INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:
Background to Philippians…
The Apostle Paul wrote the epistle (personal letter) (1:1) to the Philippian church, probably during his imprisonment in Rome. The letter was written from a heart of love and concern for the Philippians. Due to Paul’s imprisonment, he could not personally visit with the church so he sent this letter with Timothy to encourage them and bring back news of their condition to Paul. (2:19).
Some of the main divisions of the book include:
1. Introduction to the book: 1:1-2
2. Paul’s thankfulness for the Philippians: 1:3-11
3. News of Paul’s imprisonment and dedication: 1:12-26
4. Following Christ’s example is our duty: 1:27-2:18
5. Paul’s representatives and the need to treat them kindly: 2:19-30
6. Paul’s example of living a joyous life: 3:1-11
7. The Christian’s heavenly calling: 3:12-21
8. The need for Godly living: 4:1-9
9. The love offerings of the Philippians: 4:10-20
10. Closing to the book of Philippians: 4:21-23
Php 4:4-5 – “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.”
Rejoice in the Lord alway:
The command to “rejoice” comes from a Greek word that means “to be calmly happy”. When Paul tells the Philippian believers to “rejoice in the Lord always”, he is emphasizing the need to live a peaceful, happy existence based upon a knowledge of the Lord’s controlling presence in our lives.
No matter what our circumstances may be, we can own a sense of peace and happiness knowing our Lord is in control and only works in our lives for our benefit.
Psa 46:1-3 – “To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.”
and again I say, Rejoice.
Paul emphasizes the need to live a joyous life, during all the circumstances of life, when he says “again I say rejoice”.
Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
Paul then continues his instruction by telling the Philippian believers let their lives be lived in “moderation” (fitting, proper, appropriate) for each situation we face. That is the key to living a moderate life… always reacting in a way that is appropriate, not over-reacting, nor being totally detached from all that is taking place around us. Moderation understands that the end result of our actions is not the only basis of success. Success also involves how we react to a given situation, and the methods we use to handle the situation are of utmost importance as well.
It is doing what is right IN THE RIGHT WAY.
Living a moderate life exhibits a true faith and love for our Lord. It is telling all around us that we do not need to panic, nor do we need to fearfully ignore the events of our life. We are not like stampeding elephants that blindly run destroying everything in their way. Nor are we like an ostrich who sticks his head in the ground refusing to acknowledge the danger that lurked nearby. We are called to deal with whatever comes our way, moderately, through faith in Christ and a knowledge that He is in control of it all.
Paul them gives us one of many reasons why living moderate lives is so important…. “The Lord is at hand”. Folks, time is running short… what we are going to do for Christ must be done now!
John 4:35 – “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.”
May we all seek to possess lives that are joyful and moderate in Christ. No matter what we may face, may we all possess a calm happiness, reacting in an appropriate way to every situation that comes our way. In doing so, may we reach many for Christ through our living testimony of faith and love.
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