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29th of the 12th month 2021/2022
Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 6:6-8 “But reverence with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought naught into the world, and it is impossible to take any out. 8 When we have food and covering, we shall be satisfied with these.”.
Reverence with contentment!
These are 2 very powerful attributes that ought to be actively embraced in the life of a true worshipper of Elohim.
The Greek word that is translated here as ‘reverence’ is the noun εὐσέβεια eusebeia – Strong’s G2150 and carries the meaning of, ‘well-directed reverence’, and at its root, it carries the meaning, ‘to be true and to adore’ speaking of one’s devout worship and being dutiful in one’s obedience’.
This word εὐσέβεια eusebeia – Strong’s G2150, applied to a believer, denotes a life that is truly acceptable unto Messiah, indicating a proper attitude toward יהושע Messiah, who saves him.
It comes from the adjective εὐσεβής eusebēs – Strong’s G2152 which describes a ‘pious, devout, reverent man’. These words are a construct of two words:
1 – εὖ eu – Strong’s G2095 which is an adverb meaning, ‘good, well done’ and
2 – σέβω sebō – Strong’s G4576 which is a verb that means, ‘to worship, revere, Elohim-fearing’.
Therefore, true reverence, even in the Greek understanding, is a ‘good and well done, Elohim-fearing worship’!!!
Reverence (εὐσέβεια eusebeia) reflects both an attitude and a way of life, that is well pleasing to our Master, through the continued display of complete set-apartness without compromise!.
When we understand what true reverence toward Elohim means, we will find that we will do our utmost to give no room for compromise, and forever strive for perfection in the Master, no matter where we find ourselves or in what circumstances we may be in. .
Let me be very clear: it is possible to fake εὐσέβεια eusebeia (reverence) – and that is to have ‘a form of reverence’ in appearance only, while not having the real thing.
This is what many people are doing today, as they are simply putting on a show, having a form or reverence but have no power to actually live it out, as their neglect for a well pleasing and good Elohim-fearing worship is non-existent, as clearly evidenced through their neglect for the Torah and the need to guard the commands of Elohim!
I think that we can all agree that we do not see much reverence toward Elohim today!
A twisted and deceitful message of lawlessness has caused many people to not have a true reverence for Elohim whatsoever; and they simply do as they please, doing whatever is right in their own eyes, while at the same time think that they can demand to walk in the Promises of The Word of Elohim! .
The false prosperity message seeks to claim all the blessing for obedience without actually walking in obedience, as they want the presence, blessing and promises of יהוה while clearly and defiantly turning their noses up against the need to be fed in, and walk in, The Word and refuse to obey the clear instructions for set-apart living. .
Kěpha Bět/2 Peter 1:3 “as His Mighty-like power has given to us all we need for life and reverence, through the knowledge of Him who called us to esteem and uprightness.”
Here Kěpha is very clear: יהושע has given us all that we need for life and reverence – through the knowledge of Him!!!
Now, while I could go on about reverence, I am sure that we are all familiar with the clear understanding of what true reverence toward our Mighty Master and Elohim entails, but what I do want to take a closer look at in this message, is the attribute or characteristic that, when found together with reverence, brings great gain; and that is:
In a message called, ‘LEARN TO BE CONTENT!’ may we be reminded how important this is for us who desire to reverent lives before our Master and King, יהושע Messiah! .
Please read Philippians/Pilipiyim 4.
Reverence is essential in any true believer’s life, yet Sha’ul tells us that reverence with contentment is great gain, as we read earlier!
Now, the Greek phrase ‘great gain’ comes from the two words:
1) μέγας megas – Strong’s G3173 which means, ‘great, abundant, large’ and
2) πορισμός porismos – Strong’s G4200 which means, ‘to procure or provide a means of gain, acquisition, source of gain’. .
You want to know what the ‘source of MEGA GAIN’ is?
Well, here in Scripture we are given the clear answer:.
REVERENCE WITH CONTENTMENT!.
As we look at the closing chapter of Sha’ul’s letter to the Philippians, we are able to gain some valuable insight, in recognising our need for contentment, and having a steadfast mind in our Master in all circumstances.
What we need to be reminded of, when reading this letter, is that Sha’ul wrote this letter to the Philippians while he was in prison!
He was not sitting on some tropical island catching a suntan – NO – he was in chains!!!
And while in chains, he teaches us a great deal in regards to contentment, for this was a man whose identity was completely secure in the Master, and the words of this letter reveals this to us!
