Joy in Right Personal Relationships
Book of Philippians Chapter 4
Having a personal relationship with God is not only a wonderful thing but God requires us to get up close and personal with Him. We sometimes forget that God made His plan of salvation even before He created this earth. There is no secret formula in obtaining this relationship. Just as soon as we realize that we are a sinner in need of a Savior, we are one step away from a personal relationship with our Heavenly Father.
2Ti_1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
Tit_1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
We must take that next step to begin knowing the truth of God and that next step is “Faith”!
Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
As we close out our study in the Book of Philippians we have seen that the main topic has been “Joy” in knowing the Lord Jesus Christ in a very personal way!
*****Php 4:1 Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.
Notice that whenever we are in agreement with the salvation plan of God, we are in agreement with each other and therefore brothers and sisters in the same family of Christ.
The spiritual condition of our church, which is in the Lord, brings comfort when we gather together.
God does not ask to stand fast in anything of this world. All the things of this world are either partial, or they are limited, and they are all certainly temporary.
The only thing permanent is the Lord and the things He has accomplished for our salvation. So, we must persevere in the “Gospel”!
Rom 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
Rom 5:2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
It should be obvious that it is only the believer who can be at peace with God and it is only the believer who can have a personal relationship with our Heavenly Father, through His Son Jesus Christ and by the Holy Spirit!
Anyone who denies the work of the Lord Jesus Christ can never be at peace with God!
The very first step to peace and a growing personal relationship with the Lord is to stand firm in the Word of God.
1Co_15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
Obviously putting our tail between our legs and running to hide every time we are confronted about the truth of God is not being stedfast!
Stedfast means to be firmly fixed and established in the truth of God!
God wants us to show peace but God does not want a bunch of wimps!
We must overcome the temptation to surrender to the world. We do this by knowing where our strength will come from. We are to be steadfast “in the Lord”!
When we walk and talk in the Lord our armor will be thick!
Then Paul commends some who made the ministry of Paul such a success.
*****Php 4:2 I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord.
Php 4:3 And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.
It seems that Euodias and Syntyche were to ladies in the church in Philippi that would argue at the drop of a hat and drop their own hat. They had help the Apostle Paul but they had also listened to some false teachers and it had messed them up.
It only takes one false teacher to get into the church to cause problems that can take much time to repair!
Just as with the Lord Jesus Christ, many women of the church had contributed not only financing but time and labor to see that the church was established and the Word of God flowed freely.
Even today it is the godly women of the church who sometimes carry the heaviest of burdens, especially with the children of the church!
We all must be true yokefellow in the work of the church.
The yokefellow is the person who pulls and works and cooperates with those of the church who are also doing the same!
As we have that personal relationship with the Lord that grows, then that personal relationship with all those true yokefellows will grow!
It is these same people of the church who should step up when quarrels begin in the church.
The absolute greatest one event in our life time is to have our name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
The next event in our life is to be obedient to all the Word of God!
When we all agree that we live by the Word of truth then there is no arguing and there is no dispute at what God has said.
Minor differences that have nothing to do with salvation and can be solved with sincere and earnest Bible study, should be dismissed for the sake of arguing.
Gal 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
Gal 6:2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
Gal 6:3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.
Gal 6:4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.
Gal 6:5 For every man shall bear his own burden.
1Th 5:14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.
The greatest method of a personal relationship in the church is to always rejoice in the Lord!
*****Php 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
When we cannot rejoice in the fact that the Lord has blotted out all our sin and sin no longer exist to be counted against us, then we are surely a sad bunch of people.
When the Lord rejoices over every sinner who is saved and we cannot rejoice ourselves it does not speak well for the Christian!
Joy cannot be defined it must be felt to be known!
Sin brings doom and gloom once it is realized.
To a Christian, doom and gloom should never exist.
In fact, the Lord says we have no reason not to always rejoice in fact, if we listen to the Lord and obey what He says, then we will rejoice and when we are finished we will rejoice again!
If we had one duty to perform in our Christian life, then it would be the duty to “rejoice” over our salvation!
The Lord Jesus Christ was anointed with the “oil of gladness”. To get up close and personal with the Lord is to share in that anointing!
Psa_45:7 Thou lowest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
We are to even to rejoice in our tribulations!
