Well, here I am on chapter four! I love that this bible study is dragging out...every week it seems someone gets behind or even starts the bible study for the first time and I keep having to go back and add people's links to the Bloggin' Bible Study page at the top of this blog as they get their study completed! That just tells me that we're all a little bit rebellious and "deadlines" are just suggestions here! Love it. ;-) Keep your thoughts coming and nevermind if you're behind or on a completely different chapter! Jump in where you left off.
Buuuut, since I started this thing I'm doing my darndest to be on time! So here are my thoughts on chapter 4.
The first thing that stuck out to me was about Euodias and Syntyche. ( verse 2). Ok, nevermind that these ladies made the cut into the Bible ( its not like they lived to see that happen). But can you IMAGINE how it must have felt to have your names read aloud at the gathering of the church ( probably in someones home, everyone crammed into the living area, probably eating a little bread, having some wine....listening with eagerness to Paul's letter to them...). And to have Paul CALL YOU OUT.
So, immediately identify. Maybe because I probably need calling out so much of the time. To be perfectly honest, some of the people I have the hardest time getting along with are Sisters in Christ. Ladies who I should be working along side, ladies with a common goal. But instead I get hung up on little things. It needs to stop.
In the book of Ephesians 4:2 it says, "Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace."
Wow, what beautiful verses that have a lifetime worth of change in my heart listed. I do not want to be a Euodias and Syntyche.
And now to the big guns!!!! I think just about EVERYBODY that did the overview of Philippians the first week mentioned these verses. They are just that good. I've been looking forward to getting to them this whole study and now that I'm hear I read them:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything with prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God. And then let the peace of God which surpasses all understanding guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
What can I add this go around? What more can I glean from these verses that I even have memorized I love them so?
I think its the "And then" part. I'm like a big ol' "prayer and petition" girl...because lets be honest, I'm also an "anxious" girl...and so I get that part of the verse right. I immediately start quoting this verse in my head, "Do not be anxious about anything..." and then I start praying...and I basically start complaining/pleading with God. But, I forget about the connector, the "with thanksgiving" which I think just might be the key to the "And then..." part which talks about the peace of God which surpasses all understanding.
Because THAT'S THE GOOD STUFF!! I'm telling you, there is nothing more wonderful than having the peace of God, that you cannot even EXPLAIN to people when they wonder why the heck you're so calm, or so happy or so peaceful when faced with ....well....let's be honest....life. And so what's the key? I think the key is the thanksgiving part.
I think its being able to thank God for all that He Is. All that He Does. All that He WILL Do. All that He Has Done. And yes, I just used a bunch of capital letters incorrectly. I guess I'm just lacking in the ability to describe what Praise and Thanksgiving are. But I definitely know they are lacking in my life right now.
I have GOT to find a way to have some peace and quiet ( there's something about quiet for me...) in my day, its definitely not happening while Ransom's awake that's for sure, so I don't know....I need to reevaluate my time.
Alright, I should also talk about verses 8 and 9 because they are also totally fantastic and speak to me a lot...but dang it, I'm probably already going on too long and I'm running at risk that you're already bored. *sigh*
Maybe I'll just sneak it in next week when I do my Philippians: RE-CAP. Which is basically when I just re-read philippians. Look back over the key things I've learned and then tell you guys how AWESOME its been reading all your thoughts...so stay tuned for that next week. :-)
Till then...Chapter 4? What do ya think?