He is chained in prison and he basically says, “Listen guys, I have found the recipe for joy!” He had to face imprisonment, division and strife among believers in Rome, which was also gripping those in Philippi and he even faced the very real threat of death, yet he was completely content and free from all worry.
In writing to the assembly at Philippi, he shares with them the secret to victory over worry, which he had learnt through his own life. .
What is interesting and worthy of taking note of, is that the Greek word Φίλιπποι Philippoi – Strong’s G5375 means, ‘lover of horses’, and this was a city in Macedonia.
Now, being in the south of Greece, the people in Philippi would have been greatly influenced by the world’s ways, and the meaning of this name, of a city that was founded by the king of Macedon, Philip II, can teach us a lesson on the continual struggle that the ways of the flesh and the ways of the spirit are in continual battle over. .
Horses and chariots, in Scripture, are often used as a metaphor for riches and wealth, and we are reminded of the words Dawiḏ, the beloved king in:
Tehillah/Psalm 20:7 “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses, but we remember the Name of יהוה our Elohim.” .
One of the toughest battles that most people face, on a daily basis, is the intense wrestling between the anxieties that the deceit of wealth and worries of this life tries to load upon people, and the ability to remain firm and headstrong in our belief and being content, despite the varying circumstances or challenges that we face..
In this very powerful letter to the believers in Philippi, we are able to recognise the very clear theme of this letter, in teaching us how we are to put on the helmet of deliverance, as it reveals to us “the mind of Messiah” that we, as His taught ones, ought to have! .
In Chapter 1, Sha’ul describes what could be called ‘the single mind’, and shows us how to gain victory over circumstances.
In Chapter 2 he describes ‘the submissive mind’ and encourages us on how to overcome troublesome people.
In Chapter 3 he describes ‘the spiritual mind’ and how we can be triumphant over physical circumstances.
Then here, in Chapter 4 that we are looking at, he teaches us what it is to have ‘a secure mind’, which is a mind that is filled with peace and joy of our Master and His Word..
When you have a secure mind in יהושע Messiah, then His peace will guard you and guide you; and when we have that kind of protection – why worry?
Worry, as we know from our Master’s parables on The Sower and The Seed, chokes out the Truth and can cause us to lose breath, cause us to faint and even cause us to perish, yet if our mind is secure, then we are able to breath with confidence; and as the last verse in the Tehillim/Psalms tells us:
Let everything that has breath praise יהוה..
A worried mind cannot praise effectively, while a mind that is completely secure, in all circumstances, can!
A secure mind in our Master is a sure remedy to the worries of this age, and a secure mind in our Saviour and King, can bring us complete contentment, which along with reverence will give us great gain!.
In verse 6 Sha’ul tells us very plainly, “Do not worry at all”, and the Greek word for ‘worry’ is μεριμνάω merimnaō – Strong’s G3309 which means, ‘to be anxious, care for, worry’ and comes from the root μέριμνα merimna – Strong’s G3308 which means, ‘cares, worries, anxieties’..
יהושע tells us in the Parable of The Sower and The Seed, that the worries, or cares, of this life come and choke out the word, and this is exactly what happens to the seed that sown among thorns, which pictures for us those who hear the Word, but then the worries of life and the deceit of riches choke it out!
This Greek word can also render the understanding of, ‘being pulled in different directions’!
Have you ever felt like you are being pulled in so many directions that you do not know which way to turn?
The sad reality, is that most of us allow anxieties to consume us and when this does, then the very Word that has been deposited in us gets quickly choked out.
Now think about the idea and image of choking: it is not a nice experience at all!!! .
Worries choke out the good deposit.
We are to be on guard and watch, and be careful for this not to happen!
How many of you have worries?
Just think about it, we all have bills, bills, bills, and more bills – and sometimes, we even dread looking in the post box and at emails with invoices.
Sha’ul is teaching us, in this letter, that when our minds are secure in our Master, then we should not worry at all!
Yes…. you heard it… not worry at all!
This does not mean that we are to be ignorant of urgent and pressing needs and responsibilities, but rather, it means that we are to guard the good deposit and not lose heart and allow The Word of Elohim, that sustains us, to be choked out because of worries and stress! .
Here, in this last chapter of this letter to Philippi, Sha’ul is giving us a remedy for worry.
In the first couple of verses, he is appealing to the assembly to be of the same mind, and pleads with two women who were fighting, to make up and agree with each other in the Master.
