During our discussions on Philippians 4, we read through verses 11-13 last. We started with verse 2 and worked our way through verse 8.
“I implore Euodia and I implore Syntche to be of the same mind in the Lord. 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.” (vs 2-3)
It was pointed out that these women were having some sort of disagreement.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.” (vs 4-5)
We discussed rejoicing always, what letting our gentleness be known among men looked like, and what was meant by “the Lord is at hand.” That we never know when our time is up?
“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.” (vs 6-7)
Another discussion summary: Anxiety comes from fear – perfect love casts out fear. God is love – God casts out fear. Not only prayers, but petitions as well. A petition is something we don’t bring to one person one time. We approach the subject several times. Not only will the peace of God comfort us, but will GUARD our hearts and thoughts.
“Finally, brethren, 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.” (vs 8)
Our discussion started to wrap up. We tied all these things to the first few verses. How our focus on all these good things enables us to be of the same mind in the Lord, to rejoice regardless of circumstances, be gentle with all men, not be anxious, and have peace.
“Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (vs 11-13)
This was tied to everything else that was said and we closed the discussions.
Now, why I’m telling you all this is because I still have some thoughts on those last verses that I didn’t speak up and share at the time.
We were just reading about feelings and thoughts. then we hit these scriptures and people immediately tend to resort to physical things – abased and abound, full and hungry, abound and suffer need. I challenge you to consider these in a spiritually light.
Abase: behave in a way so as to belittle or degrade (someone)
How many times have we been abased for our beliefs?
Side note: “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:10-12
Abound: exist in large numbers or amounts
What about those times when we feel very spiritual? Those times when it’s like the floodgates of understanding open.
adjective: containing or holding as much or as many as possible; having no empty space, not lacking or omitting anything; complete
noun: the period, point, or state of the greatest fullness of strength; the height of a period of time
How were those times when you felt secure in God’s word? You read your Bible and feel complete in Him. You are strong and feel spiritually healthy.
Hungry: feeling or displaying the need for food
On the flip side, how were those times when you felt empty and insecure? You still read your Bible, but you don’t feel fed. You feel malnourished and worried. Perhaps you feel you’re in a spiritual desert and under much pressure.
Abound: exist in large numbers or amounts
Do you remember times when you were richly blessed for your obedience? Everything about your life just falls into place and you can hardly believe your good fortune.
verb: require (something) because it is essential or very important, expressing necessity or obligation, be necessary
noun: circumstances in which something is necessary, or that require some course of action; necessity, a thing that is wanted or required, the state of requiring help, or of lacking basic necessities such as food
Do you remember when you were at your lowest point? You related best to Job then. You had to humble yourself and ask other to come to your aid. You didn’t know where to turn, but you reached out to God first, but also friends and brethren.
You see why I felt there was so much to say. I couldn’t let it go and say nothing. For what it’s worth, you now know my thoughts on those scriptures. I hope I gave you something more to think about.