And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life. Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! (Philippians 4:3-4)
There is a line in traditional wedding vows that says, “for better, for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health; to love and to cherish, till death do us part.” Where there is love, there is service—and you stick to it through the ups and downs. Church membership is about being in covenant. We are in a covenant relationship with Christ and His Body—the Church. How quickly some opt for divorce or move on to another “mate” when times get tough in the local church! There are seven secrets for loving service given in Philippians 4:1-9.
CONSOLATION (v.1). We are to console and care for each other—this is the ministry of encouragement and it is what Paul is doing here. We are in a hostile world. We daily face the relentless assault of the enemy of our souls. That’s why Paul felt it necessary to call the Philippians to “stand fast.” Paul was unashamed in expressing his affection for them, twice calling them “my beloved” in this one verse. He was also unwavering in expressing his appreciation of them “my joy and crown.” Love is more than words, but that doesn’t mean words have no power! A word of encouragement might make the difference to someone today.
CONNECTION (v.2). The devil is in the disconnecting business. We see an example in these two women who had a falling out with each other. Paul’s ministry to them is the ministry of reconciliation—trying to restore the connection. Love enables us to be long-suffering and forgiving.
COMMUNICATION (v.3). The Apostle commends those in the church who were communicating the Gospel. When you love someone, you won’t mind talking about them. If we loved Jesus as we should, we would freely share it. Furthermore, the most loving thing you can do for anyone is to tell them about Jesus! He’s the only Hope!
CELEBRATION (v.4). When we meet together on Sunday morning, what do we call these times? Worship….SERVICES! How is worship a service? It is rendering service to God as we praise Him and adore Him. It's what He desires and deserves. If we would reflect on the goodness and greatness of God, we would have no difficulty rejoicing—always. For even though our circumstances may change—God never does—so we can always rejoice in Him. Our service should be joyful!
CONSIDERATION (v.5a). We ought to be renowned for our gentleness—the consideration and compassion we show others. This consideration is to be extended, “to all men” and that means that to even the inconsiderate, you are considerate.
CONFIDENCE (v.5b). The Christian who serves most effectively is the one who is aware that the Lord is at hand—close by watching—and is confident that the Lord is at hand—as to His return—and we want to be found working when He comes again. Jesus is coming—are you confident in that conviction? It will stir you to get busy serving!
CALM (v.6-9. St. Francis prayed, “Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace.” That is a great service that we should all strive for. We can bring the calm God has brought to our troubled heart into the disturbances of life that others are struggling with.