Perhaps these two women were well known and very influential, and it is pretty clear that the dispute that they were having was affecting many others, and it was time to put aside personal agendas and get busy with the Master’s!.
I gave a message a few years back on how ‘The trouble of one can affect the many’, as I looked at Aḵan, who took spoils from Yeriḥo, and how an individual’s compromise can have an enormous effect on the greater assembly. .
Sha’ul urged these two women to walk in unity, so as not to bring division and break their ability to stand firm together in the Master; as he basically reminded them of יהוה’s presence, and that the Master is near; in other words, He is with you to help you, “now”..
The name of the one woman was Εὐοδία Euodia – Strong’s G2136 which means, ‘fragrant or prosperous journey’ and the name of the other woman was Συντύχη Suntuchē – Strong’s G4941 means, ‘a pleasant acquaintance, joyful event’. .
These two women were not living up to the meaning of their names.
These two, who once contended at Sha’ul’s side for the sake of the Besorah, were certainly not being pleasant or prosperous in their friendship toward each other; as they were now being contentious rather than content, and here Sha’ul encourages them to “make things right”.
How true it is today, that when we don’t “make things right” with people, then worry tends to creeps in! This is an open door for worry and fear!
We need to learn to walk in unity and ‘make right’, even when we have been wronged, because if we do not, our mind can never be secure in the Master and we shall struggle with true contentment, which in turn, may render our reverence as being a mere form without any power!
He commands a rejoicing here, and this is not a suggestion but rather, it is a clear instruction, for we are to rejoice in the Master, always, and when there are disputes and fightings in the body, true rejoicing is hindered!
There is no joy in narrow selfishness!
Joy involves an open heart and a generous love. .
Sha’ul teaches us, in his letter to the believers in Rome, that we are to do our utmost to life at peace with all as he says in:
Romiyim/Romans 12:4 “If possible, on your part, be at peace with all men.”
He again tells us the following, in:
Qorintiyim Bet/2 Corinthians 13:11 “For the rest, brothers, rejoice. Be made perfect, be encouraged, be of one mind, live in peace. And the Elohim of love and peace shall be with you.”
Be of one mind and live in peace!
Now we know that there are times when there those who cause divisions and strife over matters of the Torah and clearly do not live in peace as they are always seeking an opportunity to argue and debate and get their own way.
When this happens, we certainly are to do our utmost in reconciling the peace we ought to have, on our part, and when this is not possible then walking together can no longer be done, as we know that Scriptures teaches us that when two do not agree how can they walk together and when this happens, a clean break is necessary..
What Sha’ul was addressing here, was the unity that is to be guarded among those who are walking together in the Master, so as to not bring in any forms of insecurity to the body. .
Now, sometimes the trials and pressures of life that we face, may make it almost impossible to feel joyful, yet here Sha’ul was not telling his readers to be joyful – he was encouraging them to rejoice ‘in the Master’..
יהושע Messiah is the One in whom the sphere of rejoicing must take place.
Yes, there are many circumstances where we may not or cannot be joyful, but we can always rejoice in the Master and delight in Him – why?
Because of His presence – for He is with us and He is near at hand to help us in all circumstances, if we stay in Him. .
Sha’ul was an excellent example for us, as one who had inner joy despite external circumstances such as persecutions, imprisonment or even the threats of death that were against him...
The Greek word that is translated as ‘rejoice’ comes from the word χαίρω chairō – Strong’s G5463 which means, ‘be glad, joyful, thrive, give one’s greeting and approval’, and this is what we ought to be doing always: living our lives in a joyful approval of the Master’s instructions for us, as His Treasured Possession – and we are able to do this, when we recognise that He is near..
The Greek word that is translated as ‘near’ is ἐγγύς eggus – Strong’s G1451 which means, ‘near, nearby, draw near, ready’ and is understood as referring to times that are imminent and about to come to pass.
The imminent return of our Master, ought to cause us to be a rejoicing people, who, with great expectation, shall be found having fervent belief when our Master comes!.
With a true rejoicing heart that is secure in the Master, Sha’ul continues to teach us on how we ought to think, and it begins with “whatever is true”!
Praise our Master that He has taken the veil of lies from our eyes and has revealed to us His Truth! This alone ought to cause us to be a continual rejoicing people, as we set our minds continually on His Truth, meditating day and night on His Torah! .
Why then does worry set in?
