The passage in Philippians for today is one of my very favorite. I get comfort, assurance and hope from these words given by Paul. However, he leads into this great passage with a problem. Several of the women in the church were causing problems because of their disagreements. Paul calls them to be unified and of one accord. He knows them, knows they are all believers and wants them to recognize the potential danger of their disagreements to the body of Christ. We all need to heed his words and examine our hearts lest we fall into the same trap that Satan uses to divide the body. Philippians 4:2-3 “Now I appeal to Euodia and Syntyche. Please, because you belong to the Lord, settle your disagreement. 3 And I ask you, my true partner, to help these two women, for they worked hard with me in telling others the Good News. They worked along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are written in the Book of Life.”
Paul exhorts them to put all disagreements aside and focus on what is important in their spiritual life. Philippians 4:4-6 “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” What great advice Paul gives to those arguing women, to the whole church there in Phillipi and to us in the 2020! Focus on what matters in your spiritual life- have JOY! Be reasonable, gentle with everyone! Remember Jesus is going to return! Don’t be overcome with worry about things, people or places- tell God what you need with a thankful heart. Wow! What perfect advice for our day. So many times we get mired down in worry about ‘things’, people- relationships or events. Paul is saying that is worthless worry. Let God know what you need, pray with a thankful heart and claim His JOY in your life. God’s got this so pray and claim His joy!
Joy– Let your joy be real and contagious!
Joy– Be joyfully gentle with everyone in your life!
Joy– Being assured that Jesus will return = JOY!
Joy– pray with thankfulness knowing He cares for you, loves you and will attend to your needs.
Multiple times in scripture God refers to himself as LORD. When the name Lord is written all in capital letters, it refers to the name ‘Yahweh’, YHWH which was so revered that it did not even say it aloud or write it completely as they left out the vowels. Another translation of this is Jehovah. In Exodus 3:14-15, Moses is called by God to return to Egypt, confront Pharaoh and lead the people. Moses voices several concerns to God and asks, What do I say when the people ask who sent me? “God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”15 God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.” God refers to himself as I AM and also The LORD. God repeated His name in Exodus 6:2-3 “God spoke to Moses and said to him, “I am the LORD.3 I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by my name the LORD I did not make myself known to them.” The people did not have the full revelation of God yet and did not fully know Him. The full revelation of God came with Jesus Christ.
David often refers to God as LORD in the Psalms. Psalm 91 has several verses that point out the complete trustworthiness of the LORD and how He loves and cares for those who love Him. Psalm 91
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” God is my refuge.
3 Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. 4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; God is my protector. his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. 5 You will not fear the terror of night, God’s presence dispels fear. nor the arrow that flies by day, 6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. 7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. 8 You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, 10 no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. 11 For he will command his angels concerning you God cares for me. to guard you in all your ways; 12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. 13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; God desires our love. I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. 15 He will call on me, and I will answer him; God is omnipresent. I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” God has salvation plans for me.
Today meditate on the completeness of your LORD and how HE reaches down and touches you.
This name for God comes out of Gideon’s mouth after his encounter with Sovereign God. The Midianites had been ravaging the land and the Israelites were living in fear. They had been worshiping other gods and God was not pleased. God appeared to Gideon and called him to lead the people. Gideon asked for a sign that the LORD was really calling him. So the angel said he would wait while Gideon prepared a meal offering for him. When Gideon brought the food, the angel instructed him to take the meat and unleavened bread and place it on a rock and pour out the broth. Gideon did as the LORD asked. Then the angel touched the food with his staff and fire flared from the rock and consumed the food. “22 Then Gideon perceived that he was the angel of the Lord. And Gideon said, “Alas, O Lord God! For now I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face.”23 But the Lord said to him, “Peace be to you. Do not fear; you shall not die.”24 Then Gideon built an altar there to the Lord and called it, The Lord Is Peace. Judges 6:22-24
Is the Lord your peace? Gideon discovered that God could bring him peace in the oppressed and fearful situation in which he found himself. God could replace his fear with peace. God encouraged Gideon to trust him for life and turn away from fear. God did it for Gideon those centuries ago and He can do it for you and me today. Claim God as your peace. Jesus promised in John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” Take Him at His Word and step out in faith today leaving your fears at His feet.