you is not to take the whole list right away, but pick one or two. Look at the list and prayerfully consider which point you need the most work on and focus on that point today. For example, if you realize that you are always complaining, make it a point today to find things that you are thankful for. I can guarantee you that they are all around you. But maybe it's not that one. Maybe God is challenging to find someone that is laboring who you can support and help. Only you can say which one you need to work on. Then if you want to share a testimony of how today was different because of focusing on that area.

The Prayer:
Lord, we want to learn how to stand fast in you. We want to learn what it really means to live for you. Help us note those areas in our lives in which we are not truly living for you and help us to make them right. Help us to glorify you today in our words, our actions, and even in our thoughts.


  1. I love Phil 4:6-7 , although the whole passage is beautiful.
    Really great post, and the challenge really helps one use the Bible as a mirror - looking at ourselves and putting these things into practice.

    Glad you are blogging again :)

  2. This is an excellent post. Lessons we learn reflect who we are, whether the choice was good or bad. Great Job!

  3. Thank you both for reading and for commenting! I hope you can both continue to be encouraged and challenged through this blog.

  4. Beautiful words and sentiments, many of which can be applied (if you don't mind me saying) to non-Christians as well.

  5. Thank you NP! Of course I would love for non-Christians to be able to apply these concepts. I focus my message towards Christians because I am speaking from the Bible. But I strongly believe that Biblical principles can, and dare I say should, be applied by everyone.

  6. Nice Post! I need to pray more and plan on working on that today.