Well, what is interesting to take note of, is that a survey that was done, showed that only 8% of the things that people worried about were actually legitimate matters of concern. That means that at least 92% of the worries, that people have, are either imaginary, never come true or are matters that are beyond their control and they are therefore, wasting their time worrying over it.
Satan, as we know, is a liar and he is the father of lies and he wants to corrupt our minds with lies.
If our thinking is being properly guarded with “whatever is true”, then the harmful lies will be easily spotted and rejected!
The Truth sets us free from worries and lies!
Sha’ul continues to expand on that which goes with the pure truth – and that is: nobility, righteousness, cleanness, loveliness and of good report. .
Without the Truth we are unable to discern between the set-apart and profane, or between the clean and the unclean, and true righteousness involves a guarding of the commands and so, to think of righteousness, is to be thinking of how we ought to be walking, in set-apart and complete obedience to the Torah of Elohim!.
In verse 1, Sha’ul encourages us, as brothers and sisters in the Most-High, to ‘stand firm’ and the Greek word that is translated as ‘stand firm’ comes from the root word στήκω stēkō – Strong’s G4739 which means, ‘stand firm, stand fast, to keep one’s stand’, and we see this word being used in:
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 16:13 “Watch, stand fast in the belief, be men, be strong.”
Galatiyim/Galatians 5:1 “In the freedom with which Messiah has made us free, stand firm, then, and do not again be held with a yoke of slavery.”
Pilipiyim/Philippians 1:27 “Only, behave yourselves worthily of the Good News of Messiah, in order that whether I come and see you or am absent, I hear about you, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one being, striving together for the belief of the Good News”
Tas’loniqim Aleph/1 Thessalonians 3:8 “Because we now live, if you stand fast in the Master.”
Tas’loniqim Bet/2 Thessalonians 2:15 “So, then, brothers, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or by our letter.”
With these passages on Sha’ul emphasising the need to stand fast/firm, we are able to recognise the responsibility we each have, not only for our own lives, but for one another too!
Standing fast/firm, implies a steadfast position of being sure-footed and well balanced, as opposed to being off balance and wobbling in worry!
The concept of standing fast, teaches us that it is a “present continuous action” that is to be maintained in order to correctly be able to rejoice in the Master and not be put off balanced or rocked by the worries of this age and the lies of the enemy.
Being able to stand fast and keep standing, can only be done when one has properly put on the armour of Elohim, which included the helmet of deliverance, giving us the picture of having a sound and secure mind, in Messiah, in all circumstances..
Standing firm and armed in the Torah of Elohim, our minds will be able to think on what we ought.
In verse 5, Sha’ul tells us that we are to let our gentleness be known to all, for our Master is near! Can you see what he is saying here?
We know that the Day of our Master is a dark day and that He is coming with fire to consume His opponents, yet we who are in Him, have peace and we are not wobbled off of our steadfast and firm stand, as seen in our gentleness being known to all!
We are certainly living in very desperate times, and by that, I mean that we can see how so many people are being consumed by fear and panic and unsure of how to make ends meet, with the urgent drive to attain as much as they can, in the hopes of surviving the chaotic financial instability that mankind finds themselves in the midst of.
These are certainly some of the ‘signs of the times’, so to speak, making it even more certain for us, who believe that the Master is near, the strengthened ability to not be overcome by worries and fears but rather, be able to have His joy strengthen us, His Shalom guarding us and in all matters: pray with thanksgiving, letting our gentleness be known to all.
Gentleness not panic!!!
The Greek word that is translated as ‘gentleness’ is ἐπιεικής epieikēs – Strong’s G1933 which means, ‘seemly, equitable, yielding, gentle’, and comes from two words:
1) ἐπί epi – Strong’s G1909 which is a preposition that can render the meaning, ‘upon, on, about, over’ and
2) ἔοικα eoika – Strong’s G1858 which means, ‘to be like’.
What this word ἐπιεικής epieikēs – Strong’s G1933 which is translated as ‘gentleness’ basically means, is: ‘what is fitting, right, equitable’, therefore rendering it as: ‘that which is fitting’.
What is Sha’ul telling us here?
He is saying that we must not look like the rest of the worrisome world, but let that which is fitting for a true rejoicing servant of Elohim be made known to all!
How is that going for you?
Is the fitting rejoicing praise of thanksgiving and confident heart and mind in Messiah, being made know to all, or have you found yourself looking just like the rest of the world, who are being gripped with worries and fears, under the corrupted influence of a lawless world?.
