Exhortation, Encouragement, Prayer

Philippians 4:2-9

I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. 3 Yes, I ask you also, true companion,[a] help these women, who have labored[b] side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.

4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness[c]be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned[d] and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.


 

Exhortation, Encouragement, and Prayer

Paul further applies the gospel, first to two partners in ministry and then to the Philippian church as a whole. The ministry partners Euodia and Syntyche need to agree in the Lord. Their disunity contradicts the model of Christian servanthood and humility outlined in 2:1–11.

Paul climaxes his teaching on the joy in gospel unity with a two-fold call to rejoice (4:4; cf. 3:1). The reason for rejoicing is the proximity of the Lord’s presence. God conquers anxiety that creates tensions in and among believers through (1) petition, with (2) thanksgiving, which (3) invites God’s all-surpassing peace (4:7). In context, 4:8–9 is a reminder to meditate on all that is true—but particularly on what is honorable, pure, and lovely in the gospel.

Our Christian community, Paul reminds us once more, is to be marked by unity and joy. Relational discord and unappeased anxiety rob our gospel communities of joy. God’s presence means that we can cultivate thankful, praying, peaceful hearts marked by a joyful reflection on what is good. Do you find yourself anxious? Take time to prayerfully memorize and meditate on Philippians 4:4–7.


*These devos are taken from Crossway's, ESV Gospel Transformation Bible.


Blessings.