The God of peace will be with you.
Philippians 4 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
Think of Excellence
Therefore, my beloved brethren whom I long to see, my joy and crown, in this way stand firm in the Lord, my beloved.
2 I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to live in harmony in the Lord. 3 Indeed, true companion, I ask you also to help these women who have shared my struggle in the cause of the gospel, together 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 gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. 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 comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. 9 The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. 14 Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction.
15 You yourselves also know, Philippians, that at the first preaching of the gospel, after I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving but you alone; 16 for even in Thessalonica you sent a gift more than once for my needs. 17 Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account. 18 But I have received everything in full and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God. 19 And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. 20 Now to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
21 Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren who are with me greet you. 22 All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar’s household. 23 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
God is the creator of all things. The devil is a counterfeiter, he cannot create anything new, nor does any other philosophy contain any new revelation or truth. Everything else tries to either copy what the Lord has created or to distort it for evil rather than good. Many philosophies teach the power of positive thinking, that if you think and believe something you will receive it. They believe in karma, that the universe will equalize good for good and evil for evil. There is truth to the power of positive thinking, as there is to sowing and reaping. They areBiblical and Godly principles. In Mark 11:24, Jesus says: “I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.” This does not mean though that we can ask for the things that would satisfy our lusts and our greed, and expect that God will grant them. Rather it is as the psalmist says in Psalm 37:4: Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart. In Matthew 6:33 Jesus says: Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. As we seek God, delighting in Him, our desires also become aligned with His and so we can expect that God will give us what we desire because it is also His desire for us.
In today’s text it says: Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things. The world, our culture and false philosophies miss the important elements of positive thinking that precede and follow this exhortation to think and do good. It is also vital, in order to enact the Godly principle of positive thinking that we: Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. 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 comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Rejoicing in the Lord and thinking positive things: the God of peace will be with you. In Isaiah 5:20, God says: Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! We cannot define for ourselves, or allow the philosophies of the world to define for us what is true, honorable and right. We cannot call what is evil and ugly, good and lovely; we cannot dwell on what God calls evil and expect that we will have peace. If we rebel against God rather than rejoice in Him any peace that we have is counterfeit peace. In John 14:27, Jesus says: Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. All that world offers, all that we try to have to satisfy our lust and greed only leaves us wanting more. Look at the wealthiest people in the world, with all their possessions. Do they have peace? The text says: Be anxious for nothing. Looking to the world, believing the lies and the counterfeit promises of human philosophies and of the devil, has created a world where fear and anxiety are rampant. God’s peace cannot be found in rebellion, but rather in rejoicing. God may not satisfy our greed, but He will surely provide for our every need.
In the text, Paul says: Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Peace comes with the contentment of satisfaction in the Lord. God is all that we need. In Acts 17:28 it says: In Him we live and move and exist. To live apart from God is to exist without peace. There is perhaps no greater example of one who lived in the peace of God, than David. The psalmist, who lived a life of persecution and difficulty in the world, but was great in the kingdom of heaven. May his declaration and prayer be our’s today.
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie
down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Amen.