Everyday Christianity (Philippians 4:1-9)
Before the pandemic, I swam a kilometer daily, and when the gym closed down, I started doing some workouts from YouTube, but I really wanted to be outside. So, I went to Walmart and bought a bike off the shelf and started riding 5 miles or so a day.
After I moved to Deer Park, the government sent me some COVID relief money, and I ordered my first rode bike from Amazon. I slowly worked my way up to riding 35 or more miles a day, and I eventually joined Space City Cycling Club and started riding with them on Saturday. The club taught me from the very beginning that I had no earthly clue how to ride a road bike. I wasn’t shifting gears; I thought you found a comfortable gear and just rode in that gear all the time. I soon learned that shifting gears throughout a ride makes it so much easier. A couple months after joining the club, someone asked me if I’d ever had a bike fit. Well, no, I just put the saddle where I thought it was comfortable and rode. I got a bike fit, and that fit made riding a million times easier and far more enjoyable. Every now and then, someone on Saturday still teaches me a new trick.
Has anyone ever given you a trick or two to make life easier? Did any of you play sports in high school and have a good coach who helped you make more baskets or more hits or more tackles? Did any of you ladies take home ec in high school and learn to cook or sew a little better? How many of you remember when your parents or a friend or a sibling taught you how to drive? Do any of you remember your dad teaching you to change the oil or change a flat? I’m sure many of you have had training in your careers—maybe training before you started your position or regular training once you started.
Paul was giving the Philippians a few tricks to make life easier in this morning’s text. In this passage, Paul acted something like a coach telling the Philippians how to make everyday living in Christ easier. Do you want to know the secret to “Everyday Christianity?” “Everyday Christianity is practicing truth.”
Scripture (Philippians 4:1-9)
At first glance, what Paul wrote here seems disjointed, but all his instructions center around day-to-day Christianity. Because Paul switched topics so much in this text, we’re going to think about this passage thematically and learn that “Everyday Christianity is practicing truth.”
Everyday Christianity is Staying.
The Philippians needed to “stand firm thus in the Lord.” The Philippians needed to stay and not be moved. God has no patience for those who do not stay: “My righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him” (Heb 10:38).
Everyday Christianity is Settling.
Euodia and Syntyche needed “to agree in the Lord.” These two Christian ladies had some disagreement, but they needed to settle it and live in harmony. Christians should live in harmony: “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all” (Rom 12:18).
Everyday Christianity is Solace.
The Philippians needed to “rejoice in the Lord always.” Christians can rejoice regardless of circumstances, for Jesus is their solace. Life isn’t always a bed of roses, but the Christian always has a reason to rejoice, and that reason is Jesus.
Everyday Christianity is Steadfastness.
The Philippians needed to let their “reasonableness be known to everyone.” Reasonableness in the Greek refers to a humble and patient steadfastness in the face of injustice. In other words, the Philippians needed to “turn the other cheek” and to endure steadfastly their opposition.
Everyday Christianity is Supplication.
The Philippians had no reason to “be anxious about anything;” instead, they were to “in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let [their] requests be made known to God.” Instead of being filled with anxiety, the Philippians needed to turn to God in supplication, because prayer works! “Whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him” (1 Jn 3:22).
Everyday Christianity is Stewing.
The Philippians needed to stew on what is good: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” They needed to stew on what is good, for one’s actions come from his thoughts: “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life” (Prov 4:23). “Out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander” (Matt 15:19).
Everyday Christianity is Submission.
The Philippians needed to practice what they had “learned and received and heard and seen in” Paul. They were to submit to Paul’s apostolic authority—to follow his conduct and divinely inspired teaching.
“Everyday Christianity is practicing truth.” Yes, Paul gave a lot of truth here, but you must contemplate this text and consider how you live Everyday Christianity.
Are you Staying?
The Philippians needed to stand firm; how firm is your faith? David said, God “only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken” (Ps 62:6). “Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord” (1 Cor 15:58). Are you moving or Staying?
Are you Settling?
Euodia and Syntyche needed to settle their disagreement and live in the peace. Do you have a disagreement which needs settled? Do you need to forgive someone? Jesus said to do so: “If you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matt 6:14-15). Are you Settling any disagreement?
Are you finding Solace in Christ?
The Philippians were to rejoice always in the Lord, their Solace. How do you rejoice when you feel the great burdens of life? You rejoice in God’s faithfulness, in God’s promises, and in God’s heavenly home. Are you finding Solace in Christ?
Are you Steadfast?
The Philippians were to be steadfast in the face of their enemies. When someone mistreats you, how do you act? Are you like Jesus? “When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly” (1 Pet 2:23). Are you Steadfast?
Are you Supplicating?
The Philippians were to take their concerns to God. Jesus expects his people to pray. Before Jesus taught the Model Prayer, he said, “When you pray. . . .” (Matt 6:5, 7). He didn’t say, “If you pray,” but “When you pray.” “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thess 5:17). How is your prayer life? Are you Supplicating?
Are you Stewing?
The Philippians needed to fill their minds with what is good. What fills your mind? Do you dwell on the negative or on the positive? Take the list of positives from Philippians 4:8 and make them your meditation. Read that text daily this week and think about things that are true and honorable and just and pure and lovely and commendable and excellent and praiseworthy. Are you Stewing?
Are you Submitting?
The Philippians were to submit to Paul’s authority and example. Every word Paul taught the Philippians came from God; he said to the Thessalonians: “We also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God” (1 Thess 2:13). Are you living your life according to the word of God, seeking every day to do what God wants you to do? Are you Submitting?
“Everyday Christianity is practicing truth.” Are you a Christian every day, or are you only a Christian on Sundays or others times you’re around “church folks?” Do you need to come this morning and begin living in Jesus every single day?