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Philippians 4:8-13

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (4:8-9) Paul teaches the importance of our thought life whatever occupies the mind will eventually come out in both speech and actions (as a man thinks in his heart, so is he Proverbs 23:7) If we think about such things truth, noble thoughts, purity our lives will reflect it This serves to remind us of the value of spending time in Gods Word meditate on it day and night (Proverbs 1:2 and Joshua 1:8) Likewise, we should consider the danger of our minds being filled with cultural clutter As has been said about the constant input of the worlds message: garbage in, garbage out Paul moves from thought to action: whatever you have learned . . . put into practice Note his call to action concerns not only the truth of his words but the pattern of his life, just as he encouraged the Philippians to follow his example (3:17) Paul often refers to the God of Peace (Romans 15:33, Romans 16:20, I Corinthians 14:33, II Corinthians 13:11, I Thessalonians 5:23, II Thessalonians 3:16) For we who were enemies of God because of sin (Romans 5:10 and Colossians 1:21), now have peace with God (Romans 5:1) through Christs sacrificial death on the cross We experience peace with God as an established fact of the forgiveness of sin; we also live in this peace, as Jesus said: Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you (John 14:27) I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength. (4:10-13) Paul was grateful to the Philippians for their gift of support, but like a father was happy for them as he witnessed their maturity, generosity, and joy expressed in giving (4:10, 14-19) Their gift met a real need for which he was grateful, but Paul teaches the secret of inner joy: I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances This contentment was learned as a dedicated disciple of Christ there is a sufficiency in walking with God that is not dependent upon external circumstance Paul was joyful whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want for he had learned, as he wrote to the Romans, to base your happiness on your hope in Christ (12:12) James teaches that men of mature character have the right sort of independence (1:3) The key to learning to be content (11) is found in knowing Him who gives me strength (13) Often verse 13 (I can do all things through Him who gives me strength) is quoted in the context of human challenge such as athletics or business, but the context here is that of facing whatever this life brings with contentment, knowing God is ultimately in control (Rom 8:28) All things refers to the various circumstances of life Paul enjoyed having his needs met, but also could face prison, persecution, and imminent death as a martyr with contentment and even joy through Him who gives me strength