1Pe 4:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
The change from our old sinful life and our new “Born Again” should be noticeable to all those who knew us in are old life!
*****Php 4:5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
There is a song that mentions a “sweet, sweet spirit”. Well the world should look at the Christian and see the “sweet spirit” that rules our lives!
The Christian should have a noticeable gentleness about them but still retain a boldness for the Word of God.
We should not be fooled by predictions of the Lord’s return because the Lord will certainly return but no one can know the day or the hour!
Mat 24:36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
Mat 24:37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Mat 24:38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
Mat 24:39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
The truth is, most all remaining prophecy deals with the Nation of Israel and the only event that can come before that time that remains is the “Rapture” of the Church.
It is obvious that all signs lead to the soon coming of the Lord and we are fools if we do not believe that the world is ignoring the Word of God and is just going about their sinful ways as if God does not exist, just as it was in the days of Noah who had warned the world of that day for 120 years.
The Lord is certainly at hand.
We must therefore be gentle in our actions but bold in the truth of God as we deal with those who have not heard the Word of God.
We must be gentle in our actions and bold in the truth of God to all those who have heard the Word of God and yet have not come to a decision.
We must be bold in the Word of God to those who continuously reject the Word of God but still retain our Christian gladness when dealing with these.
Remember those who scream the loudest are in the minority, most all others are just confused, not knowing the truth!
We must reach out to the world in obedience to the Lord!
The “Gospel” is the “Good news” and it always will be.
It is “Good News” to know that your sin debt has been paid for!
It is better news to know you name is written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life!
Jas 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
Jas 3:18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.
We must never worry at what is going on in this world!
*****Php 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
Php 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
We must never be careless in our actions but we must also be free from anxiety about the things this world will throw at us to distract us from our task which is to be obedient to the Lord’s great commission.
This world continuously does things to distract the Christian including but not limited to persecution!
No matter how great our obstacles and no matter how small our obstacles we need to take them to the Lord in prayer.
The only workable answer to the trials and the temptations of this world is having the peace of God.
Supplication means to humble yourself before the Living God.
Let’s remember King Hezekiah:
2Ch_34:27 Because thine heart was tender, and thou didst humble thyself before God, when thou heardest his words against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, and humbledst thyself before me, and didst rend thy clothes, and weep before me; I have even heard thee also, saith the LORD.
There are many ways to go the Lord but to be humble is the absolute best and not only thank the Lord for what He has already done but we need to thank the Lord for what He is about to do.
If you do not have “faith” that God will answer your prayer then why pray and to thank the Lord for that answer even before you get that answer is a great show of “faith”!
The answer to every question that we have is the Lord Jesus Christ. The only answer to worry and anxiety is to receive an injection of “Supernatural Power” from above!
We must always remember worry and anxiety show a distrust in the Lord. It’s like saying the promises of God are not real.
We must clearly understand that without “faith” we simply cannot please God.
Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
When we do all these things right then we will be at peace and nothing in this world can rob us of that peace!
We must first have peace with God!
Rom_5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
We can then have the peace of God!
1Th_5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
This is the peace that will keep our hearts and minds but it can only come by the Lord Jesus Christ!
We must let the peace of God rule in our hearts to avoid the pitfalls of this world that cause us and keep unity in the Church.
Col 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
Col 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Col 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
So many places of worship have lost the power of God just because the peace of God no longer rule in their hearts and has been replaced by the cares of this world!
We must cling to the truth of God with both hands and with all our heart, our mind and our soul!
*****Php 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Php 4:9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
The truth is peace of mind can only come through positive thinking!
1) We must be free from lying. Lying is an attempt to deceive. Lying is contrary to the nature of God because God is truth Himself!
Joh_14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Lying is also contrary to our new nature!
Eph 4:25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.
Our integrity as a Christian must be protected in all our actions!
Eph 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Eph 6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
2) We must be honest in all our transactions!
2Co 8:21 Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.
3) To be just is to do right not only before God but before mankind. To be just in the eyes of God is to do our little part to further the Gospel of Jesus Christ with a mind of good and righteous thoughts.
Isa 26:7 The way of the just is uprightness: thou, most upright, dost weigh the path of the just.
4) To be pure, is to be free from the pollutions of this world and moral in every thought. After all our goal is to be like Christ Jesus!