In this fast-paced rat race that we find ourselves in the midst of, it can often be the case that many believers get sucked into the chaotic cycles of the fleshly matters and find that they neglect to remember, and consider, who it is that they are serving, and in the process, they lack the proper rejoicing heart that is fitting for a true ambassador of the reign of our Master, whose reign is near! .
Our actions are primarily guided by the intent of the thoughts of our hearts!
We also know that the last days will be as in the days of Noaḥ, and when we consider this, we take note of what יהוה said concerning mankind:
Berěshith/Genesis 6:5 “And יהוה saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”
The inclination of the thoughts of man was only evil continually!!!
The Hebrew word translated as ‘inclination’ is יֵצֶר yetser – Strong’s H3336 which means, ‘imagination, a form, fashioned, framing, purpose’.
In other words, יהוה understands and knows exactly the forming of our thoughts and the fashioning of our thinking in our life.
He knows what shapes our thinking and the warning that is being given here, is very clear: if you depart from His Word, that ought to shape your thoughts and direct your lives, then you risk the end result of being rejected by Him forever!
יהוה searches the hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts!
The Hebrew root word for ‘thoughts’ is מַחֲשֶׁבֶת maḥasheḇeth – Strong’s H4284 which means, ‘thoughts, devise, scheme, plan, purpose’.
Our thoughts are to be pure and not wicked, as we these words of Sha’ul that we are looking at, where he makes it clear to us what we are to be thinking upon..
Sha’ul is teaching us to represent before all, that which is fitting! Fitting for what?
A steadfast and secure mind in Messiah!!!
For then we will not let worries grip and consume our thoughts, but rather, we will take captive our thought life and subject it to being that which is fitting for true set-apart ones of the Most-High!
When we are standing firm in our Master and letting our gentleness be made know to all, then our prayer life will be fruitful and filled with a continuous thanksgiving, in all prayers and request that are offered up to our Master.
This kind of prayer life, highlights one’s complete trust in יהוה, who is complete control.
We can come boldly to the throne of favour in our time of need, because we have peace with Elohim and therefore, in every matter, we can make our petitions and requests with thanksgiving.
When one is worrying, thanksgiving can not be done from a secure place of standing in complete trust and while many may try to recite scripted prayers and try to orchestrate a manufactured presentation of thanksgiving, true thanksgiving is something that only a gentle, steadfast believer can bring to our Master!.
When we put complete trust in our Master, then His peace guards our minds and His peace surpasses all understanding. This idea of His peace surpassing all understanding, reveals to us a clear promise, that we do not have to try to figure out every situation and get so caught up in worrying how it will work out, for when we stand firm in Him, by being dressed correctly in righteousness, armed in His Torah, then we can make all petitions with thanksgiving, knowing that He hears our prayers and we need not fear the ‘what if’s…’, so to speak!
What Sha’ul is presenting to us here, is the clear picture of contentment, amidst raging storms and battles! For the average person this does not make any sense, for the typical worldly person, that is walking according to the flesh, cannot understand why we, as set-apart believers, are not being rocked by the panic and fears of society at large..
So Sha’ul is reminding us to have a calm, gentle and sound mind in Messiah and then proceeds to tell us what we are to be thinking on!
Having clearly been told to not be thinking on worries and the deceit of unrighteousness and not be thinking on all the junk that is consuming the thought life of most people in the world today, we are to be thinking on these that he shares in verse 8:
Pilipiyim/Philippians 4:8 “For the rest, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is righteous, whatever is clean, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good report, if there is any uprightness and if there is any praise – think on these.”..
1 – TRUE
The Greek word that is translated as ‘true’ is ἀληθής alēthēs – Strong’s G227 which means, ‘true, truthful, truth’ and is constructed from the two words:
1) α alpha – Strong’s G1 which is used as a negative prefix, and:
2) λανθάνω lanthanō – String’s G2990 which means, ‘to be hidden, to be ignorant of, without knowing, being unaware’
What this word ἀληθής alēthēs – Strong’s G227 highlights for us, is that we are not be ignorant and be without knowledge, for we are to know truth and in the context of this letter, Sha’ul is making it clear, that in the face of trying circumstances, where we certainly need the shalom of our Master, we must not be hidden from the truth of His perfect presence, while navigating our way of set-apartness, in the midst of fire and storms!
