Rejoice with the Mind at Peace

“Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me greet you. All the saints greet
you, especially those of Caesar’s household. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your
spirit.” (Philippians 4:21-23)

These are the closing lines of Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi. He’s writing from Rome,
where he’s imprisoned, awaiting the hearing of his appeal to the emperor.
Philippians is the most upbeat of Paul’s writings. What the Lord has brought forth in this city fills
him with gladness and hope.

Paul also expresses cheer at what he has discovered in Rome, the imperial capital, the home of
Caesar. These words strike me: “All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar’s

Saints of God, that is, believers in Jesus Christ were in the palace compound; perhaps even
members of the emperor’s family had become worshippers of the Savior. These Jesus followers
wanted the rest of the Christian communities to be aware of them.

The Final Word

Think of it. Just a couple decades earlier Rome claimed control over Jesus and His movement.
Pontius Pilate, the Roman prefect in Jerusalem, faced Christ and somewhat flaunted the
authority attendant to his position in the empire. Pilate claimed to hold the Savior’s very life in
his hands. He threw out the prospect of the Cross.

How did Jesus respond? He told Pilate that any power he seemed to possess was not his at all.
Christ announced that His Kingdom from above was of another order, one upheld by Truth.

Pilate upped the stakes and cast Christ to the soldiers who brutally flogged Him, scoffed and
spat at Him, and crowned the King with thorns. The Son’s battered and bloodied form was
paraded before the mob and belittled with the shout: “Behold, the Man!”

Who got the final word? Jesus did, as He always does and always will. The Son gave His life into
Roman hands and allowed Himself to be pierced and lifted up to die. His Body was laid in a
tomb, its capstone certified with an official Roman seal.

But Jesus came forth in Resurrection and the Message of His rising proved stronger than any
human institution. Truth triumphed. It marched forward into hearts everywhere. Truth left its
mark in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and all the way to the center of government in Rome. The
Gospel made gain after gain throughout the empire. Near Caesar’s throne walked those who
served the everlasting King of kings.

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.” Those words are the finishing touch to
this letter. Fear not. Don’t let your heart be troubled. The grace of God rules and reigns.

Stand Fast and Pray

Let’s back up to the beginning of Philippians 4 and read how Paul built to this amazing

The chapter begins with thanksgiving, exhortation, and gentle counsel regarding a quarrel.
Once, Paul was an archenemy of Christians. Now believers were seen as his true family, his
crown and his joy. “Stand fast in the Lord” he declared to them. And, to two sisters at odds, he
said stand together and continue working for the purpose of Christ.

In what way could this issue be settled? By rejoicing and reasonableness, by expectation and
prayer. “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice” says Philippians 4:4. If we’re busy
about this, then we won’t get caught up in competitions, worries and anxieties.

Sing, shout, pray. Pray about everything because you can pray about everything. Stop talking
about things to those around you, to those who are limited in what they can do. Let your
requests be made known unto God.

How much time have we wasted in telling things out of place? What a Friend we have in Jesus.
Refuse to forfeit peace. Take everything to the Lord in prayer.

Peace will result, the peace that Jesus gives is a peace, a shalom, a wholeness that endures. This
peace is the peace the Savior mentioned to His men in the upper room the night before Calvary
came: “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you.
Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27).

The Peace of His Person

Our Peace rests in the Person of God, the Son of Man. World peace is situational and
circumstantial. This brand of tranquility is fragile, always prone to fail because the nature of sin
in all of us is ever present, crouching at the door, ready to lash out in lust.

Jesus made this declaration about peace as He approached Jerusalem in Luke 19. “And when he
drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, ‘Would that you, even you, had known on
this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes … because
you did not know the time of your visitation.’”

The city of David, with the Temple devoted to Yahweh, saw the Savior and King and the people
refused to honor Him for Who He is. The royal visitation came and the Lord of glory was turned
out and sent to die. All that made for peace was there for them to receive.

Paul did not want the Philippians to make the same error and miss the peace available to them.
“The Lord is at hand” (Philippians 4:5). Another visitation is coming soon. The believer’s peace is
beyond human understanding because it is rooted in this expectation.

Scoffers scoff, mockers mock, and yet we “let our reasonableness be known.” What seems
impossible to men we understand to be possible with God. The reality of Jesus and His
resurrection encourages us. The sure knowledge of the Finished Work is what keeps us.
Take hold of this message. Purpose to guard your hearts and your minds, as Paul told the
Philippians to do.

Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice. Think, think, think.

Our hearts should be filled with songs and our minds need to be fed and fed well. Eat the Word.
The diet of our thoughts should consist of the true, the honorable, the just, the pure, the lovely,
the commendable, the excellent, the praiseworthy (see Philippians 4:8).

What a menu that is! This is the daily Bread of Life we should be seeking for our sustenance.
It works, Paul said with confidence. “Practice these things, for the God of peace will be with
you” (Philippians 4:9). He pointed to his experiences as an example.

Right under Caesar’s nose, the Kingdom had come to claim holy citizens who rejoiced and sang: 'To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.' Click To Tweet

He’d been up, he’d been down. There had been mountains and valleys, smooth sailing and
stormy shipwrecks. He lived in abundance and in abasement. And yet he discovered
contentment in every situation he faced.

And so Paul could put forth these eternal conclusions: “I can do all things through Christ who
strengthens me. … And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory”
(Philippians 4:13, 19).

From Rome, jailed but at liberty in spirit, soul, and mind, Paul wrote these things. The auspices
of supposed world rule possessed no power over his heart and the hearts given over to Christ
Jesus the Lord. Right under Caesar’s nose, the Kingdom had come to claim holy citizens who
rejoiced and sang: “To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.”

Steve Andrulonis
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