And what you learned and received and heard and saw in me, do these things. And the God of peace will be with you.
(Philippians 4:9 ESV)
Over the past few days we’ve been reading how we need to have a godly attitude [Philippians 4:6-7] and also fill our minds with godly thoughts [Philippians 4:8]. Finally, in today’s verse, Paul tells us that we must also have godly behavior.
Paul tells the Philippians it is not enough to have “learned and received and heard and saw”. They must take the things they learned, received, heard, and saw and actually do them.
The Greek word translated “do” here is πρασσο (pronounced: pras’-so). This word means more than simply “to do”. It means “to practice”. Practicing something implies we do it over and over. Paul is saying that the continuous habit of our lives should be obedience to God.
God does not call His children into a simply intellectual experience. It is not enough for us to know what is right we must also do what is right. When we do what is right then we get an amazing benefit: “the God of peace will be with” us.
Of course, God is always with us. But even His children don’t always realize or experience His presence. When we experience God’s presence we will have peace. The way we experience God’s presence is to be obedient to His word.
The peace that we will experience is an inner peace of our souls. Our minds will be at rest. And, as we know, thoughts lead to actions. If our thoughts are peaceful our actions will be peaceful. But if our thoughts are not peaceful – if we do not have an inner peace – then our actions will not be peaceful either.
I think it safe to say that our world is becoming less and less peaceful. We are clearly becoming more violent. For example, since January 2010 there have been 106 school shootings in the United States. That is almost two a month, on average. In the first six months of 2014 there were 34 school shootings. That is an average of more than one a week.
Our country doesn’t understand but the reason for all this violence is crystal clear. Our disobedience – legalizing and celebrating same-sex marriage, legalizing abortion, corrupt government, etc – prevents us from experiencing God’s peace.
Sadly, our country does not see this correlation. In fact, we believe the opposite to be true. Our leaders actually believe that removing the true God from our culture will make things better. Recent history proves this to be wrong.
Unless we change this approach we can expect even less peace than we have now.
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