Think On These Things
Are reading this morning is found in Philippians chapter 4 verses 1 through 9.
Therefore my brothers and sisters whom I love and long for my joy and Crown stand firm in the Lord and this way my beloved. I ordered you dodea and I ordered Kentucky to be of same mind in the Lord. Yes, and I asked you also my loyal companion to help these women, but they have struggled beside me in the work of the Gospel together with Clement. And the rest of my co-workers whose names are in the Book of Life rejoice in the lord. Always again. I say rejoice let your gentleness be known to everyone the Lord is near. Do not worry about anything but in everything. By prayer and supplication with Thanksgiving let your requests be known to God and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ. Finally beloved. Whatever is true. Whatever is Honorable, whatever is just whatever is pure whatever is pleasing. Whatever is commendable if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of Praise think about these things keep on doing the things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me and the God of Peace will be with you.
The word of God for the people of God. Thanks be to God. I'll men.
Think on these things and Philippians is one of my favorite of Paul's letters because it is joyful.
Yeah, his primary town is is joyful and loving and this particular text, but I know that then some of his his later writings. He I think that Paul was a bit cantankerous because he kept having to re-educate spokesman and to China correct the way that they've been living despite his teaching the word again and again and again, but in this letter to the people at Phillipi, he gives this this encouraging instructive word to a young but mature in church and about dissension and things are just going on around them. The influences that are are perhaps trying to separate the people called interest is in that in the that he wants the people to live and love in solidarity. That's all he says stand firm in the Lord. Call receive have received word that you odia and in the sentence we were at odds with each other and so as he's writing this letter back to the Philippians. He wants to refocus them. And so he doesn't say I noticed that they must agree on everything. He simply says be of the same mind as Christ. He doesn't get into the specifics urges them to be of the same mind as Christ and to have and he encourages others to help them to get to this place be of the same mind as Christ. Jesus did not spend time rehashing disagreements with other people. Jesus was a one-man which was to fulfill the purpose for which he was sent to share the gospel to embody the love of God and the word of God and intend to reconcile all people back to God. For us to continue the work of Christ is for us to be of the same mind as price to do as Christ did so as our disagreements come up. We would ask yourself. How do we resent her ourselves to the way a ways of Christ? That's one of his loyal companions to help these women who were call laborers in the mission field with him Clement and so many others. He says my my loyal companion it is referring to but I think that that applies to all of us we can take that on ourselves Paul was request rest on us today because when we become aware of conflicts among other people Weird and help them find the common good to re-center of them in their conflict. This is the work of the Gospel it is to share the good news to Proclaim release to the captives who are perhaps Shackled by disagreement and disappointment. That is the word of the gospel Paul addressed the conflict of relationship between these two women as for half a focal point, and then he brought his letter to address the entire curve.
And this is a continuing lesson that is as he is teaching as to what it means to stand firm in the Lord spoke to one of of Christ people who were in doubt and fear in in their conflicted * Paul issues this repetitive Clarion call when he says rejoice. in the lord always again, I will say rejoice he wants to make it clear that this rejoicing thing isn't you know something that has to be an intentional effort to rejoice in the lord always
We can refocus ourselves to rejoice in the Lord that the people that that the people in full of Pi are enduring actually is in prison somewhere else still print spreading the gospel. He is still rejoicing in the Lord and in getting the word out. So when conflict arises we are to be of the same mind is priceless stand firm in the Lord is defiant Joy. In defiance Joy, even when tempers flare and others leave no harsh words to spare rather than reactive retaliation call says he was let your gentleness be known to everyone. He says the Lord is near. The Lord is near the Lord is always near us we can heed the wisdom of Proverbs 15:1 that says a soft answer turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger. Remember the Lord is near. You are never alone. And so with that Paul goes forward and he says do not take everything to the Lord in prayer.
So when something arises when there is an eruption take that condition first to the Lord before you try to address it on your own process. Do not worry about anything. I mean, what are we to do with bat today? Don't tell me not to worry you have any idea what's going on in the middle of a pandemic and flu season at home. I'm trying to office from home. We're trying to balance this wife work thing, and I got all of this madness going on in my household and you tell me not to worry.
Schools that are operating on eggshells, you know my kids. Are they going to be able to go or are they going to be sent home? And then I've got Robo calling me robo texting me snail mailing me emailing me bashing one another and embedded for my vote. What am I not too worried about how can I possibly not be worried? We are preoccupied with the proliferation of worries. But the truth is we cannot stop worrying on our own the truth is that we need help with that just as those two women you odia as incentive. He needed help from someone else to help them to refocus on the common good. We need help to stop are worrying ways instead of worrying wrestling with I take everything in everything by prayer and supplication with Thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God no matter what the problem may be that we are dealing with all that we see happening around us. We must pray and supplication means to humbly submit to God to to humble yourself in spirit as you make this request to God with Thanksgiving.
