Paul's Command for Unity, Rejoicing, Gentleness and Prayer

Philippians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  55:00
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Today Sean gives great overview why we can rejoice when the world around us falling apart. It is joy that trusts in God who holds all things in his hand.


Paul's Command for Unity, Rejoicing, Gentleness and Prayer

Philippians 4:2-7

By Sean Kelly

We're continuing on in Philippians this morning. Philippians chapter four. Paul is getting to the closing of his letter, the next verse, after what we study today, he uses the word finally and then, of course, goes on for like 20 more verses.

So. Yeah, so, but we're looking at some more practical commands today as Paul's basically set all the doctrine down and now saying, this is as a church, this is how your attitude should be, this is how you should think, this is how you should act and is going through telling the church this and also the closing remarks and stuff that he wants to give to this church. Remember, in chapter one, Paul says his desire is to be there with them.

His desire is to be free from prison and to come spend time with the Philippians, to instruct them, to fellowship with them. That's his goal. But he's not sure if that's going to happen or not.

So this, in his thought, this may or may not be the last time he communicates with them. I think we know from history he was freed and was able to do a couple more missionary journeys after this. But in Paul's mind, he doesn't know.

God hasn't given him that revelation as to what's going to happen. So he's giving us these final remarks, telling them, this is what you guys need to be doing. So that's what we're going to look at today.

Let's go ahead and open in prayer and then we will dive in here. Ryan, would you open us up in prayer, please? Absolutely right, dear. I'm the father.

Lord, thank you for today. Lord, we're thankful for the message today that we encompass, to remember that we sound good for us. Lord, help us to be walking closer to you.

We just pray for Sharon that you would help him to feel better, help his need to heal. Lord, I pray that you strengthen Sean and pray that he will teach the lesson well. I pray that we'll be receptive to the teachings today.

Amen. Let's go ahead and look at the passage. I've entitled this Paul's command for unity, rejoicing, gentleness and prayer.

Basically, I just listed everything that's in the passage. It's not a creative title, but it's a doctor title. So that's what we're going to look at.

Philippians four two seven. This was a hard section because it seems like two and three are one thing, four through seven are another, but they kind of connect to eight. So I just took a place to stop here.

Next week we're going to look at Philippians four and four, eight and nine, which are, I think, two very important verses as to what we should be dwelling on, what we should be thinking of. So I want to spend some time on that. So I thought this would be a good place to stop, is at verse seven this morning.

I'll have somebody read the passage for us. Nathan, your hand is up almost before I start asking, so go ahead. I am poor Yoda, and I am forced to be of the same high lord, I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to all men.

The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in every by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. I'm going to skip my little paragraph there, because in my introduction, I've already kind of discussed everything that I wrote in there.

So let's go to our first point here. Paul, first off, gives a command for unity to the church. In this passage specifically, he calls out two women who are having some trouble, and he's encouraging them to be of the same mind.

So he commands this like mindedness for these two women. He uses a strong word, implore. It's the word paracolao.

It means to beg, to urge, to encourage. It's a very strong word. In fact, this is the same root word that we get comforter when it talks about the Holy Spirit.

He's our paraclete, the same kind of word here. But he's making a strong plea here. He's making a strong urging that this needs to be taken care of.

I think as we go through this and you see some things, you're going to see that he really is of the opinion, okay, whatever is going on between these two women, it needs to be fixed. They need to be like minded. They need to be thinking the same way.

They need to be acting in the same fashion. They need to be working together. For the church.

This is important, because if this is not taken care of, this is going to be a problem for the church ongoing and could escalate into something even bigger. So he calls out these two women's eudoia and syntyche, and little is known of these two women, so they don't really appear anywhere else. In scripture, there's no reference to them.

So I was reading MacArthur, and he lists the four assumptions he has about these women. I think they're fairly good assumptions now remind you they're somebody's opinion. So if you say, well, I don't see that that's okay, but I think you can see kind of the logic in them.

I think, first of all, his first assumption is they were church members, not troublemakers from outside the congregation. I think if you look at verse three, you can see that Paul calls them women who labored with me in the gospel. He wouldn't say that about somebody who's not part of the church, who's saved.

So I think they're members of the church. Their dispute was not a doctrinal error. Paul did not address that concerning them.

He didn't say, here's these two, and they're struggling over this doctrine, and this one's right, this one's wrong, or they're both wrong, and they need to fix their doctrine. He didn't start bringing up doctrinal issues in here. There's just some kind of disagreement going on.

Could be just a personal thing, a preference type thing. Paul doesn't address what the issue is. He just says, they need to be like minded.

So MacArthur thinks it's probably not a doctrinal error. Letter C. They were prominent women in the philippian congregation.

Just the fact that he can mention them in there, and the Philippians would know who they are. Also that their dispute seems to be having an impact on the church itself. It seems like that they were important in the church they were serving.

Otherwise, they were a big part of who the church was. Paul even thinks that maybe when he was down by the river and we read about Lydia the dyer of purple and how she gets saved, that maybe these were some of the other women that were there at the time. So that could be.

