Google+ 05/30/13 Chaos or Peace? You Choose!!!

Philippians 4:8-9

 

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing.

Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable.

Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—

Everything you heard from me and saw me doing.

Then the God of peace will be with you. 

 

If you struggle with whether the Bible has all the answers to all of our problems, today's Scripture is definitely for you.  As Paul is writing to the Philippians,  he leaves them with an extremely important final thought.  If you want peace in your life, follow Paul's instructions carefully.  Fix your thoughts on what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and admirable.  Wow, is that a mouthful!  If the Philippians, and all of us, were to do this, lots of things would change.  Remember that the city of Philippi was named after the father of Alexander the Great.  It was a military colony with special citizenship privileges.  The Philippians were proud to call themselves Romans.  There might have been a small conflict with the believers and converts of Jesus being in the center of people that were proud of their crucifixion heritage!  Paul had lots of missionary work to do in Philippi.  The planting of the church of Philippi was done during Paul's second missionary journey around 50 A.D.  It was Paul's first act on European soil.  If you want to read about this mission, it is recorded in Acts 16:12-40.  In order for the Philippians to do all that Paul asked, the negative, totalitarian thoughts of Rome would need to be replaced with what was true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and admirable.  This was not an easy task, but as Paul explained, the rewards were great.  Paul encourages the Philippians to continue to put into practice all that he has taught them.  To paraphrase what Paul said and to use a modern-day quote, Paul would have said, "Don't sweat the small stuff."  What is the small stuff?  Paul's answer is anything that is not of God and doesn't fit into our six-word description of what we should be focusing on daily.  Then Paul closes with the most important part of our Scripture today.  He tells the Philippians, and all of us, that if we do all these things, the God of peace will be with us.  Listen to this carefully.  Our lives are not supposed to be a constant state of crisis management.  Bragging about the fact that we survive the world every day is not flattering to us or God.  The world is the world and the only thing we are called to do with it is live in it and tell people about Jesus.  We are not supposed to conquer it or become part of it.  God and Jesus will do that in Their time.  Often we are just like the Philippians and seem to take great joy in proclaiming our worldly citizenship.  Daily, we need to proclaim our "heavenly" citizenship, which will almost always put us at odds with the world.  Remember the "you can't serve two masters" thing?  If you are looking at your life today and searching for peace, why not do what Paul told us to do.  Devote yourself to the truth, be honorable, do what is Biblically right and pure, live in loveliness, and be admired in Christ.  If you are not doing these things and are caught up in the daily grind and routine, your life will constantly be chaotic.  Chaos or peace?  You Choose!!!