“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 NKJV
Dear Heavenly Father – Thank you Lord for your grace which you have continually wrapped us in. Thank for your providence and blessing. Please open our eyes to see you and our ears to hear from you. Wake us up, and please open our understanding. In the name of Jesus – Amen
As we know this verse begins with the word “and” so we are trying to study all that comes before it to understand all that this verse is adding onto with that word, “and”. While trying to read this chapter to get to the promise of God suppling all our needs – we have learned that we cannot put anything before God. We learned more about how God views us and in that truth we can stand fast and be strong in faith. We have learned that agreement is a powerful tool which causes the power of God to work! God suppling our needs is one of the promises of God we can stand fast on when we put God first, know who we are in God’s eyes and agree in prayer. This passage is packed with encouragement and gems – let us be excited to continue! Amen?? (Where are my agreeing partners, pulling Jesus into this study with us?!?!)
“And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life.” Philippians 4:3 NKJV
Hey, Ladies!!! Don’t we all love Paul!!! Paul sees us. Paul shows us that God sees us. Through the words of Paul, God Himself validates our worth and our ministries and our gifts and our being. Always such a beautiful thing when we read the word of God and see God looking right back at us – He sees us and is sending help! This study is for both men and women readers – I just needed to give the ladies that little insight. But Men, if God sees the ladies then you ought to as well.
Starting at the beginning of this verse – the urge is addressed to the ‘true companions’. Who are the true companions? They are those who truly have a relationship with God through Christ and are His companions – those who also because of that relationship with God through Christ, are in fellowship, companionship, and have a relationship with each other as part of the body of Christ. This is for both the men and the women (and the children). And what are we supposed to do? Help. Assist. Of course we should help everyone – but the women are often overlooked. This verse is designed to draw eyes and attention to the women. Help them as they labor with, and in support, of ministries. I watch the women work tirelessly behind the scenes for many ministries. Help them. And for those ‘tireless’ women, hang in there, because God is sending help.
(Also note that working, managing the home and raising the children is also a ministry if being done unto God, as a ministry unto Him for the edification of her husband. Therefore, help her too!)
Tell me of a church without a group of middle-aged (and older) women who gather together in prayer continually for their church and I will say to you – that church is dead. I do not need to see it to say that. If they are showing signs of healings and miracles, I promise you they are false prophets. A critical ministry where women support the church is often in prayer and THAT is where the battle is won. If the church is growing – it is because of their prayers. If lives are being saved, it is because of their prayers. If demons are being cast out and people are being healed, it is because of the support of these praying women. Women tend to mother their churches in this ministry the same way they mother their children – in prayer!
Can men be on the prayer team too? Of course – in the New Testament church women and men are both in all ministries. Is my opinion of these praying women Biblically based? Only partially. The Bible shows loose examples of the prayer support of women. But go to different church and talk with people from different churches and you will see – the women in the prayer closets determine the temperature of the church. My opinion is based on direct observation and revelation from God.
So, help these women. Help all the women in ministry. From the church bathroom cleaners to the Sunday school teachers to the prayer warriors to the preachers and evangelists and all in between. Help the women. If you are a believer, then for the glory of God help the women whose names are written in the Book of Life!
And Paul then adds – Help all whose names are written in the Book of Life. – We are to be helpers.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” Philippians 4:4 NKJV
Here is a common verse which we all love to sing and quote – but did you ever notice it follows “help the women”? Well, Paul, after you told the church to help us out – I for one am rejoicing. After acknowledging our ministries and valuing our labor with you for the gospel – I am rejoicing again!!!
Although verse 4, here, is also thought to be part of Letter B and the above verses (1-3) are thought to be Letter C (as I explained in part 1 of this series). In which case our ‘rejoices’ are not in direct reference to the above verse, however applicable that is. And since it IS in this order in our Bible, it is not wrong to rejoice over the knowledge of these first few verses.
We do know that I am all fired up about “grace” and practically jump out of my seat at the word. Paul was pretty fired up about joy! The joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10)! As a Jewish man, he, no doubt, knew this passage and applied it to his life – especially when he was imprisoned. (Recall the passage about him praising and worshiping in prison?) Well, funny you should bring that up – because Paul wrote this when he was in prison!
Prisons back then were not as nice as they are now. Dirt, thick heavy chains, rodents, maybe a rock to sit on if you were lucky and what about bathrooms??? Yea, they were horrible places. What was the worst situation you have been in? What was your hardship? When you were in the middle of it, were you trying to write a letter home encouraging them to rejoice (and rejoice again)? Were you also practicing this joy by singing until your chains fell off and the prison shook open?
“Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.” Philippians 4:5 NKJV
We should actively show gentleness. With riots, all the lawlessness and civil unrest in the United States (and all over the globe) we need more gentleness. I see memes that say we need kindness – but moreover, we need gentleness! And why? “The Lord is at hand.”
Gentleness can be the difference in our witness and in the salvation of someone we know. The Lord, His will, the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. Throughout the book of Philippians and the New Testament, there is an expressed urgency. They preached the Lord’s prompt return – how much more should we be preaching it as we are obviously closer than they were to Jesus’s return? Not only, but life is fragile – you and I may not have the opportunity again to bear witness and be gentle to someone who might deeply need an experience with our merciful, gentle Father.
Maybe even today – you need, or you know someone who needs, more gentleness in their lives. Through grace you can be the gentleness and receive the gentleness of God. The gentleness to rejoice in the Lord and rejoice again. The gentleness to be the help or accept the help that the Lord is sending.
He will provide all your needs. He will. In the meantime, rejoice and be gentle. And remember the Lord is at hand. These are all part of our relationship with God, through Christ Jesus.
If you don’t already, and today you would like to have a relationship with a God who can communicate with you and be part of your life (and protect you) – one who is full of mighty power and tender love, then please know that I have put the “A, B, C’s of Salvation” in my introduction. Please click here to follow the link.**
Thank you for reading ~ Grace be with you
Be healthy and blessed ~ I love you and love one another
Watch and Pray ~ Seek God & keep your eyes on Jesus!
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!