Reading for Today:
Jeremiah 3:14 I am married to you. God pictured His covenant relationship with Israel as a marriage and pleaded with mercy for Judah to repent and return. He will take her back. Hosea’s restoration of Gomer was a picture of God taking back His wicked, adulterous people.
Jeremiah 4:4 Circumcise. This surgery (Gen. 17:10–14) was to cut away flesh that could hold disease in its folds and could pass the disease on to wives. It was important for the preservation of God’s people physically. But it was also a symbol of the need for the heart to be cleansed from sin’s deadly disease. The essential surgery needed to happen on the inside, where God calls for taking away fleshly things that keep the heart from being spiritually devoted to Him and from true faith in Him and His will. Jeremiah later expanded on this theme (31:31–34).
Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord. Paul’s familiar theme throughout the epistle, which has already been heard in chapters 1 and 2. “In the Lord” signifies the sphere in which the believers’ joy exists—a sphere unrelated to the circumstances of life, but related to an unassailable, unchanging relationship to the sovereign Lord.
Philippians 4:12 abased…abound. Paul knew how to get along with humble means (food, clothing, daily necessities) and how to live in prosperity (“to overflow”). to be full and to be hungry. The Greek word translated “to be full” was used of feeding and fattening animals. Paul knew how to be content when he had plenty to eat and when he was deprived of enough to eat.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things. Paul uses a Greek verb that means “to be strong” or “to have strength” (Acts 19:16, 20; James 5:16). He had strength to withstand “all things” (vv. 11, 12), including both difficulty and prosperity in the material world. through Christ who strengthens me. The Greek word for strengthen means “to put power in.” Because believers are in Christ (Gal. 2:20), He infuses them with His strength to sustain them until they receive some provision (Eph. 3:16–20; 2 Cor. 12:10).
DAY 9: How do we keep the peace of God in our lives?
Paul tells us to “be anxious for nothing” (Phil. 4:6).Fret and worry indicate a lack of trust in God’s wisdom, sovereignty, or power. Delighting in the Lord and meditating on His Word are a great antidote to anxiety (Ps. 1:2). “In everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving,…requests.” All difficulties are within God’s purposes. Gratitude to God accompanies all true prayer.
“And the peace of God” (v. 7). Inner calm or tranquility is promised to the believer who has a thankful attitude based on an unwavering confidence that God is able and willing to do what is best for His children (Rom. 8:28). “Which surpasses all understanding.” This refers to the divine origin of peace. It transcends human intellect, analysis, and insight. “Will guard.” A military term meaning “to keep watch over.” God’s peace guards believers from anxiety, doubt, fear, and distress. “Your hearts and minds.” Paul was not making a distinction between the two—he was giving a comprehensive statement referring to the whole inner person. Because of the believer’s union with Christ, He guards his inner being with His peace.
And believers are to think on what is true (v. 8), what is found in God (2 Tim.2:25), in Christ (Eph. 4:20, 21), in the Holy Spirit (John 16:13), and in God’s Word (John 17:17). They are to think on what is “worthy of respect,” whatever is worthy of awe and adoration, i.e., the sacred as opposed to the profane. The believer is to think in harmony with God’s divine standard of holiness and on what is morally clean and undefiled. Believers are to focus on whatever is lovely, “pleasing” or “amiable,” and that which is highly regarded or thought well of. If they follow the truth of God proclaimed, along with the example of that truth lived by Paul before them, “the God of peace will be with [them]” (v. 9). God is peace (Rom. 16:20; Eph. 2:14), makes peace with sinners through Christ (2 Cor. 5:18–20), and gives perfect peace in trouble (v. 7).
From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214, www.thomasnelson.com.