In the Lord
PHILIPPIANS 4:2 - 3
Three times in the first four verses of this fourth chapter the words "in the Lord" are found. There are three great commands that Paul gives "in the Lord."
(1) The Philippians are to stand fast in the Lord. Only with Jesus can a person resist the seductions of temptation and the weakness of cowardice. The word Paul uses for stand fast (stekete) is the word used for a soldier standing fast in the face of battle, with the enemy surging down upon him. We know very well that there are some people in whose company it is easy to do the wrong thing and there are some in whose company it is easy to resist the wrong thing. Our only safety against temptation is to be in the Lord, always feeling His presence with us. The Church and the individual Christian can stand fast only when they stand in the Lord.
(2nd) Paul bids Euodia and Syntyche to agree in the Lord. There cannot be any unity unless it is in Jesus. In ordinary human affairs, it repeatedly happens that the most different people can be held together because they follow the same leader. Take the leader away, and the group would disintegrate into isolated and often warring units. People cannot really love each other until they love Jesus. The brotherhood of man is impossible without the lordship of Jesus.
(3rd) Paul bids the Philippians to rejoice in the Lord. The one thing people need to learn about JOY is that it has nothing to do with material things or with a person's outward circumstances. It is the simple fact of human experience that a person living in the lap of luxury can be wretched and another person living in the depths of poverty can overflow with joy. A person upon whom life has apparently inflicted no blows at all can be gloomily or peevishly discontented, and a person upon whom life has inflicted every possible blow can be serenely joyful.
The secret is this happiness doesn't depend on things or places, but always on people. If we are with the right person, nothing else matters; if we are not with the right person nothing can make up for that. The Christian is in the Lord Jesus, the greatest of all friends; nothing can separate the Christian from His presence and so nothing can take away His joy.
Life Application: Have you ever been alone in a strange place? My family and I have traveled to foreign countries where English was not the language, and we didn't speak their language. But when we found someone who spoke English, we had a friend. In Heaven, we will all speak the same language and we will have a lot of friends.
Praise/Prayer: Dear Father, thank You for the friendship that we have here with You while we are waiting to be with You in Heaven. You give us the song to sing and the friends that we must have to be sure to make Heaven our home with You. What A day it will be when all God's children come home to Father's kingdom. Thank You for the hope and joy while waiting. Amen!