And that their dispute was causing significant dissent within the congregation. Obviously, even though it's doctrinal, I mean, even though it's not doctrinal, probably Paul feels like it needs to be brought up at this point. And so if that's so, it's something Paul's heard about, and Paul says, okay, we gotta fix this.

We gotta make this right. So that's about all we know or don't know or are guessing at these two women. And Paul commands them to have the same mind in the Lord.

Now, this is a command that you see over and over in scripture. We, as people of God, ought to have the same mind. We ought to be like minded.

That doesn't mean that I know Pastor Jordan is a Chiefs fan. I'm a Packers fan, that we got to work that out and make sure that we all root for the same team. No, it's not that kind of thing, but it's having the same idea of what are we doing for Christ.

Where is our focus? Is our focus on Christ? Is our focus on serving him. So our focus on loving and encouraging others around us, so our focus on giving the gospel that kind of mindset that we're saying these things are important, these things are things we agree to and that we want to do. And so these women, whatever's going on, they're disagreeing about something they shouldn't be disagreeing about.

And Paul says they need to think the same way. They need to think in a christlike way. And you might go back to chapter two, where we're supposed to have the same mind as Christ had a sacrificial mind, a mind that seeks to serve the needs of others.

Maybe they were missing that. And so Paul's bringing them back to this, be like minded again. Have the same mind.

Another passage, Pastor Jordan brought this up in his sermon in one corinthians, one with the problems that the church was having. Corinthians and their divisions. He gives the same command to the church in Corinth.

So let's look at one. Corinthians 110. Jonathan, go ahead.

Now, I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no division among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind during the same judgment. And here he's talking about that there's no divisions among them. Now, I think these two women are divided.

Obviously, corinthian church had all kinds of divisions. Remember, some said they were a Paul, and some were of apollos and some were of Peter. Some are of Christ, and they're all divided and doing their own thing.

Paul says, no, you need to be unified. You need to have the same mind. You need to be working together.

He talks about they need to be speaking the same thing. I think as they're saying, I'm of this, I'm of that. No, you say the same thing.

Christ has saved me. I'm part of his body. And so he's addressing divisions there.

And I think, as we see that throughout scripture, even though Paul is talking to two women in particular here, this is important for all of us, that we're not causing divisions in the church. We're not causing schism, especially over things that might be non doctrinal. You know, I don't really like the color of the carpet, so I'm gonna be mad about that and hold a grudge at whoever picked out the color of the carpet.

We kind of laugh about that, but I've been in churches that have been like that, where people have been offended because the wall was painted the wrong color. And those things cannot be divided into church. That's not our purpose.

Our purpose is to serve Christ and to serve others around us. So he commands this unity, and then Paul commands the church to help. In verse three, he says, I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labor with me in the gospel.

This word help is a very interesting word. The whole phrase here. It's not in Greek.

It's not help in Greek. It's a word that means to seize, to take hold of, or to capture. So he's saying, true companion, capture these women.

That doesn't sound very good, right? I think the idea is, okay, there's an issue here. You hold onto them until they get this issue correct. You don't let go.

You don't let them escape from this issue. Deal with the issue. I think Paul is addressing the seriousness of what's going on, that these two women maybe are disagreeing about what songs to sing in the service.

I don't know what it is. I'm making stuff up here. But Paul's saying, it doesn't matter.

They're causing problems in the church. You get a hold of them, and you fix it, and you don't let go until it is fixed. That's how important this is, because this is going to drive apart the church.

Okay. I saw something happen. I heard laughing, and I'm like, did I say something wrong? That was really funny, because that happens sometimes, too.

Anyway, so the way I've summarized this help is there's a commitment to fix this disagreement, that they're getting involved. And here he's talking to this true companion. Now, this true companion is another character that.

Who is this? And there's lots of speculation on who this true companion is. It's obviously someone Paul trusts. He calls him a true companion.

It could also be a proper name, Suzukus, which means yoke fellow. And Paul said, this is kind of like Barnabas, who was son of encouragement. That was his name.

And it meant something. This guy, his name would have meant yoke fellow. And he might say, you are truly a yoke fellow.

You are truly living up to your name. So it could be a proper name even here. It doesn't really matter in our case.

Just to know that Paul's going to, whoever this is, this true commander, say, I trust you to step in and help fix the situation. And so he goes on to say here to help these women who labor with me in the gospel, with Clement, also the rest of my fellow workers whose names are in the book of life. So I think the way I have taken this here is that he's asking this true companion to step in and help these women who labored in the gospel, who labored like these other people that they know.

So I think he's actually including the women and actually complimenting them in that these are really faithful women for the most part, outside of this disagreement, and they need our help. So the laboring here is to be fighting together with, to contend together with. This is putting effort, and this is pouring your lives into.

And he talks about these two women who labored with him in the gospel, in the true gospel. And so they weren't just people that were kind of hanging around Paul and mooching off him. They weren't people that were kind of on the fringe of things.