1Jn 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
1Jn 3:3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
5) To be lovely, is to build people up and not ever to tear them down. It also showing loving kindness to all people.
1Pe 4:8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
1Pe 4:9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging.
1Pe 4:10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
6) Things of good report are those things that are according to the Word of God. Anything that goes against the Word of God is then evil.
1Ti 3:7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
7) Virtue is moral goodness. Abstaining from even the appearance of doing evil. Virtue has the meaning of excellence.
2Pe 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
2Pe 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
2Pe 1:5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
2Pe 1:6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
2Pe 1:7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
2Pe 1:8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
8) The truth of all these things is, that we are not to do these things for the opportunity of seeking praise from others but it is right to praise things that are done according to the Word of God!
We can have peace with God when we understand we are to act according to His principles and the goal of all these things is to reach a higher end.
Paul is saying that these are the things that have kept him going all his years since coming to know Jesus Christ as his Lord and His God.
We must clearly understand that as we absorb the Word of God we must make application of God’s Word to our lives, again not for praise but just because we love the Lord.
We must take self totally out of this picture and it will be replaced with the peace of God that defies understanding by those who reject the Lord.
The God of Peace becomes the Lord of our soul!
Paul then changes the subject, having made his point to the Church!
*****Php 4:10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.
Php 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
What happens when a Church thinks right, acts right, and loves right? They become a mission minded Church!
We can see that there was a time when this church was not thinking right.
Today the modern-day church is not as mission minded because they are too busy becoming political correct. They do not think right, nor act right nor love right and the support of missions has ceased.
Can you just imagine the results if the mega churches of this world would tithe a tenth of their donations to the mission field today? This would encourage the members to also give.
This church in Philippi who had first supported the Apostle Paul had ceased but now had been revived and began again to support this missionary and church planter.
Notice also that during that time when this church had dropped their support of Paul, the Lord had still met his needs.
Paul rejoiced in the Lord not because he was receiving that support but because they had reach this point of thinking the right way again. They had taken their eyes back off the world and focused on the Lord Jesus Christ!
What was important for Paul should also be important for each believer. We must learn that no matter what state we are in we must be content with what the Lord has provided!
God promised to meet our needs. God did not promise to make us rich.
When we are thinking right we will be content with what the Lord has provided!
1Ti 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
1Ti 6:7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
1Ti 6:8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
We should also remember that God will sometimes give us an abundance, to see if we will take that opportunity to further the Gospel.
What is still the most important gift that the Lord has given us?
Heb 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
We have the Holy Spirit who lives within us to seal us from evil.
We have the Spirit of Jesus who lives within us to guide us in the ways of the Church.
God is Spirit and He also lives within us to teach us all things.
Paul knew all these things!
*****Php 4:12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
Php 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
One of the most important things that we need to know as Christians is, how to be abased. Abased means to be humble. If we cannot humble ourselves before Jesus Christ, then we will never know salvation.
In Paul’s case, it also meant humiliation. As we live in this world today we can see that this world is trying its best to cause humiliation to all Christians by pointing out the acts of so-called Christians!
The next important lesson for us in this world is to learn how to abound. To abound, is expressing contentment and confidence in our Savior and our God!
The Word of God has instructions for us when we are full but more important we can find the tools we need for our hunger.
The Word of God will teach us how to abound but the Lord will never leave us in our time of need!
There is nothing we cannot overcome through the Lord Jesus Christ!
It is only after we learn these valuable lessons that we can be of help to others!
Do you realize when Jesus Christ is our strength we can even fulfill all the will of God but without Him be will only fail.
Jesus Christ is not only our strength but He is our durability!
Jesus Christ is our strength to do all things but He is also our strength to suffer all things!
Having the strength of Christ will not make us gods or make us any better than anyone else.
We will never be anything on this earth but sinners saved by the “Grace” of God.
We must always be conscious of our own weakness before the Lord will share His strength with us!
If the Lord calls us into His work, He will provide the means for His work to be accomplished!
Joh 15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
Joh 15:8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
The truth is when we understand the will of God for our own lives we will certainly not forget others who are fulfilling the will of God with their own lives!
*****Php 4:14 Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction.
Php 4:15 Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.
Php 4:16 For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity.
Php 4:17 Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.
When we have fellowship with each other we can also have fellowship with the afflictions of each other!
