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July 11, 2017

THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 11 July 2017

The angel of death who had said upon entering the plague-stricken city that he meant to kill ten thousand people, was accused on the way out of having slain forty thousand.

“I kept my word,” he answered. “I killed but ten thousand. Fear killed the rest!” [Marion Harland, The Secret of a Happy Home (New York: Christian Herald, 1896) 314].

Anxiety and worry is one of the greatest problems that we encounter in life. In a medical pamphlet, Dr. Charles Mayo (of the famous Mayo Clinic) remarked, “Worry affects the circulation, the heart, the glands, the whole nervous system and profoundly affects the health.”

Matthew 6:34 – So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

“Worry affects a man’s judgment, lessens his powers of decision, and renders him progressively incapable of dealing with life” [William Barclay, The Gospel of Matthew, 2 vols. (Edinburgh: Saint Andrews Press, 1987) 1:259]. Surely, it is a vote of no confidence for the believer to worry when the loving heavenly Father has promised to cause “all things to work together for good to those who love [Him], to those who are called according to His purpose” (Rom 8:28).

Philippians 4 communicates how to be “rejoicing in all things.” Verse 1 exhorts believers to “stand firm” because the primary reason for the book of Philippians is to encourage the readers to rejoice in the Lord, and also to reassure the church with regard to God’s sovereign will. The believers also needed to be warned regarding false teaching both among and beyond the church.

The relationship of Philippians 4:1 to the previous chapter demonstrates the expectation and reality of the Lord’s return as motivation to live in a manner worthy of Him. Scripture contains many exhortations to “stand firm” and “stand fast” (e.g. 1 Cor 16:13; Gal 5:1; Eph 6:13-14; Col 4:12). The Epistle to the Philippians contains a threefold responsibility: (1) “press on” (3:13-14); (2) “walk” (3:17); and, “stand” (4:1).

COMMAND

IMPLICATION

“press on”

know the goal

“walk”

know the Lord

“stand”

know the provision

A relationship of trust with the Lord forms true strength, which the Holy Spirit uses beyond one’s ability. Moreover, as a result of the truth that Jesus will return, the church is to stand together (cf. “my joy and crown” with 1 Thess 2:19). The Apostle’s description of the church as his “joy and crown” is certainly not flattery for they had loyally supported his ministry (4:15-16). Philippians 4 will continue to indicate the best things in life that God has for those who trust in Him.

The godly virtues that are mentioned in Philippians 4:1-9 can be summarized with two words: excellent and praiseworthy. Excellence is what is best in every aspect of life: the philosophical summum bonum (“the highest good”) for which every person should strive. Within the context of Philippians 4, the highest good is the ethical best that a believer can achieve in the Lord.

John 16:33 – [Jesus said,] “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

The things worthy of praise would reflect the best life that one can live for the Lord and the best reputation one can achieve among others. God promises his peace as we concentrate our thinking in this regard.

P.S. Reminder: due to the Fourth of July being on the first Tuesday (and only for the month of July), the Capitol Commission Bible Study will be held on the third Tuesday: 18 July 2017.

 

Grace and Peace to You,

Ron J. Bigalke, Ph.D.
Capitol Commission Georgia


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Capitol Commission is prepared to encourage and enable local churches to participate in reaching our capitol communities for Christ (1 Tim 2:1-4). We only need to hear from you, if you have not already contacted us. We also seek to enlist individuals, businesses, and churches to become strategic partners with us in this ministry (2 Cor 8:3-6). Our success as a ministry is based upon God blessing all facets of the ministry, which certainly includes partners in this ministry. We earnestly desire to engage those who desire to participate in the ministry by offering their time and talents (Matt 25:20). If you have not already done so, join us and experience the joy of bringing hope, light, transformation, and truth to those who constitute our capitol communities.