These were women who were involved in the ministry that Paul had, in whatever manner they were. Let's look at Philippians 127. Do I have a reader? Go ahead, Ryan.

Philippians 127 says, only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel Christ, so that whether I come see you or in absent, I make hear of your affairs, and that you stand fast in one spirit with one line, striving together for the faith of the gospel. And that word striving together is the same laboring word. And here, even at the beginning of Philippians, that he wants the church to be having this mindset of working hard, of laboring, of fighting for the message of the gospel, for doing what God wants them to do in the church.

And these women have already showed evidence of that. So whatever is going on with their dispute, it hasn't reflected on what they have done in the past or what they've been doing in terms of the gospel. There's just now this problem that needs to be dealt with, and it's kind of interesting because we can have that, too.

We can be serving God in some areas of our life, but maybe there's something that's in the way right now. We need to take care of that, just as, as Paul is saying, we need to take care of it with these women. So it's a reminder of us to not let disputes and not let disagreements get in the way of what God wants us to be doing.

Here's a bunch of people here. The women, obviously, we talked about them. They strived in the gospel with Clement.

And Clement, nothing is known of him. So great. Thank you, Paul, for arranging Clement.

That helps us a lot. And he also adds with the fellow workers. Well, who are the fellow workers? I think this is just so Paul doesn't leave anybody out there.

A lot of people helping out, and I want to include them all. I'm not going to list them all by name right now, but what's true of all of them is the ones whose names are in the book of life. And so this speaks to what their salvation is.

These are all saved people. These are all people who have trusted Christ, who know him as their savior. I want to talk a little bit about the book of life.

We don't get a lot of chance to do this. It doesn't necessarily directly apply, but it's good to know. What is Paul talking about? The Book of life.

Maybe you're not familiar with it. So I picked out a couple passages that are pretty clear on where the book of life is. And by the way, this is the only passage outside of revelation where the reference to the book of life appears.

So, very interesting. So we're going to look at revelation, revelation 20. Let's look at twelve through 15.

Olivia, your hand. I saw first judged according to the liquid fire. This is the second death.

And anyone not found bridging in the love of life was passed into the fire. Okay, so I'm going to ask you a couple questions. You guys are going to be on my theologians this morning.

So, first of all, who's being judged in this passage here? Olivia. Incorrect. Sorry.

That's a right answer. Unbelievers. This is a judgment for unbelievers.

Is this the second death that has happened or it's coming to the death? It's coming to the second death, yes. So this is a judgment for unbelievers. What are they being judged based on? Okay.

Ted says they're works. Nathan says whether their name is in the book of life. Guess what? You're both right.

So you look at it. I saw a dead small and great standing before God. Books were opened, and another book was opened, which is the Book of life.

So books were opened and another book was opened. Well, why are there two books? Or why are there multiple books? Actually, because it's books and book. Well, let's read on.

And the dead were judged according to their works by the things written in the plural books. So there's a little bit. I'm going to go into the theology, if you want to know more about it.

I'll dig deeper with you. So there's books that detail what the unsaved people have done, how they've lived their life, and there's going to be a judgment based upon that. Now, I'm going to come back to that in just a second.

We'll talk a little bit more about that. So it talks about the seed and debt. And then verse 15, anyone not found written in the book, book Singular of life, was cast into the lake of fire.

So what determines whether or not they're cast into the lake of fire? Book of Life. Whether the name is written in it or not, that's the only detail that you need. Either your name's in the Book of Life or it's not in the book of life, if it's not to the lake of fire forever.

So what are the books for then? And what are the works about severity of punishment? Severity of punishment. The reason why I think this, if you go back to the gospels, remember when Jesus talks about the Pharisees and the scribes and how wicked they are, and they said if the gospel was preached in tyre and Sidon, they would have repented. But your punishment is going to be greater than theirs.

And Jesus talks about severity of punishment. So I believe that even in the eternal state, there is a difference in severity of punishment. Now, being cast into the lake of fire apart from God forever is bad enough punishment to start with.

So beyond that, whatever severity is, is just kind of icing on the top of the punishment cake. But I think that's what it's talking about here. So the book of life is what determines whether you go on to be with God forever in the eternal state, or whether you're separated from him forever in the lake of fire, what the book of life does.

So when Paul talks in his passage, the ones whose names are written in the book of life, guess what? They're saved and they're going to be with God forever and ever. So that's kind of the difference there. It's an interesting passage.

I could go into more about this, but I'm not going to spend as much time on that. If you want to know more, we can talk. Revelation 21 27.

Ryan, your hand went on first. I'll let you do that. Revelation 21 27 says, but there shall by no means enter it, anything that defiles or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the book lambs.

So the it here is into the new heaven and new earth. Revelation 21. Nothing shall enter into it that is sinful, basically is what it's saying, right? Nothing that would bring sin into it.

The only people that are entering into the eternal state are those whose names are written in the book of life. So the book of life is a record of those who have trusted Christ as their savior, the people who are saved, the people who are going to be in the eternal state with God. By the way, like I said in this other passage, this was unsaved.