The truth is, God expects us to conquer to all our difficulties through the strength of Jesus Christ.
It is a fact though some Pastors are taken care of by their Church, the biggest part of the churches of today do not meet the needs of their Pastor.
It is also a fact that most all missionaries never have all the things they need for the work of the Lord but God has taught them to be content with the things that they do have.
The greatest gift of the Christian is the fact that we have the Lord living within us!
It is this personal relationship with the Lord that allows us to accomplish the work that we are able to accomplish!
We should also be aware that Paul had great concern for the poverty of these wonderful children of God in this church at Philippi.
We see a Pastor must always be aware of all the people of his flock.
It is wrong to expect people to give and neglect their own needs and the needs of their families. God has set the standard for giving and that is between them and God.
An offering comes from our abundance. When there is an abundance it will because God has blessed with extra.
This church had done well that they had communicated with the afflictions of the Apostle Paul!
We should have no problem seeing that God will bless those who support the furthering of the “Gospel”.
We should have no problem seeing that God will bless those who have that close personal relationship with the Lord!
This does not mean that Paul teaches a prosperity Gospel!
This little church had a heart for missions!
When we make a commitment to support a missionary then we should continue that support. It hurt Paul than none of the other churches had such a heart for missions as did the church in Philippi.
God can do the job without our support but He will certainly bless those that give, even sometimes when it hurts a little!
Even when Paul was trying to establish a church in another foreign land, the church at Philippi continued to support the Apostle Paul.
Paul was moving forward but he did have a lack to meet his personal need.
Notice what Paul says here.
The fruit that came from the Church at Thessalonica was not only fruit added to the heavenly account of the Apostle Paul but also to the account of the church in Philippi.
Heavenly rewards are given to all those who support the furthering of the “Gospel”!
If we have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ we will still be supporting the missions of the Apostle Paul today!
*****Php 4:18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.
Php 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Php 4:20 Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
The truth of sacrificial giving is that it is a sacrifice to the Lord. When we support our missionaries and even our Pastor we are actually giving directly to the Lord.
God will certainly repay with rewards in Heaven but each of have needs that only the Lord knows and He will meet those needs also.
The Lord Jesus Christ sacrificed Himself to meet our need of being reconciled to God surely, we can sacrifice some things to further the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ.
Eph 5:1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
Eph 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.
These people had more than met the needs of the Apostle Paul and these things are pleasing to God.
Heb 13:16 But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
What is one of the great promises God makes to each believer? God will supply “all” our need by Jesus Christ and our greatest need was salvation!
Notice that the need is not specific because we all have different needs.
These needs do not just refer to physical needs of food, clothing, and shelter but also to emotional, mental, social, spiritual needs!
Any need that arises is the need that the Lord can and will provide!
God has unlimited resource in all things!
2Co 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:
2Co 9:15 Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.
And Paul says goodbye.
*****Php 4:21 Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren which are with me greet you.
Php 4:22 All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar’s household.
Php 4:23 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
You know maybe the worst thing we do to each brother and sister in Christ, we do not show them how much we appreciate them.
The very people we will spend eternity with we sometimes ignore. I must preach to myself on this one especially.
I don’t know what life will be like in the New Heaven but I already know we will still know each other.
1Co_13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
The greatest thing of Heaven will of course be the Lord.
The next may be that there will be no sin at all.
But surely ranking high will be that we will truly know each other without the obstacles that cause so many problems in this world.
We all be perfect just as our Savior!
1Jn_3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
Heaven will be more than wonderful!
But we need to wrap our minds around the fact that we had to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ upon this earth before we could have that personal relationship with all the Saints of God in the New Heaven!
There will be no discrimination nor favoritism in Heaven so why do we allow these things to interfere with our relationship now?
The government of Rome was hated by most the nations where they dominated and Paul made these Philippian saints aware that there would be some saints from that government. They had become the children of God.
Even these who had ruled and had exalted themselves above the other nations had humbled themselves in the sight of God and been saved.
Now even the lowest of saints was equal to the highest of saints.
Php 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
Php 2:4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
Php 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
As by the “Grace” of the Lord Jesus Christ we are saved we need to show that same “Grace” to all our brothers and sisters in Christ and use that same “Grace” to open the doors of conversation to those who are lost!
Php 1:2 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Remember, Grace is the unmerited favor of God!