The Secure Mind - Cont'd.
Verses 8-9: Paul says that one thing that will go a long way to helping
us maintain the focus on the Lord, is to focus our energies, our attentions
on those things that are uplifting versus those things that will bring us
down. (GIGO - garbage in, garbage out.) Wiersbe notes:
"Dr. Walter Cavert reported a survey on worry that indicated that only 8%
of the things people worried about were legitimate matters of concern! The
other 92% were either imaginary, never happened, or involved matters over
which the people had no control anyway." 3
Satan wants us to worry. Paul wants us to focus on the things that are truly
pure, noble, etc, are epitomized by the truths of Scripture, the teachings
that Paul had given, and those things are that which we are to put into practice.
It is as we live out the example of Christ, that we will find that much of
the emotional upheaval we suffer will be brought under control, and we will
be truly free to experience joy. True joy is experienced when we experience
the reality of the presence of the God of peace within us.
Verses 10-23: Now in the remaining verses, Paul takes care of some
final business. He once again notes that even in the midst of a prison sentence,
he can rejoice, as he experiences the love demonstrated by the Philippians.
He appreciates their desire to care for him - knowing that this is an example
of agape. In fact, they're frustrated because he doesn't need them to do
anything for him at this time. He gives an example that we would be good
to always hold up before us, certainly depending on the Holy Spirit to allow
us to practice it. He was able to be content in any situation, both good
and bad. And He could do this because he depended on the Lord to provide
the strength to live as God desired him to.
Paul next thanks the Philippians for all their love, their willingness to
share in his suffering, and their gifts even in the early days of his ministry.
The sent him aid while he was on the way to Macedonia, and then while he
was in Thessalonica. In fact, they helped whenever he needed it. And lastly,
he received the gifts brought by Epaphroditus. And so what joy Paul experiences,
is not because of the things he has received, but because of the love the
Philippians have expressed. What a joy to see God working in the hearts of
His children and advancing His kingdom. Praise the Lord. Paul sends his final
greetings, and so closes the letter.