Being judged. Guess what? We as believers get to be judged, too. Yay.

And we're going to be judged by our works also. But our judgment is going to result in rewards and not punishment. So for the things that you have done for God, how you've lived faithfully for God, to what extent, that's what reward you will get.

And it talks about in that passage that some will be saved, but as through fire, that nothing's going to be left over, that they're not going to show any result of it. They're not going to have any reward, because they may have been saved, but they haven't done really anything with their life. So there's going to be judgment for all of us.

In fact, Paul says that it's been appointed for man once to die. And then the judgment, it doesn't say just for sinful people. All of us have to be judged.

Okay? So let that happen. So there's this command for unity. These women are basically being a good example for Paul to say, look, this should not be going on.

They need to be unified and extends out that the church needs to be unified in working together. So going. And Paul kind of changes the tune a little bit here.

So we go to Philippians four. Four. He writes, rejoice in the Lord always.

Again, I will say rejoice. So number two is the command to rejoice. Now, what does it mean to rejoice? To have joy.

To have joy. Yes. That's good.

I'm glad you said that. That's what MacArthur comes up with. I put MacArthur's quote in here from his commentary page 273.

He's talking about rejoicing. He says, joy is not a feeling. Joy is not a feeling.

It is a deep down confidence that God is in control of everything for the believer's good and for his own glory, and thus all is well, no matter the circumstances. It's a trust in God. It's a contentment in God.

It's knowing that God, even if my life is failing miserably and everything's falling apart in my life and my leg won't move for me, and so I'm in pain every time I take a step. God is in control, and I can still have joy because God doesn't change. He's faithful.

He's good. He's always working for our good. I think MacArthur's definition here, I think, is.

Is better than anything I could come up with. That's why it's there. So this one I'm going to go over pretty quick because it's pretty easy.

Once you know what rejoicing is, you got a couple things. Rejoice in the Lord. And that's in that definition of rejoicing is that our focus has to be in the Lord.

You can't have joy without the Lord. You can't have joy without knowing who he is. You can't have joy without his faithfulness and his goodness.

So rejoice in the Lord. The extent is always. So again, no matter the circumstances, no matter what's going on, always.

And then Paul thinks this is so important he's going to repeat himself. You know, we do this when we want somebody to really understand something. Let me say it again to you.

This is what you need to do, because this is important. You need to do it this way. Paul says, rejoice.

Let me say it again to you. I'm going to tell you to rejoice again. This is what you need to be doing as a church.

So the urgency. He repeats this command that we ought to rejoice. I looked at a few verses on rejoicing.

I found a couple that kind of show that. Where our rejoicing is founded and how it affects us. So the first one is romans 511.

Jenny, go ahead. 511 or five? One through two? Five. One through two.

Sorry. Yeah, I skipped one in my. With my eyes, therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into his grace, in which we sing and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

So where does our rejoicing come from according to this passage, these two verses here. Spirit. Hmm? Spirit.

Faith. From faith? Yeah, from faith. In what? And what about God? That we have peace with God, that he has reconciled us, that he has saved us.

That's where rejoicing comes from. And then it goes on to say, and in the hope of his glory, the hope that we have that this life isn't the end that someday we will be with God forever, that he has saved us for his eternal purpose. Ryan, just to clarify joy and joy and reward joy scene results from having confidence in God, which elevates depression.

Yeah. You're probably a little bit more of an expert on depression than I am. I'm not saying I think people don't, but tell me what causes depression? Depression, it's a feel downward.

It feels like you're down the pit looking up. Okay. Okay, so you're down in a pit.

Things are just bleak. Okay, so. So how does this counter that? Well, the first thing is if you're saved, you go, wow, my soul's safe, God's in control.

God has this situation I'm going through that I'm desperate about. God is over that. He's allowing me to be there.

He's teaching me something. And what's more is that I. Maybe I'll live another 50, 67 years, whatever, but after that, I'm going to be with him forever and ever.

Does that, does that help? I think it does. It's not about defeating depression. Yeah.

And it's confidence knowing that, you know, your salvation hasn't changed just because maybe something in your life has changed or maybe you haven't been as faithful. Your salvation is securing God. God doesn't change.

He's always faithful. He always loves you. He always seeks to do what's best for you.

Yeah. Reveals himself to Job, telling Job, who basically asked him a series on a lot of questions between job 39 and 41. Job just.

God just kind of has Joe, who am I? Yeah. And job acknowledging that that's God. That's what.

Yeah. Yeah. God's sovereign, but God's all powerful.

He can get through it and he has a purpose even in Job's life. I mean, Job is a great study because how much of what was going on did Job know about really absolutely nothing? He didn't know that Satan was challenging God and saying, look at job. Oh, yeah, but wait, if you take away his family, if you take away his stuff, he's going to hate you.

And when he comes through. Yeah, but, you know, he still has his health. He take away his health, he's really going to hate you now.

