Thursday, December 20, 2012

And Turn Your Thoughts to the Things Above and Experience Peace, Part 2

Scripture: Philippians 4:7-9
And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 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. 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.

Insights: I mentioned throughout this week the need for reading Scripture contextually.  As I have stated there is nothing wrong with expressing peace that is beyond understanding because that is a true biblical axiom.  In this context, however, this incomprehensible peace is a result of God doing a miraculous work in the midst of conflict.  Also when conflict occurs our hearts become vulnerable.  Verse seven informs us that Christ Jesus Himself is going to guard our hearts and minds as He gives to us peace.  Paul has told us previously to follow his example.  Here, again, in verse nine, Paul stated again to practice the things they have observed him doing.  Remember, Paul did not have such a fun time while he was in Philippi.  He and Silas were arrested, stripped naked, beaten and thrown into jail.  If anyone had a reason to hold a grudge regarding conflict, it was Paul.  Yet, Paul, chose to dwell on whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, whatever is excellence and anything worthy of praise.  Because Paul thought on those things, he was able to experience the peace of God.  Beloved, when we live our lives in this same fashion we also will experience peace.  So, this week’s Thoughts by Scott’s titles make a sentence.  It reads: Conflicts and disagreements WILL occur in the church, therefore, rejoice in them because they will provide opportunity for the advancement of the gospel and turn your thoughts to the things above and experience peace.  One last thought.  When we receive peace from God, guess what else we will experience?  To answer that question we have to go back to verse one which mentions the theme of the book of Philippians.  The theme and the answer to the question are one and the same—JOY!  Beloved, when we receive the peace of Jesus we also receive His joy.  Strive for reconciliation and harmony with those with whom you are in conflict and you will experience peace and joy by God’s grace.

  1. Are you experiencing peace with God?
  2. Are you experiencing peace with other people?
Prayer: Father, You are my peace.  May You grant peace to my relationships and as You bring that about may it be a witness to the lost world around me that needs You.  Amen. 

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