We are to think on the truth of our Master’s peace that surpasses our understanding.
We are to be thinking on the truth of who we are in Him, as opposed to being ignorant of it and being gripped by the worries of this age and think that we are all alone, for we are not!.
2 – NOBLE
The Greek word that is translated here as ‘noble’ is σεμνός semnos – Strong’s G4586 which means, ‘reverend, venerable, serious, dignified, honourable, men of dignity’ and comes from the root word σέβω sebō – Strong’s G4576 which is a verb that means, ‘to worship, revere, Elohim-fearing’.
This word σεμνός semnos – Strong’s G4586 is translated as ‘serious’ in:
Titos/Titus 2:2 “the older men are to be sober, serious, sensible, sound in belief, in love, in endurance”
It is translated as ‘reverent’ in:
Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 3:8 “Likewise attendants are to be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for filthy gain”
Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 3:11 “Wives in the same way: reverent, not false accusers, sober, trustworthy in every way.”.
This word σεμνός semnos – Strong’s G4586 highlights that which is worthy of respect and noble and therefore, this call to think on that which is worthy of respect, ought to remind us not to allow our thoughts to get dragged away to unworthy and disrespectful matters..
3 – RIGHTEOUS
The Greek word that is translated as ‘righteous’ is δίκαιος dikaios – Strong’s G1342 which means, ‘righteous, innocent, just, upright, keeping the commands of Elohim’.
Our righteousness is not in our own working, but that which is of Messiah, for He took our sin upon Himself in order that we may become the righteousness of Elohim:
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 5:21 “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of Elohim.”
The righteousness of Elohim, is through belief in יהושע Messiah, for we have all sinned and fallen short of His esteem and through His obedience, many have been made righteous – those who believe in Him!
And we take note of what Scripture clearly defines for us, what righteousness is:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 6:25 “And it is righteousness for us when we guard to do all this command before יהוה our Elohim, as He has commanded us.”.
Belief in Him, entails a working belief – that is: a belief/faith with works of obedience – obedience to His commands.
This word δίκαιος dikaios – Strong’s G1342 is used in:
Ḥazon/Revelation 22:11-12 “He who does wrong, let him do more wrong; he who is filthy, let him be more filthy; he who is righteous, let him be more righteous; he who is set-apart, let him be more set-apart. 12 “And see, I am coming 12 speedily, and My reward is with Me, to give to each according to his work.”
The second Greek word that is translated as ‘righteous’, is the noun δικαιοσύνη dikaiosunē – Strong’s G1343 which means, ‘righteousness, justice’ and this is the word that is used in the LXX (Septuagint – Greek translation of the Tanak), to describe Aḇraham:
Berěshith/Genesis 15:6 “And he believed in יהוה, and He reckoned it to him for righteousness.”
When we are thinking upon that which is righteous, then we are thinking on The Word of Elohim and in our seeking of His Kingdom and his righteousness, we identify clearly that this pictures for us our need to be meditating upon His Torah, day and night, in order to guard our thought life and always thinking about what we are to do and what we are not to do!.
4 – CLEAN
The Greek word that is translated as ‘clean’ comes from the root word ἁγνός hagnos – Strong’s G53 which means, ‘free from ceremonial defilement, innocent, pure’.
From this root word we get the verb ἁγνίζω hagnizō – Strong’s G48 which means, ‘to purify, cleanse from defilement’, which is translated as ‘cleansed’ in:
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 1:22-25 “Now that you have cleansed your lives in obeying the truth through the Spirit to unfeigned brotherly love, love one another fervently with a clean heart, 23 having been born again – not of corruptible seed, but incorruptible – through the living Word of Elohim, which remains forever, 24 because “All flesh is as grass, and all the esteem of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away, 25 but the Word of Elohim remains forever.” And this is the Word, announced as Good News to you.”
Thinking on that which is clean and pure, highlights the need for us to be innocent toward the evil and wicked ways of lawlessness and corruption.
Our thoughts are to be pure and clean and reflect one who has been cleansed from all sin, teaching us that we are not to waste our time thinking on impure and corrupt abominable matters, which will only defile the heart and mind and cause one’s steadfast position to be compromised!.
