Pray: Humbly ask God to give you wisdom to understand this portion of the Bible and the faith to live out what He reveals to you.
Read: Philippians 4:1-9
As Paul is wrapping up his letter to the Philippian Church, he addresses many important things in rapid succession. In the first few verses, he appeals to two female church members to end a disagreement, but then he goes on to talk about what the Christian life, in part, should look like.
He tells them (and by extension, us) to rejoice and not be anxious. He tells them to think on pure and lovely things. I don’t know about you, but at first glance, this just sounds like some type of superstitious, “thinking my problems away” type of mysticism. There many people, including some Christians who look at their lives and problems as the result of not enough positive thinking. But that isn’t what Paul is suggesting. We can’t divorce the positive result - peace - from the peace-giver: God.
We need a God-centered focus for this passage to make sense, much less be worked out in our lives. We have to constantly remind ourselves that:
· We were redeemed by the all-powerful, sovereign creator…
· Are being conformed to the image of Christ, and…
· Will ultimately be glorified and live eternity with God.
When we take God at his word and trust that he is good and powerful, we can find rest and peace in that. A peace that only comes from him. So anxious believer; lay your worry aside today by trusting in God’s sovereignty, focusing your mind on things above and prayerfully seeking God’s calming peace. God’s peace will empower us to confidently follow Jesus into the world this week.
1) What is the difference in positive thinking and Christ-centered thinking?
2) What areas of my thought-life need some spring cleaning? Out with the old, in with the godly!
3) Where in your life do want to experience the peace of Christ? What is robbing you of this joy?
Memorize: Phil. 4:6-7