Peaceful Security

I. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. (Philippians 4:5)

A. There are three important aspects to this instruction.

1. First, we are to be “moderate.”

a. The core meaning is to be “equitable” (fair) with further associations of mild and gentle.
b. The Greek word is used sparingly in the New Testament.
1) Twice the qualifications of church leaders include this character (1 Timothy 3:3; Titus 3:2), both times stressing the “gentle” aspect of the term. 
2) Once, very importantly, the term is used in a broad sweep of adjectives outlining the “wisdom that is from above” (James 3:17) – all aspects, incidentally, fleshing out the idea of “fair” or “equitable.”
c. James 3:17 -- But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

2. Secondly, we are told that our moderation is to be “known unto all men.”

a. We must attempt to be fair and gentle in our dealings.
b. We should insure that our inner character be “moderate.”
1) The actions should flow from the character rather than the circumstance. 
2) The Corinthian church were “manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 3:3

3) Everybody “reads” us. 
4) What is “known” by others when they “read” us must include the reputation of fair and gentle behavior to all.

3. Finally, we must be “moderate” because is the “the Lord is at hand.”

a. The time element is not at all implied in the sentence.  It might be better to translate the phrase, “the lord is alongside,” or “he is close” or even “the Lord is with you.” 
b. God indwells us through the Holy Spirit and that our every action and thought is known by our Creator
c. Psalm 139:3-4 - Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.

II. Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (Philippians 4:6)

A. There are precious people who thrive on making sure the details are right. 

1. They keep us careful. They insure our safety.  They strengthen our plans.

2. That same strength can become an “anxious” care that “troubles” our souls and dominates our lives. 

3. That is the facet about which we are warned in this priceless passage.

B. The Lord’s gentle admonition to Martha is well known (Luke 10:41)

1. Luke 10:41 -- “Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things.”

2. Martha and Mary and their brother Lazurus had long befriended the Lord Jesus.  He had spent many hours in their home and had come to love them as close friends. 

a. No doubt Martha had “given thought” to Christ’s visits often and had been “in turmoil” over the details many times. 
b. Martha had become controlled by the circumstances.
c. Jesus insisted that she not loose that of greatest value by sacrificing the permanent on the altar of the immediate.

C. The text insists that “Nothing” should absorb our “careful thought” which would inhibit submitting our requests to the Lord.

1. Matthew 6:25 -- Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on.

a. Look around, our Lord insisted. 
b. The birds and the flowers can’t be altered by your “thought.”

2.         Job’s friends “encouraged” him to “fix” the problem by admitting to sin.

a. The Creator reminded Job of the many wonders that Job could see – if he paid attention,
b. “Nothing” is beyond the care of our Lord. 
c. Sometimes we need reminding too.

III. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7)

A. This precious promise is rooted in the “garrison guard” that God will set around our hearts and minds through the “peace of God.” 

1. The word picture brings to mind the war circle of angels “full of horses and chariots of fire round about” that Elisha knew surrounded the enemy host (2 Kings 6:17).

2. The war is very real! 

a. Romans 7:23 -- But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members”.
b. Were it not for the supernatural peace that “exceeds” human comprehension, we would quickly succumb to the ever-present fact that “in the world ye shall have tribulation”(John 16:33)
c.  Jesus said; “be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

B. The “peace of God” is a supernatural peace.

 1. It is not a false calm of meditative hypnosis, nor a pollayanna denial of the turmoil that surrounds the “roaring lion” who seeks to devour (1 Peter 5:8). 

2. It is the peace that our Lord Jesus leaves – “not as the world giveth” (John 14:27).  This peace comes through the “things I have spoken unto you’ Jesus said, “that in me ye might have peace.” (John 16:33).

3. It is the supernaturally guarded and God-given peace comes from and through the message of the Scriptures, this peace must “rule in your hearts” (Colossians 3:15). 

a. There can be no vacillation, no hesitation about the source, the authority, the capability, or the stability of such peace
b. The “war” that rages in the “members” of our body will dissipate the vision of God’s garrison surrounding our hearts and minds.

Psalm 4:1-5 – “Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.  O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? Selah.  But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the LORD will hear when I call unto him.  Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.  Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD.”

Psalm 34:12-19 – “What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good?  Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.  Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.

The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.”

Psalm 37:34-40 – “Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree. Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.

Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace. But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off.  But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble.  And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.”

Psalm 128-1-6 – “Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.

Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table. Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the LORD.

The LORD shall bless thee out of Zion: and thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life.Yea, thou shalt see thy children’s children, and peace upon Israel.”

Proverbs 3:1-17 – “My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.

Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.

Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.

My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.

Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.

She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.  Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.“

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