Friday, March 7, 2014

How would your name be listed in the Bible?

Philippians 4  --  SECURE MIND  or  WORRY ROBS JOY

Philippians 4:2
"I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord."

Imagine what it might have been like to meet the Apostle Paul!  There are men and women in the ministry that I have great respect for and I am always excited to hear them preach or sing or maybe just to be in the same room with them.  And then imagine having your name in the Bible!  The genealogies are thought to be dry by most readers, but imagine being able to open to a certain page and say "that's ME the Apostle Paul was writing about!"

Then.............imagine if your name was in the Bible because you weren't getting along with someone.  Yikes!  Euodias and Syntyche are named in the Book of Joy as examples of not getting along with each other.  These two women will be known forever as the two women at Philippi that weren't getting along and got scolded by the Apostle Paul!

We do not know what the issue was that these two ladies were fussing over.  It could have been something they had asked him to pray with them about.  It could have been something that was causing division in the church.  We aren't given the details and don't really need to know the details to learn from them.  There are a couple of things to consider about these two women.  First, Paul knew them.  And he knew about their disagreement.  It was a pretty serious thing to get a letter from the Apostle let alone to be mentioned in a letter addressed to the whole church.  Paul sprinkles the names of individuals throughout his letters, usually to illustrate a point.  Here he has just begun the chapter expressing such warm affections to these folks and then he brings up the tiff between these two ladies and names them by name as an example of the opposite of what he wants us all to be doing.  Imagine the embarrassment and the shame to be named as an example of what NOT to do in a letter about joy.  They were from that moment on known as "those women Paul scolded."  We have all had troubles getting along with someone on some level.  And for all we know they heeded this reproof and solved their problem and got along ever after.  But they were always known for their fuss.  "Oh.  You're that Eudious" or "Hmmmm, you mean Syntyche the one who was named for causing strife in the Book of Joy?"  What a reputation to live down.

Notice too, that Paul uses the word beseech to address these two ladies.  This wasn't some sort of little unnoticed squabble they were having. "Beseech" means to implore or beg.  I don't think Paul ever thought about his letters to these churches being a part of Scripture.  That wasn't his style. But just the fact that he knew who both of these women were and that he called them by name in a letter addressed to the entire church would be humiliating under these circumstances.  Imagine if Pastor Bill wrote a letter to be read from the pulpit and said, "Oh, by the way, I am begging Missi and Nancy to get along about the offertories."  Just know that I would die and probably never be able to play an instrument again.  I never ever ever want to be the one that is named by name for being a problem.

The Bible also says "Great peace have they that love thy law and nothing shall offend them."  I don't know what "nothing" means in the Greek, but I completely understand that in the English it means NOTHING!  No thing that people say to me, no thing that people imply about me, no thing that people say about my family, NO THING shall offend me.  Our pastor in Rawlins, Wyoming is Pastor Steve Monroe.  He said "The devil cannot take your joy; you have to hand it to him."  Let that sink in a little bit.  We blame Satan for an awful lot of things and yet sometimes it is not what he is doing to us but what he is accepting from us.  We hand over our joy when we are worrying about other people's opinions of us, or when we are focused on what they are doing.  Sometimes I worry about the situation if find myself in and pretty much gift wrap my joy and deliver it to Satan himself.  If we worry, he gets the upper hand so quickly.  We must be secure in what God has us doing in our own lives at this point in time and stop looking around at others or looking down the road to our perceptions of how things should be happening to us.  If our minds are SECURELY focused on Heaven, then we will not be handing Satan our joy!  Be careful of what you are known for!

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