And Job doesn't know any of this that's going on, but God's in control and God's sovereign. And you see the end of how God provided for job afterwards. You know, he.

I'm not saying that Job would have not missed his earlier kids and his wife and stuff, but he provided again for him and so Prophet Abraham, Elijah. Yeah. And even Elijah was like, I'm the only one.

God heal me. And God's like, no, there's 7000 that haven't bowed the knee. Yeah, you're not alone in that.

So, yeah. Yeah. So our joy, our rejoicing comes not from how we feel.

It doesn't come from our circumstances, comes from the permanence of who God is. Let's look at a couple more verses here. Romans 511.

Go ahead, Elizabeth. According to this verse, what are we rejoicing in? Rejoicing in God because he did what? He reconciled us. What does it mean to be reconciled? To be bought back.

Yeah, we were under the bondage of sin and God brought us out of that and brought us into his kingdom by his own blood. That doesn't change. So can we rejoice in that when our car blows up and we're without a ride and we can't get to work and our boss is starting to fire us? Absolutely.

Can we rejoice in that when your spouse gets into an auto accident and God takes her home? Yes, absolutely. Because God doesn't change. He's sovereign, he's good, he's in control of all things.

We can rejoice in it first. Peter, 1361. Peter, by the way, deals with persecution.

That's one of the big themes in one Peter. So this is good. Josiah, your hands been going up.

I haven't ignored you, but I wanted to give you a good verse here. So there you go. Blessed be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his abundant mercy has begotten us again into the living hope of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead through an inheritance inefficient and undefiled and that does not fade away reserved in heaven for you who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while if need be, given grief by various trials. So I'm going to go over this a little bit quickly, but I hope you see this. Verse six is in this you greatly rejoice.

This is verses three through five. And what does he list in verses three through five? He lists all these things that are true of us because of what God has done, how God has saved us and what benefit that has been to us. He says in this you greatly rejoice.

It's not in, wow, I just got a $100 100,000 inheritance. Well, that's great. I can rejoice no, it's what God has done.

Right? And then in verse six, he goes on to say, though for now, for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials. So are they feeling happy about their circumstance that they're in? No, they're grieved. They're going through hard times.

They're going through trials. They're going through persecutions. But Peter here says that doesn't matter, because what you're rejoicing in is not the circumstances, it's not the trials.

It's not that you're feeling very sad about where your life is. You're rejoicing in who God is and what he's done. And that doesn't change.

So Paul telling the church, rejoice in the Lord, in who God is. Rejoice in the Lord. Rejoice in what God has done for you, how he's delivered you, how he saved you, how he's.

Ephesians one tells us he's blessed us with every spiritual blessing. We may not see that on earth, but we have those blessings there. We have the Holy Spirit.

We have the word of God. You rejoice in these things because it's true. And Paul says, this is so important, I'm going to say it again.

Rejoice. So command to rejoice. Number two there.

Number three, the command to be gentle. Philippians four, five. I feel like these are just coming off really quick here.

Yes, I'm sorry. I was going to read the vain scripture. Let your gentleness be known to all men.

The Lord is at hand. Okay, another quick command. Let your gentleness be known to all men.

What does that mean? What do we think of when we think of being gentle? I think of, you know, we're not ready for our circumstances. We're not better. Okay.

Okay. If I said something along the lines of, hey, look at that. That big guy over there.

He has his one year old kid. He's so gentle with his child. What image of that kind give you? What does that tell you? He's being careful.

Does the big giant guy have power? How is he using that power? He's being gentle. He's being very careful with. He's being very deliberate.

He's being very compassionate. And I think that's what we. Sometimes we confuse gentleness with.

What's the word? I used? Gentleness with timidness with being, I don't know, just afraid to do stuff. That's not what gentleness is. Gentleness is kind of this power under control.

The word gentleness in the Greek, is gentle, forbearing, considerate or suitable? And I think you start seeing when you put those terms together, it's using the suitable amount of power you have, the suitable amount of authority you have, the suitable amount of whatever you're doing you have. So I have it defined that this seems to be doing the things you need to do without overpowering or hurting others. And we can do that, right? And it's not just like going around punching people.

I don't go around punching Ryan. But we can be. We can be.

Do you want to consider considering you're my boss? Okay, I can pick up Nathan, but Nathan, go. Considering you're my dad, I hope not. So maybe Jonathan, I don't have any relationship outside of church with you, so I don't go around punching Jonathan.

Yes. That's what I was scared of. So anyway, gentle punch, gentle gentleman.

So where was I going with this? Yeah, so it's not like even a physical overrunning, but we can be overrunning with our words, our attitudes with people. Right. We can hurt people by being very aggressive with the things we say.

That's not being gentle. I picked out a couple verses because I want to try to understand how the Bible teaches gentleness. So these verses don't necessarily directly apply to this command, but talk about gentleness in different areas that kind of help us see? So Titus, three.

Is that you, Lynn? You want to read that? Okay. Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities. To obey to your age, evil, no one.

