Psalm 119:33-40

In these beautiful verses, the psalmist urgently and fervently asks the Lord for instruction in His law:

Teach me your statutes and I will keep them; give me understanding so I may keep the law with my whole heart; I delight in the path your commands lead me; Incline my heart to your ways and not to selfish gain; Turn my eyes from worthless things (idols) and give me life; Your promises and rules are good; Your righteousness give me life!

These verses may be used as a prayer – an encouraging reminder of how great our God and His ways are!

Philippians 4:1-23

Verse 1 finishes Chapter 3’s instruction in straining toward the prize of the call of God in Jesus Christ.  Paul exhorts those he loves to stand firm in the Lord.

Verses 2-9
Paul entreats two women – Euodia and Syntyche – to be of the same mind, have the same love and be in full accord as in 2:2.  This call to unity is true for all believers.  He instructs we should rejoice in the Lord always and be reasonable.  To be reasonable denotes a generous spirit that rises above offenses and does not insist on personal rights.  This is the secret of joy!

Anxiousness is to be set aside, and in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let our requests be made known to God.  By doing so, the promised the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.  These verses should be the very backbone of our life. The words in the Psalm above remind how good our God is and how He can be trusted.

Paul tells us to think on God – whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, any excellence, anything worthy of praise.  By practicing what Paul has taught, we know the peace of God will be with us.

Verses 10-23
Paul returns to a theme of Chapter 1, the Philippians’ partnership in the gospel and their financial support.  Though now well supplied, he remembers his earlier need, testifying he was content to live both in plenty and in want.  The generosity of the Philippians to Paul was considered a fragrant offering , a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God.  Paul perceives their gifts as an act of worship and knows God will richly bless them in return. 

Our giving of financial support and service to the community of believers we are planted in is an act of worship of God on our part as it was the Philippians.  May we love our church body through tithes, gifts and service, showing our gratitude to the Father for the blessings and gifts He has given us.

Paul ends the book with final greetings and a blessing.  ‘The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.’           — Mary Mauderer

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