5 – LOVELY
The Greek word that is translated as ‘lovely’ is προσφιλής prosphilēs – String’s G4375 which means, ‘pleasing, agreeable and lovely’ and is only used here in this verse in the Renewed Writings. It comes from the two words:
1) πρός pros – Strong’s G4314 which is a primary preposition meaning, ‘advantageous for, at (denotes local proximity), toward (denotes motion toward a place)’, and
2) φιλέω phileō – Strong’s G5368 which means, ‘to love, kiss’ and comes from the primitive word φίλος philos – Strong’s G5384 which means, ‘beloved, dear, friend’.
The idea of φιλέω phileō – Strong’s G5368 also highlights companionship and as one who associates familiarly with another..
We are to be thinking on that which is advantageous in loving one another in Messiah.
This highlights how we are to be concerned for one another, in order to stir up love and good works, thinking about each other as opposed to neglecting one another.
Sha’ul is teaching us to not be self-centred, so that we can be thinking about how we can serve one another in love and guard the unity of our Master in the body..
6 – GOOD REPORT
The Greek word that is translated as ‘good report’ is εὔφημος euphēmos – Strong’s G2163 which means, ‘well reported of, good repute, worthy of praise, admirable, praiseworthy, commendable’.
This word is only used in this verse and comes from the root words:
1) εὖ eu – Strong’s G2095 which is an adverb meaning, ‘good, well done’ and
2) φήμη phēmē – Strong’s G5345 which means, ‘a saying, report, fame, news’.
I think that what Sha’ul is saying here is pretty clear…
We are to think on the good news!
Let us not be giving our ear to the junk evil news of eth world, which only breeds fear, insecurity and panic, but rather, let us think on the good news – that which builds us up in the Most Set-Apart belief!.
7 – UPRIGHTNESS.
The Greek word that is translated as ‘uprightness’ is ἀρετή aretē – Strong’s G703 which carries the meaning of ‘moral excellence, virtue, purity, praise etc.’ and is often translated as ‘praise’ and is translated as ‘praises’, in:
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a set-apart nation, a people for a possession, that you should proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light”
Having been called out of darkness into His marvellous light in order to praise Him! When the preciousness of our belief is understood then a proper praise can be brought forth as we celebrate the light that He has called us in to!
In essence, this can carry the understanding of being faithfully set-apart, as well as our ability to bring the proper rejoicing praise to Elohim, in declaring the excellence of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvellous light and are now the sheep of His pasture.
We are to be Sheep who hear His voice and gather and rejoice at His command! .
8 – PRAISE
The Greek word that is translated as ‘praise’ is ἔπαινος epainos – Strong’s G1868 which means, ‘praise, commendation, worthy of praise’ and comes from the two words:
1) ἐπί epi – Strong’s G1909 which is a preposition that can render the meaning, ‘upon, on, about, over’ and
2) αἰνέω aineō – Strong’s G134 which means, ‘to sing praise’ and is used 9 times in the Renewed Writings (N.T.) and only in reference to praise being given to Elohim!
We are to be thinking about the praise that is to be given to Elohim, for when we are thinking about this, then our lives will be about making a joyous boast in our Redeemer and King, who has called us out of darkness and out of the things that try to grip one with worries and stress!.
8 things that Sha’ul mentions here for us to think on. 8, as we know, represents a renewal and refreshing, which is a wonderful thing to consider here, as we take time to hear what is being encouraged in this chapter, which calls us to be content and focus on the things of our Master, being transformed by the renewal of our minds, in order to be steadfast in a joy filled trust in our king and on guard against being conformed to the unstable and crippling ways of this lawless world!.
THINK ON THESE…!
The Greek word that is translated as ‘think on’ is λογίζομαι logizomai – Strong’s G3049 which means, ‘an account or reckoning, to consider, take count, think, occupy oneself with calculations’.
This word is translated as ‘reckons’ in Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 13:5, where we are told that love reckons not the evil!
We are not to sit and recount in our mind all the bad and wicked thing that are going on, or have been done to us, for this will only stir up bitterness, fear and resentment and render one unable to bear the true fruit of righteousness expressed in loving-commitment toward Elohim!
What things do you consider and recount in your mind – the good and functional way of Elohim, as given through the Torah, or on the wicked and destructive patterns of a lawless world!
This also teaches us that when we walk in true love, we do not sit and recount everyone’s wicked past and occupy ourselves with past failings!
Often people relate their past wickedness and laugh and joke at the things they did, when we ought to be ashamed of our past sins, reckoning our lives as having been plucked from the fire, giving esteem and thanks to our Redeemer and King, יהושע Messiah!