To be peaceful, gentle, showing all humility to all men. I think gentle is an aspect in each of these things in verse two here. And it's talking about being subject to rulers, but it talks about how do we treat men around us and to speak evil of no one.

We're gentle in the way we speak. Right. We're not aggressive in that.

To be peaceable, we're not causing issues. We're not fighting with people. We're not being like these women who are having this dissension.

We're peaceful, showing all humility to all men. It's putting others ahead of yourself and serving their needs. I think that's all an aspect of this.

So I like that verse there. That's like saying, I like that verse in the Bible. I liked all the verses in the Bible.

But I don't always like all the verses in the Bible. I should say it that way. Some of them are too.

Some of them are too convicting for me. And I don't like to hear the things I need to hear, but they're good. So James 317.

I'm way off the subject here. Are you reading? But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good truth, without partiality and without hypocrisy. I think, again, gentleness works in effect with some of these descriptions here.

Peaceable, willing to yield, full of mercy, without partiality, without hypocrisy. I think that's all part of being gentle. It's it's not putting yourself ahead of others.

It's using that appropriate amount of whatever you're doing to do and not overpowering and not not hurting others first. Peter 218 another one. Matthew, go ahead.

So here. And I pulled out this verse because this gives us a contrast. There's good and gentle, and there's harsh.

And you know what harsh is? We all do, right? We know when people are harsh with us. And this one says, be submissive to your masters, not only the good and the gentle, but the harsh. So the harsh seems to be the opposite of being good and gentle.

So that's why I pulled that verse in, to kind of help us understand maybe what gentleness is. So here, who are we to be gentle to? Well, the extent is to all men. So we need to show the same grace to believers and also to unbelievers.

Just because somebody is not saved doesn't give us the right to run them over, doesn't give us the right to pound them down, doesn't give us the right to degrade them and speak harshly to them. God wants us to be gentle to all men, and he gives a reason here. The reason is the Lord is at hand.

And I think the thing we need to do is we need to live as if Christ's return is around the corner. I have a passage in here. Matthew 25.

We're not going to go there this morning. It's a longer passage. You know it? It's the man with the talents, where he gives one guy the ten talents, one guy with the five talents, and one guy the two talons, the guy who have the ten and five talents.

They do what's right with it. They serve. They do what the master wants them to do.

When he comes, he says, well done, you good and faithful servant. Right? And the man with the two talents, you know, he's like, I didn't know when you were coming back, so I just hit him. I didn't do anything because I knew you were a harsh man, and you expect more from that, but I didn't know, and sometimes we live like that, like, well, I don't know when God's coming back.

I'm just going to do what I want. When we ought to be thinking God could be back anytime. I ought to be using the resources he's given me and being gentle.

God wants us to be gentle because his return is at hand. I thought I knocked my mic off, but I did not. So I did get there.

So, gentleness. And then one more set of commands. Philippians four, six, seven.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving. Let your request be made known to God, and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. So this overall command here, I think, is the command to pray.

Now, there's a couple other commands that are interwoven in there. We'll talk about them. But the command for prayer, command number one, is don't be anxious.

None of us are anxious, right? Ever. Never. Never.

The greek word anxious means to worry about, to be concerned about. We're worried and concerned all the time. The problem is we want to be in control of things.

We want things to happen our way. And when they're not happening that way, we get worried, we get anxious, we get antsy about it. And Paul here says, don't be anxious for anything.

Let's look at Luke 12 24 31. Because this talks about being anxious. Olivia, go ahead.

Consider the ratings for the need which have neither storehouse nor barn, and God feeds them. How much more value are you than burying? And which of you are worrying by burying can add one pit to the statue? And you that are not to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow. They need a toil nor spin.

And yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory does not arrange as one of these, that if God so clothes the grass which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, o you of little things, and do not seek what you shall, nor have anxious minds. So all these things the nations of the world take after. And your father knows that you need these things, but seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.

So I picked out Olivia to read this because two other people that I saw had their hands on Nathan and Josiah. And they were like, I'll read. And Olivia goes.

And, yeah, they're like, oh, that's just too. That's just too cute. So.

So I gave it to her anyway. So what are we anxious about in life? What do we get anxious about? Everything. How about some specifics? Because everything's a big okay.

We get worried about work, we get worried about school, we get worried about money. You get worried about an interview with me. Health, you know, these are important things.

I'm not downgrading them. When Jesus talks about don't be anxious about things. What is he talking about? He's talking about food, drinking, clothes.

Like the most basic of needs. I can say, yeah, don't worry about work. God has it under control.

But this important thing, if I don't eat in a couple of weeks, I'll die. If I don't drink water in three days, I'll die. I better worry about that.

And God says, don't even worry about those basic things that you absolutely need. Don't be anxious about them. You can't control that.

It talks about worrying about your height and saying, you can't add one cubit to your height. All you short people, I'm gonna pick on you. Now, Olivia.

