Grab a Bible and open to Philippians chapter 4. This week's devotional is by Dr. Bo Brock. I first met Dr. Brock while living in Lamesa, TX. In addition to his veterinary expertise, he loves to tell stories. Dr. Brock has faithfully used his inimitable wit and humor, along with his storytelling talent, to teach others about the Bible. I've been blessed to hear him speak and teach Bible class. This devotional on Philippians 4 was true then and remains true today. Hope you enjoy. --Mr Shipley
Written by: Bo Brock
It appears as if Euodia and Syntyche couldn’t get along. At least that
is the way the apostle Paul seems to spell it out as he introduces the last
concept that he is going to leave for the Christians in Philippi in the
closing remarks of his letter to them.
Human/human social interaction may be the most difficult and
complicated thing we are to deal with in our life time. It is not a
concept that our God is unaware of. Chapter four of Philippians has
some of the wisest words found in the bible, and they seem to be
addressed for coping with just this concept.
I hate to admit that I wasn’t paying any attention to the sermon…but I
wasn’t. Maybe it was because it was another terribly boring diatribe or
perhaps it was because I was lost in Philippians four. As I read the
words in this wonderful book for the twentieth time that week, I
wondered what I could do to commit the advice given to memory so
that I would have it on hand, in my brain, to readily call up when I was
struggling with the effects of human interaction.
Paul tells the folks in Philippi and us to think about some things. He
starts off by telling us to let our gentleness be evident. He tells us to
rejoice because we belong to Jesus. He tells us to never be anxious, to
take everything to God in prayer with thanksgiving. And then he gives
us the result…. Peace….pure and unimaginable peace. But fortunately,
he doesn’t leave it there. He goes on and tells us what we need to be
thinking about as we go through life and interact with the Euoidias of
the world. The things we need to think about to obtain this
peace…peace with God, peace with ourselves, and peace with others.
He says think about these things: Things that are…
Things that are:
As I set there absorbing the concept of placing my thoughts on such
wonderful and noble things, I needed some sort of plan to be able to
remember them. I took the first letter from each of these concepts and
come up with a plan….the PERT PLAN.
It occurred to me that being a Christian is an understanding that our
response to the bible is a reaction to Jesus love for us and not simply
actions based on it’s “laws”. My walk with God is not a religious check
list that is outlined by biblical text of “thou shall”, and “thou shall not’s”.
No…. the bible is a guideline of what makes our God happy… and when
you really love Him, it gives you a way of knowing how to express it.
Here we are told how to get along with others and make God happy.
God wants us to have peace in Him and dissolve our anxieties in His
majesty. And right here…right here in these words…He did not leave us
alone to wonder how. He told us to think about things. To fill our
emotions and being with them. He told us the thoughts that make Him
happy and seems to give us a road map to happiness with ourselves and
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. This
includes getting along with the world, getting along with myself,
surrendering to the salvation of the cross, and even finding ways to
make God happy along the way. And it appears that it makes Him happy
when I think about the things that fall into the letters…PERT PLAN.
So if the most complicated and difficult thing we will face in our lives
is dealing with the stress of human/human social interaction, fear
not….God has given us a plan. The next time you are dealing with a
dreadful Syntyche, remember….that person was made by God and He
loves them. They have many things about them that are pure, excellent,
right, true, praiseworthy, lovely, admidrable, and noble. I believe you
will find your life amazingly better if you look for those things in
everyone you meet….and remember, God made them, and loves them
I appreciate Dr. Brock's generous contribution to our small corner of the internet. Thank you for reading & following. If you want more good words from this great man, check out Crowded in the Middle of Nowhere: Tales of Humor and Healing from Rural America by Dr. Bo Brock. You'll be happi you did. --Mr & Mrs Shipley