Finally, I have time to sit down and work on my write-up for this chapter which finishes out my study of this book. When I read through the chapter, I noticed a lot of the verses were already either highlighted or underlined. For me, this means that the verse has already impacted my life in some way. I’ll get to those verses in a minute though.
Paul uses this chapter to wrap things up in his letter to the Philippians. Now, think about this for a second. When you are writing a letter to someone (Yes, I know writing letters is rapidly going out of style), what do you want to finish up with? If you want to encourage them in some way or thank them for something they’ve done, you would be close to what Paul did in this chapter.
In the first section, he appealed for unity among the people at the church and mentioned the names of two women in particular. Paul didn’t mention specific names a whole lot so this was important to him. He wanted to make sure everyone who would read his letter would know it was important to be unified in the Lord.
And, by staying unified in the Lord, they were also able to remain Christ-focused. The next section has two of my favorite verses in the Bible–Verses 6-7.
“Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
Paul was wanting to make the point that prayer brings peace. I think many modern Christians would do well to remember this. It is hard though. I find it hard myself. The cares, worries, and anxieties of this world take a hold of me and don’t let go until I remember to bring them to God. That’s the point. I need to remember to bring them to God like Paul says.
The next section takes it one step further. When we stay Christ-focused, it is easier to do what He wants us to do. The characteristics named in Verse 8 are all characteristics which God uses to bring us closer to Him. Paul wants the Philippians to take what they have learned and put it into practice.
And finally, Paul tells the Philippians how much he appreciates them for what they have blessed him with and for their willingness to be used by God for what He wants them to do. This part also has another one of my favorite verses – Verse 13.
“I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
This is really the whole point of Philippians and the Bible, for that matter. Once we have accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior, it is not just us living our lives or at least it’s not supposed to be. We have a Friend, a Comforter, who is always with us, supporting us and loving us, someone we can go to for wisdom and guidance. We just need to take down all of our shields and let Him completely in.
God’s blessings on you all today!