Olivia's very close to getting to be the shortest person in the family. She has, like, two people that are gonna overtake her, probably. And she sometimes says things about her height at home.

It is a joke. But if you could do something about your height, would you do something about your height? You'd probably give yourself few more inches, right? Well, you can't. It's out of your control.

God's saying that even the most basic things in life, the things you eat, the things you drink, the things you wear, that's not in your control anyway. Why are you worrying about it? God's in control of that. Don't be anxious about it.

Trust God. In fact, at the end, he gives us the command. Seek the kingdom of God.

Seek the things of God. Seek God's program. Seek God's will in your life, and God's going to take care of the rest.

Focus on what God wants you to do. Don't worry about the other stuff that's going on. I have something going in my life that I'm not ready to share details about, but it's stressing me out quite a bit, and I don't have any control over it.

What I need to do is I need to trust God and I need to give it to God and focus on what he wants me to do. And that's been a hard struggle for me because it's a big thing and God's trying to teach me that. Nathan, your hand went up were you gonna say something? Okay, I just saw your hand a second.

So you're just stretching. So that's what this is about. And again, I went over this very quick.

I'm not trying to exegete the whole Luke twelve passage there, but don't be anxious. That's his command here in Philippians four. His second command is let your request be made known.

So instead of being anxious, pray about it. The counter to being anxious, the counter to being concerned. The counter to being worried is to pray is to tell God about it.

Now, does God know what's going on in your life? Yeah. God knows everything, right? He's omniscient. Can God affix whatever is going on in your life? Yes.

He's all powerful. He's sovereign. He can do whatever he wants.

So what's the good of prayer? If God already knows this stuff and he can already do what he wants with it, why does he command us to pray? What's that? But does he know your heart? Okay, so why does he command us to pray? Abigail, it's a form of humble submission. It's a form of humble submission. It's giving it over to God.

It's trusting God is changing something in you. It's to fix the problem that's in you. The problem in you is you're worrying when the solution should be.

I need to put my trust in God. And how we do that, we pray. It's an action that shows, hey, I'm not going to worry about this anymore.

I'm not going to trust my own self and my own circumstances. I'm going to submit to God's authority in this. Yes, grace, dependence on God.

Excellent. That's a great way to put it. It's a dependence on God.

Now God already knows you're dependent on him. It's to help us to understand and to make ourselves dependent. Yes.

Last year when I experienced a near death two weeks in ICU, the verse that I always have in mind is that I think because I cannot swallow my lungs of collapse. Yeah. And then I'm paralyzed, lover.

And so I thought I'm gonna die. But also I also prayed and claimed that. Right.

That's awesome. That is great. Appreciate that.

Thank you for sharing. And it works, right? That you put your trust in God. You put your, your humble submission in God.

You put your dependence upon God and let him take care of those things. You didn't have control what's going on in your body. If you could have fixed it, you would have, right? If the doctors could have fixed it.

They would have done better, I guess. I don't know. God's in control of those things.

God is above all those things. So he wants us to pray. So the extent, what are we to pray? Let your request be made known to God.

It's in everything and everything we're to pray. Every situation, everything that's going on in our life, everything that worries us, pray about it. The method here, he used a couple words here by prayers.

Prayer is a general word for prayer in the New Testament. It just means that conversation with God supplications is more specific. This is requests, this is entreaties.

This is asking God for something. So Paul is saying, you pray to God, but you're allowed to ask for things. You're allowed to ask God to do things.

And then with thanksgiving, it's always a reminder that no matter what happens, again, going back to rejoicing in all things, no matter good or bad, whatever happens, you're still focused on giving God the thanks for what's going on. You may pray, God, I have cancer. Take my cancer away and God may not take your cancer away.

And you say, God, I'm still thankful for what you're doing. I'm thankful that you are God. You are in control and for whatever reason, you put this in my life, and I'm going to respond correctly and do what's right for you.

There's a thanksgiving with prayer, no matter what the situation. That helps a ton of one of my favorite verses because it's so easy to memorize and you get all kinds of things out of it is first Thessalonians 516 18. Nathan, go ahead, rejoice.

Always pray without ceasing in everything. Give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. It sounds like Paul might have written these two passages about the same time because he was thinking the same thing here, right? Rejoice, pray without ceasing, give thanks and everything sounds like what we're talking about.

And Paul adds, in this passage, this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. You want to know what God wants you to do? Here it is. Rejoice, pray and give thanks, and you're going to be doing what God wants you to do.

Another passage, one Timothy two, one Lemuel, go ahead. Therefore I exhort, first of all the supplications, prayers, intercessions and giving. So you have different terms here.

We have the supplications we talked about. Prayers, intercessions is pleading on behalf of someone else. So praying for others giving a thanks.

So this is what prayer should look like. This is what we should be doing. And that here Paul says, I exhort, I tell you that you should really be doing this.

This is very important to be doing. So, prayer. And the result of this is that we get God's peace.

Now, there's different kinds of peace, especially in the Bible. What kind of peace can we have? I want you to help me out a little bit. Again, peace between us and, okay, peace between us and God.

