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  Grappenhall Independent Methodist Church

 



Grappenhall Independent Methodist Church

'The friendly Church on Knutsford Road'


Welcome to Antidote - the cure for anything

Dear Friends, This is the last in this series of articles on Philippians for reflection.  Please let us know if you find them helpful or if you do not wish to receive any more. The next collection will look at the response to individuals meeting the risen Lord

Antidote - 5 Christ my strength - Philippians  chapter 4

So, how are you feeling today? – would you like some Support?  Paul has some answers for us in chapter 4. 

Paul starts by summing up the previous three chapters – this is how you should be – your lives lived for Christ, having the mind-set of Christ and setting Christ as your goal. As we look at our lives how do we match up to this teaching – what part of  our lives are given over to God – it is useful to look at our behaviours as they show what is inside.
 
There was a disagreement between two of the women in the church – Euodia and Syntyche.  They were probably in the initial group Paul met with when he went to Philippi  He pleads with them to be of one mind – remember chapter 2?  He then moves on to the next subject – being joyful.
 
He tells them not to be anxious – take it to God in prayer – think and meditate on the good things – read Psalm 1 which describes the righteous man – God will look after and protect you – Use Paul as a role model – put his teachings into practice
This is not theory – Paul has every right to be worried – look at his position again – under arrest and waiting for the verdict which could have him executed or freed.  How anxious do we feel as the lockdown seems to go on and on?  This message is for us.
 
Paul then moves on to respond to the gift sent with Epaphroditus for which he is grateful. He is at pains to point out that whether he has plenty or has little, he is content.  The secret of being content is to want what you have and Paul has learned this lesson well.  He relies totally on God and in his own words, which is the main verse for this chapter, he says "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Christ my Strength)
 
Paul is not ungrateful for the gifts and he reminds the Philippians that in his early days, of all the churches he was involved with, only they gave him regular gifts.  He receives what he is given with thanks to God but doesn’t expect anything..  The gifts are credited to them and Paul assures them that all their needs will be met by God
Paul handles the issue of receiving by explaining that the gifts are given to God and that God is pleased with them.

How do you feel about people helping you during this period?  It can be a bit unnerving and make us feel inadequate and unable to cope.  By seeing how Paul deals with this makes us feel better.  And don't forget - for every one who gives, there is a receiver.
 
Paul ends his letter with greetings and praise to God – note the special greeting from the saints who are of Caesars household – Paul at work again
 
Paul uses the same style in using the same words frequently as in chapter 1, but here he uses the words Joy and rejoice repeatedly.

Paul reinforces his feelings for the Philippians constantly through this letter.  He regards the church there as home and would want to be there amongst them.
 
How do we see ourselves as Christians – how close to God are we? How committed to God are we?

This is what Paul suggests is the norm for a Christian:
 
Christ my life – to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain
Christ my mind – Let this mind be in you also
Christ my Goal – I want to know Christ
Christ my strength – I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me
 
We have been presented with an opportunity to look at our Christian life during the lockdown.  When we come back together, will we see a new future in our fellowship as our lives are changed and we see Christ as Paul did?


Every blessing

Ray