Philippians 4:4-12 4 Be glad in the Lord always! Again I say, be glad! 5 Let your gentleness show in your treatment of all people. The Lord is near. 6 Don’t be anxious about anything; rather, bring up all of your requests to God in your prayers and petitions, along with giving thanks. 7 Then the peace of God that exceeds all understanding will keep your hearts and minds safe in Christ Jesus. 8 From now on, brothers and sisters, if anything is excellent and if anything is admirable, focus your thoughts on these things: all that is true, all that is holy, all that is just, all that is pure, all that is lovely, and all that is worthy of praise. 9 Practice these things: whatever you learned, received, heard, or saw in us. The God of peace will be with you. 10 I was very glad in the Lord because now at last you have shown concern for me again. (Of course you were always concerned but had no way to show it.) 11 I’m not saying this because I need anything, for I have learned how to be content in any circumstance. 12 I know the experience of being in need and of having more than enough; I have learned the secret to being content in any and every circumstance, whether full or hungry or whether having plenty or being poor.
Thoughts: How would we define peace? The Apostle Paul said that God's peace exceeds all human understanding. This statement makes sense when we realize he is writing this from the darkness, musty, dreary, uncomfortable, unfriendly and loud prison cell. Even here Paul tells of God's peace that he carried with him. He also shared the key to his dwelling in God's peace; to talk to God in prayer about anything and everything that might worry him.
As I think of what brings me peace my first answer would be a peace that allows me to escape. Looking out a window at an incredible view, laying in a hammock, simply holding hands with my wife to name a few. It is a peace that takes us away from trouble or facing something. The peace Jesus offers us and Paul tells of, is a peace of victory or conquest. A conquest that life cannot take away, or sorrow diminish. It is a peace independent of outward circumstances. And my favorite part of this verse, I highlighted in bold, is Paul was not born with this understanding it was a learned condition. He discovered this peace through the Word of God and the teachings of Jesus. " I have learned how to be content in any circumstance." ” In what conditions, good or bad, do you find it a struggle to remain in God’s peace? What examples or experiences have helped you learn to make choices and take actions that lead you toward accepting God’s gift of peace? In and through God He has given us everything we need. Have a peaceful week and I hope to see you in church.
Gracious God, Father of creation I seek you in my life everyday. From my waking moment until I rest my head may my heart be seeking Your wisdom. Lord I thank you for yesterday and the fun, love and laughter that was displayed for those who blessed us here at EOCC with their presence. Thank you for those who served in so many ways, from organizing the entire event to serving delicious food Your people gathered to serve the greater community. Lord, I pray for those who are hurting, those who are lost or being deceived. I pray for those who have left this fellowship and are worshipping else where. Lord, bless us all.
Father, as families prepare for a new school year may I also prepare to seek you at a deeper level. May my commitment grow as I walk with you. Lord forgive me of my sinfulness, forgive me when I turn away from serving for selfish reasons. Lord, I pray for the church I serve, for its health and growth. Lord, show me thy ways as I pray this and all in the name of Your Son Jesus. Amen
Meet the pastor
Rev. Pastor Carl Schreiber has been serving East Orrington Congregational Church (EOCC) since March 12, 2006