We see that in Romans five where it talks about that Christ is our peace. He made peace between God and man through his death. So we can have peace with God.

What else? Peace with, okay, peace with men. We're supposed to live peaceably with all men, right? The Bible commands that. So we're supposed to be in a state of non conflict with the people around us.

We're supposed to be getting along and encouraging and building up one another. Where else do we see peace in the Bible? Okay. Within ourselves.

That's great. Yeah. God wants us to be people who have God's peace inside of us.

And I think that might apply in this passage right here. Right? Because the peace of God is going to be with you. Even though you're going through the turbulent, hard situation.

You pray to God, you trust in him, you give thanks, and God's going to give you that peace. God's going to let you know, okay, I got this. It's under control.

You're right where I want you to be, and you have that peace. I thought there was one more that I was thinking about right now. That's okay.

So there's different types of peace and that's what I think it's talking about here. The extent it's going to guard things, it's going to guard your heart, I think it's going to guard your emotions, your feelings. It's hard when you're going through hard times.

You're hurt, you're sad, you're angry, you're frustrated with the situation, you're feeling alone at times, God's peace is going to guard you from that. It's going to keep you from dwelling on that too much and it's going to guard your mind, your intellect. A lot of times in hard situations, our minds go to, what if, or maybe if I do this, or maybe I tried this, or maybe, and that's God's peace of good God reminding you that God's in control of these things, not that you shouldn't be doing things.

I'm not saying that but sometimes we focus too much on that and not enough on what God's doing. And so the description of this piece is a peace which surpasses all understanding. Now, again, this is in terms of you're going through hard times, you're going through trials, you're going through things that you're going to be praying to God for, and you're going to have peace.

What does the world see? The world sees this guy is down and out. He's having all kinds of troubles. He's facing all these trials, and he seems joyful.

Why? He seems, you know, he's not depressed or he's not coming to his wits end or he seems like he's living pretty regularly. He shouldn't be. Why? It's a piece that surpasses understanding.

It doesn't make sense to the human mind. But because we're trusting who God is, and we know who God is, we can have that peace even in the most difficult situations. I know after sue passed away, a lot of people said to me afterwards, wow, you're just really doing really good with this.

Well, it's not because I'm doing really good at this. It's because God's in control. He's sovereign.

I understood that and I chose to trust in that over what my circumstances were. Is it hard? It's still hard. I'm still sad about it.

I still have days where it's just rough for me. But God is still in control. He's still God, and I need to trust in that.

So peace that surpasses understanding. And the method is through Jesus Christ. There's no place else, no place else we can find this peace.

No one else can bring us this kind of peace. It's only through what Christ has done. Before I go to takeaways, any thoughts or questions? I know this is some pretty deep stuff here, even though it's in these little short verses.

So any thoughts or questions or comments? So, takeaways, here's what I got. And I took one for each point here because it was just easiest that way. The points, they work together somewhat, but they're kind of just.

Here's rapid thought here, here, here. From Paul. So, first one.

There are times where we have disagreements or difficulties with other people. Why? Because we're sinners and that just happens. So it's going to happen.

Our desire should be to resolve those difficulties and get back to working together. Don't dwell on them, don't propitiate them, don't propel them, don't keep them going. We need to work together.

When we see others who are struggling to get along, we need to step in and help resolve the situation. So this is like that trusted companion, get in there and help them. If you see people having difficulty get involved, too often we say, it's not my problem or, you know, it's their issue, it's not mine.

I don't want to offend them. I don't want to get in their business and stuff like that. That's the wrong attitude for a Christian.

For a Christian it's, hey, let me help you get this right. Let me help you fix the issue. That's what God wants us to do.

That's. .1.2. Our lives should be filled with joy.

This is not an emotional happiness, but a deep trust and assurance in who God is and that all our circumstances are in his hands. No matter what we are experiencing, God is faithful and unchanging and we can rest in him. I think that's pretty clear from the teaching there.

Third thing, gentleness is not being timid, but doing what God requires us to do with a spirit of love and caring is doing the things that need to be done without bullying or aggressiveness. But in the spirit of the Lord we are called to be gentle. And then anxiousness and prayer are opposites.

When we are anxious, we need to take it to God, who can handle it much better than we ever could. When we trust in him, God replaces our anxiousness with peace that maybe does not seem to fit the situation we are in, but wholly rests in the person of who God is. So those are my thoughts.

Any additional thoughts or questions? Comments? Now, it looks like it's like eight minutes to noon, but it's really about quarter two, so I wasn't as long as you think I was. Let's go ahead and close in prayer. Let's see.

Ted, will you close us in prayer? We just thank you again for your. We thank you that you've provided this message to us. I pray that you would help us to be completely reliant upon you in any situation, whether we're struggling with something or whether things are going great.

Lord, help us to be a good demonstration for the loss that we will encounter this week. And I just pray that when you give those opportunities for us to witness to them, that we would take it. Be with us this week and help us.


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