In Philippians 4 Paul encourages his loved ones at Philippi to stand firm in the Lord. He encourages Euodia and Syntyche to agree in the Lord. Paul knew these two women personally; these women were probably deacons in their church, and they were having an inappropriate disagreement. It’s obvious Paul believed these ladies had true hearts for Christ and needed to come together and not be divisive. He set this example for all of us in all of our churches, our lives. We’re not always going to agree, it’s OK to disagree and sometimes it’s really good when we disagree. How we disagree is important. Even when we disagree, we want to stand firm in one spirit, with one mind and always be working side-by-side. I love verses, 6&7

Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with Thanksgiving, let your request be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Instead of worrying about anything, pray, take our requests with a thankful heart to God. I often times pray for God‘s help with things, and then I don’t do my part to allow God‘s blessings in my life. It’s that way with worry for me sometimes, I’ll pray for my concerns that God does not want me to worry about, asking for Him to bless me with His peace. Then, sometimes, I turn around and focus on the negative aspects of my issue which creates worry and anxiety. This of course keeps me from experiencing God‘s peace. As long as I do what Paul teaches here by keeping my focus on whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely and commendable, praising God for all that is in my life, the God of peace will be with me. V13 I remind myself often,

I am able to do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Paul is under house arrest at this particular time of imprisonment which meant that instead of living in a dungeon, he got to live in a house that he rented. This care package he received from the Philippians helped him to pay the rent. Paul thanks them and mentions that they’ve sent him gifts serval times before. In verse 17

not that I seek the gift, but I seek the profit that is increasing to your account.

In the original translation Paul uses key words that were used in the Roman empire to describe lending institutions and the accumulation of interest. The Philippian’s gifts are not only helping Paul live so he could continue his ministry for Christ, but it is adding to the benefits these people were receiving in God’s heavenly kingdom. Paul would take that investment and grow it’s value in his ministry. Do you ever wonder what your interest rate in God’s kingdom is? How often do you give to that account? I sometimes forget that my attitude alone can add to the account, the kind of love and attention I show to others. When I unjustly feel critical of others or feel a dislike for others in my heart, does that withdraw from my account? Ouch! As Paul ends the letter to the Philippians he says

all the saints greet you but especially those from Caesar’s household.

I looked over that passage for years without realizing that even though Paul was in prison, his ministry was very strong converting many people to Christianity, people within Nero’s household. At this time in history, Nero was in power and it was known that there were many Christians around Nero within his household as it was not illegal to be a Christian yet. We’re blessed in our country that it is not illegal to be a Christian. There are people who suggest that one of the political parties is trying to do away with Christianity. Some people find Christianity to be very threatening to them in their life, their world, because Christianity goes against what they wish to believe. Will being a Christian be against the law in the United States for our children, our grandchildren? This is a hard reality to consider and most people choose not to think about it. We should be praying about it, and the investments we make towards God’s kingdom here on earth now will pay dividends when we go home to be with Christ. Are we leaving a Christian legacy that will last through our children and grandchildren?

In his letter to the Colossians, like many of Paul’s other letters, Paul recognizes and thanks the church of Colossae for their work of faith, endurance of hope and labor of love. For their increase in the quality of their faith in Jesus Christ. In verse 9 he lets them know that he is praying for them to experience supernatural wisdom. In verse 10 he is praying for their maturity in Christ and verse 11 for them to experience supernatural power. Shouldn’t we be praying this for ourselves, our family, our churches and community every day? Praying like that should be a priority in my life every day.