Rejoice in the Lord today!
Read Philippians 4:1–9
Closing Appeal for Steadfastness and Unity
4 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends!
2 I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. 3 Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectMake a list of the things or relationships that currently cause you anxiety and concern. Over each item read Philippians 4:5.
Paul arrives at the most sensitive part of his letter, where he names the women at the heart of a problem in the Philippian church, Euodia and Syntyche. Were they among Lydia’s friends who first heard the Gospel from Paul (Acts 16:13)? We don’t know. They had “struggled alongside” Paul in ministry but now their disagreement was having a damaging effect on the church. Sadly, it is often those who have invested so much of themselves in Christ’s work who find it hardest to lay down differences.
Paul reminds them that they are defined not by difference but by what they share. In an obvious reference back to 2:5 he urges them to be “of the same mind.” In our age of individualism, which encourages us to emphasize our uniqueness, we easily forget that maturity in Christ makes us alike (3:15) as it makes us like Christ.
Euodia and Syntyche may not arrive at the same views on particular issues, but they can arrive at one mind. The mind of Christ is one of humility and trust in God. God’s presence with them (5b) and a focus on the right things (8) should help them keep their disagreements in perspective.
Are you in disagreement with anyone? Is this damaging others? Use this passage to help you discern what is important. In particular, examine your attitudes in the light of these verses.
Use these verses as a guide to prayer today. Take your anxieties to the Lord.
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