When we do this, then we can stop the process of worrying which takes a commitment to a different process to stop worrying process happens over the course of time. Just like our worries half an hour over the course of time, but as we begin then we begin to release the worry the worry begins to dissipate when we cease to worry, and we focus on the presence of God. Don't worry about anything, but everything to God needs praying without ceasing having a constant conversation with god. It is easier than you think. It is a conversation to ask the lord lord. What would you have me do how would you have me handle this? How would you have me handle that? How would you have me speak to this person? Would you give me the words? Play don't worry about what you will say. The spirit will come and will grant you the word. You need to say to speak in the time that you need to speak them. But we must rest in that knowing that the Lord is that near to us when we walk steadily in faithful to God, then we make a habit of speaking with God than that is when I worry anticipates that we were we were we were not told that it would be easy. We were told it wouldn't be easy because this is a different it is a countercultural way of being and just as sure as human beings have the privilege choice. We are going to have conflict because we desire different things, but how might we come together? How am I we have a sense of peace? And we do that through our prayer to God, even when problems arise we can come to a sense of peace that God gives us the god that we love and the guy that we trust to guide our steps Proverbs 3 5 through 6 tells us to trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding but in all your ways submit to him and he will make straight your paths. Trust in the Lord if we will take everything we can shift our experience from trouble to Tranquility from frustration to freedom from problems to peace Paul's letter gives us the key to the process of making this this move from a problem Center lie to a Peace Center living and that he is simply prayer. In fact the difference between a problem centered life and a p Standard Life Is A Prayer life So we have to ask ourselves. How is it with our prayer life? How can we apply to pause words simply remember to pray because the Lord is near God is always near us and ready to take on our prayers if we will humble ourselves. If it is as near as the balloting of our head, you know a price we would get our our minds closer to her heart that we would drop our heads and pray God is as near as our stopping and dropping to our knees or simply uplifting our hands to say Lord take this from me and let me receive what you would spend so that I might be at peace knowing that you are working all that stuff out. The pulp is it the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus if we would but take things to God, but why does this matter to us? Well, when we are burdened by worry, we carry a load that consumes it consumes our hearts and minds of consumers are spaced out but when we take and leave our words with the Lord we make space and time for what is truly worthy of our space and time that's important. With so much to process all the stuff that is going on in the world these days. We truly worthy of what's really worthy of occupying space in our hearts. What merits are mental and spiritual space that will enhance our faith and our discipleship has the largest Eternal history is ever on for folding always forming an ongoing conditions are real, but we must choose our orientation what the oriented for the Grimm or the good? I don't know about you, but I'm choosing to be oriented toward the good we can focus on what we cannot do or we can focus on how we get to do things differently. A know what the possibilities might be how created might we be by shifting our Focus we can focus on casting blame and conflict in the world or we can see greater awareness and involvement which way do you choose to channel your energies? What is worth our mental physical spiritual space and time the grimoire the good what is worthy of occupy our minds and our hearts? Paul in Paul's words, he says beloved whatever is true. Whatever is Honorable, whatever is just whatever is pure whatever is pleasing. Whatever is commendable if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of Praise think about these things,
if Paul wrote to the church at Philippi I share with you that he was imprisoned. But he was still spreading the gospel. So despite his serve circumstances the conflict that he was dealing with. He wasn't worried about that stuff and he was sending encouragement to other people far from him. He referred to the Philippians as his joy and Crown and in the course of this letter, she celebrated all the good that he was hearing about them as he was encouraging them to focus on what is good. I think that Paul was sending a breath of fresh air, you know, this is one of inhaling some pretty stale air. I heard you to channel Paul's example and his instructions in your life in these troubling times. May we listen for truth and it need and pray because the Lord is near and always ready and willing to receive our prayers and then to to us.
I pray that you will choose to look for and to share the good news that is within us and Among Us that you would choose to orient your thoughts to what is life-giving. So that's what brings light into to the world so that you may be like for the world like the loyal companion that tall spoke to another to shift from conflict to what is constructive in every way and do it every day. Nelson price in a book haul how to find out who you are reported that they were 15, College professors who took this who answered this question. I took this challenge if all the books on the art of moving human beings into action were condensed into one brief statement. What would that be and this is their response? what the Mind attends to It considers. What the Mind does not attend to it dismisses. What the Mind attends to continually is believes what the Mind believes it does.
So with that said let's attend to what is true honorable just pure pleasing or commendable and if there is anything I mean anything at all, that is excellent. If there is anything that is worthy of phrase then let us all think on these things together so that we may do these things together and bring glory to God.