Beta Group: New Resources

Philippians 4:1-9

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!

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.

Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me--put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

It never hurts to point out that the quote says "in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."  It doesn't say "Thank God for this nasty X, no matter how much it hurts."  We can always be thankful for what God has done in our lives, and for his qualities of mercy, love, generosity, and so on.

"Let your gentleness be evident to all."  Gentleness does not mean being trampled on and saying "thank you kind sir for the mud off your boots, and your gracious attention."  Gentleness translates as moderation, or graciousness.

How much of what we encounter daily is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy?  Why?  What does our culture tend to show us daily?

Anxiety is a mental illness that is spreading.  This is another case where we need another word to distinguish the mental condition anxiety and the passing feeling of anxiety, same as with depression.  Peace is mentioned twice in quick succession, the peace of God, and the God of peace, both of which are promised to us.  Peace is a solution to anxiety, as one church billboard says, "Why pray when you can worry and take tranquilizers?"  Overly cute, but the essence is true.  What does peace look like?

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