Sermons

Summary: Message 28 from Philippians. This is the third of four messages exploring Paul's admonition pray rather than worry.

Chico Alliance Church

March 26, 2017

“Living in Peace” Pt 3

Paul specified some specific joy related actions throughout chapter four.

• Stand firm in the Lord 4:1

• Harmonize in the Lord 4:2-3

• Rejoice in the Lord always 4:4

• Cultivate the Gentleness of the Lord 4:5

• Cultivate a life of persistent prayer to the Lord 4:6-8

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-8

There are three basic instructions in this passage leading toward a life of peace.

Cultivate a life of engaging gentleness over unsettling contention.

Cultivate a life of consistent prayer over persistent worry.

Cultivate a life of positive thinking over negative thinking.

The result of following his instructions is God’s supernatural peace guarding our hearts and minds and enabling us to recognize the presence of the God of peace.

Cultivate a life of consistent prayer over persistent worry.

Mandate to eliminate persistent anxiety 4:6a

Be anxious for nothing

Mandate to practice persistent prayer 4:6b

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to (a caring present) God. Philippians 4:6

The main command is to regularly “let your requests be made known to God”.

Peter urged his readers to do basically the same.

Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, having cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7

The implication is that having cast all your anxiety on the God who always cares for you, humbly submit to God’s work in your life not matter how difficult.

Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken. Psa 55:22

The foundation of dealing with fret and fear begins with trust in a loving God who is always near.

In contrast to being anxious about anything, Paul urged the Philippians to talk to God about everything.

The main verb action in this verse is “let your requests be made known to God.” The other terms elaborate on the main action. Paul called for a habitual action. “Regularly let your requests be made known unto God.”

Paul instructed them to talk to God every time anxiety occurs. Stop fretting about ANYTHING but always let your requests me made known to God in EVERYTHING. The noun form (a?t?µa) appears only two other times besides this one. The verb form of this term (a?t??), appears 71 times. It communicates the idea to ask, beg, call for, crave, desire, require. Paul encouraged them to let their requests, desires “be made known” to God

Obviously, God already knows what we desire but encourages us to humbly express those desires to Him. The first qualifier in this command deals with the scope of our asking. Paul applied this “asking” to everything. One could possibly limit the “everything” to everything related to our anxiety. One could also view the “everything” to include everything concerning our life.

The invitation to ask God concerning the desires of our heart appears often. Connect the invitation with the promise to hear and act and it seems overwhelming. We wonder why we don’t ask more. James clearly indicates that there are some things that don’t happen because we don’t ask. He also encourages us to ask in faith without doubting. Sometimes God answers prayer even when we doubt. Herod had imprisoned Peter with ill-intent. He had already executed John’s brother James and intended to execute Peter next. The scene is very interesting. Despite possible execution, Peter was sleeping chained between two soldiers. A small group of Jesus followers gathered at Mary’s house to pray for Peter. Despite their apparent unbelief, God powerfully sprung Peter from prison anyway. How do I know they didn’t expect God to answer their prayers?

When Peter came to the door and the servant girl reported it to the group…

They said to her, "You are out of your mind!" But she kept insisting that it was so. They kept saying, "It is his angel." But Peter continued knocking; and when they had opened the door, they saw him and were amazed. Acts 12:15-16

All things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you. Mark 11:24

This practice of asking includes prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving.

“by prayer”

The noun and verb appear 120 times “prayer” and “pray”, “Prayer” is personal interaction with God to exchange our wishes (human intentions) for learning God's will through faith.

John reinforces this idea regarding our conversations with God.

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