Thursday, 31 August 2017
I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to agree with each other in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you, loyal yokefellow, help these women who have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life. Phil. 4.2,3
There has been disagreement between two workers and believers. Paul does not state so explicitly, but I wonder if this disagreement has led to division in the community.
Paul sees the good work that both these women have done (contended at my side in the cause of the gospel) and he urges them to deal with their differences so that the good work may proceed and not be tainted. In this he exhorts those close to the two women to help them, to work together for reconciliation and agreement.
Paul’s plea is for unity, harmony and co-operation. These things are as important today as they ever were. I think the greatest dis-service to God and His love and grace comes from within the church when the body bickers, disagrees and brings division in its own state.
I cry out with Paul for disagreements to be resolved and for division to be avoided. In its place I urge harmonious working together to unity of purpose and a blending of all personalities and individuals into a family of love and grace. I believe this to be God’s way. He extends grace to me, and He would have me be gracious to all with whom I am associated.
I ask You to guide me in ways of grace and love. May I seek unity, co-operation and harmony as I journey the road before me. Use me, if You will, to work for these things with others. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Tuesday, 29 August 2017
Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should stand firm in the Lord, dear friends. Phil. 4.1
The genuineness of Christian love, and knowledge and hope for the future allows the believers to encourage one another in present trials.
There is ever a need to stand firm, for the storms of life rage from time to time. The believer needs to know the rock that is there and to stand firm upon that rock.
Paul has a great love for fellow believers. He calls the Philippians “brothers”. They are kinspeople; they are family to him. He loves them and longs for them. I see him cry out for them and for their needs in the longing that he has for them. They are his joy and crown. This is a most wonderful declaration. To see other people in a place of such value in a person’s life is both a reflection and a reminder of how we each stand in Christ.
In a single word, Paul is expressing love for those he presently writes to. This reminds me of the love God has for me. Yet God’s love is more than Paul’s love. I can only imagine the effect that Paul’s love would have had on the Philippians. I can embrace God’s love for me and live in the power of its effect. In God I am whole, I am strong, I am in company – I am not alone, for He is with me. He will guide me and make every provision that I need. Here I see a true “standing firm” in the Lord.
I want to stand firm in the turmoil of this present world. Paul reminds me that the way to do this, the only way, is in You.
I come to You, Lord. I seek Your strength, Your direction for me and Your accompanying of me every step of the way. Hear my plea. Amen.
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