Blessing and Glory, Dear Friends

Helen Brownson

READ : Philippians 4:20-23 I find it fitting that Paul ends his letter to this caring congregation with joyful praise for all God’s goodness and grace. He closes with greetings to every saint in Philippi from every believer where he is, especially converts in Caesar’s household. And then he extends the Lord’s grace to all. I conclude our reflections on Philippians with gratitude to God and Paul for this wonderful book. We saw his persistence in the face of opposition, …

Abased or Abounding, but Always Content

Helen Brownson

READ : Philippians 4:12-13 In Uganda several years ago we met many children who knew how to be abased and abound. They attended schools, walking long distances and paying high fees in order to receive an education. During school days they ate only one meal a day in order to pay their fees. They knew how to abound and how to be abased so that they could receive their schooling. They were content with ups and downs. Many saints have …

The Flourishing of Care

Helen Brownson

READ : Philippians 4:10-11 “Your care for me has flourished” (av), Paul writes. What an eloquent compliment for the church in Philippi! Genuine concern is a true mark of a faithful church. When our son died, we experienced that care. Someone called all our friends on our Christmas card list. Another person made an omelette for those of us who hadn’t even thought about breakfast. Someone offered to stay at the house while we were at the funeral home. Meals …

Goals for the Mind

Helen Brownson

READ : Philippians 4:8-9 “Bob” was a truck driver friend in our church who constantly used profanity. One day he opened up his heart to the Lord. He experienced a real change but was not aware of the shift in his thought life. After a short time his co-workers noticed and commented on how he had cleaned up his language. God transformed Bob’s mind, and his speech verified it. As a non-Christian, Genesis 6:5 had been his story: The Lord …

A Recipe for Peace

Helen Brownson

READ : Philippians 4:6-7 Paul suggests three actions as a recipe for the peace of God that surpasses all understanding and guards our hearts and minds. Don’t worry about anything. “Worry is a cycle of inefficient thought whirling around a center of fear.” Another definition: “Worry is a chronic process of making mountains out of molehills” (E. Stanley Jones). Write down exactly what you are worrying about. Decide what you can do about it. Surrender your apprehension to God. Then …

The Lord – Reason to Rejoice

Helen Brownson

READ : Philippians 4:4-5 “Rejoice.” Paul mentions variations of this word twenty times in this letter and here he exhorts us twice to rejoice. We in the western world rejoice in our abilities, our resources, our good life. We take our many blessings for granted. But visit a third-world country and we quickly become aware how Christians there must totally depend on the Lord and rejoice in him in circumstances that would annoy us terribly. One of our visits took …