Our thoughts and speech must not be riddled with the past reckoning and gloating of a lawless life, but rather be esteeming the good way and walk in it with joy!.
What we are to ‘think upon’ and ‘reckon’, is the 8 things that we have just looked at:
True, noble, righteous, clean, lovely, good report, uprightness, praise!.
Sha’ul then goes on to tell the believers in Philippi to keep on practicing that which they had learned from him and the Greek word that is translated as ‘practice’, in verse 9, is πράσσω prassō – Strong’s G4238 which means, ‘to do, attend to, perform, undertake to do, practice, be busy with, accomplish’.
What Sha’ul was telling them, was that they were to be busy with that which they had learned from him, and that which he had just reminded them of, in terms of their thought life! .
How many of you have found your mind wandering from the truth, purity and righteousness, and have often found yourself, at times, getting involved in rude discussions and coarse joking’s, which clearly does not build others up?
Well, this is what we are to guard against, and we will do just that when we practice to think on that which we should!
When we do practice to think on what we should, then the Elohim of peace will be with us!.
Now, here in verse 11, is the concept of how we are to get true contentment, and as we see from Sha’ul’s words, from a prison cell, he tells us plainly that he ‘learned to be content’ in whatever state he was! .
Reverence is a clear duty and responsibility of a set-apart servant of the Most–High, and when we understand that true reverence with true contentment gives us great gain, and establishes within us a secure and joy-filled mind, we need to recognise that contentment does not just fall into one’s lap – it needs to be learned!
What Sha’ul teaches us, is that we should not be the victim of our circumstances, but we should rather be the victor over our circumstances, where we are in a secure place of a pure thought life that strengthens us in the Beloved, and gives us the courage to accept all circumstances and not be crippled by them, but rather, be strengthened to do all through Messiah who empowers us, in the Truth of His Living Word!.
We need to learn to not be pampered in order to be content, but rather, we ought to find true contentment in our Master, as we follow Him and walk as He walked!.
Contentment is not complacency, nor is it a false peace based on ignorance, for the complacent are unconcerned about others, while the one who is truly content is always willing to share in what he does have, despite how much or how little that may be, and in fact, the truly content one will even share in his lack! .
Contentment is not an escape from the battles of life, but rather it is a faithful abiding in the full shalom that we have in our Master, as we walk in Him and remain in Him, amidst the battles that surround us continually!.
Sha’ul learned to be content!!!
The Greek word that is translated as ‘learned’ is μανθάνω manthanō – Strong’s G3129 which means, ‘learn by use, practice’ and the basic meaning of this Greek word is understood as, ‘to experience’, and the use of this word implies an intellectual concern, which can therefore also render for us the understanding of, ‘seek to experience’ or, ‘learn to know’; and this word is also used in the Greek language with the understanding of, ‘learning skills under instruction’. .
This word comes from the root μαθ– math which means, ‘to learn, educated, receive instruction’, and a derivative of the word μανθάνω manthanō is μαθητής mathētēs – Strong’s G3101 which means, ‘disciple, pupil, student, taught one or one who is learning’. .
Sha’ul was one who had learnt, under the instructions of our Master, on how to be content in all situations, as he would follow the instructions of the Good Teacher! .
The Greek word translated as ‘content’ is αὐτάρκης autarkēs – Strong’s G842 which means, ‘content, sufficient for one’s self, self-sufficient, independent of external circumstances’, and this comes from two Greek words:
1) αὐτός autos – Strong’s G846 which is a pronoun that means, ‘self, he, she, it’ and
2) ἀρκέω arkeō – Strong’s G714 which means, ‘be enough, suffice, content, to be possessed of unfailing strength, be strong, ward off, defend’.
This clearly implies for us that, in the battles of changing circumstances, you take a firm and shalom–filled stand, and be strong and of good courage!
This ability to stand, in any circumstance, takes a learning to stand in any circumstance!
In order to stand firm and possess an unfailing strength in the Master, we need to learn how to stand, and so, it comes with a much–needed learning on how to do that, through many differing circumstances, and so we, as students of the Most–High, are enlisted in the school of life and receive ‘on the job training’, for which we are fitted in the Master for every good work, regardless of the circumstances we find ourselves in! .
There were certainly times when Sha’ul pleaded for a way out, yet when he asked or pleaded with the Master 3 times, that a thorn in the flesh be taken from him, he was given a very clear answer:
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 12:9 “And He said to me, “My favour is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, then, I shall rather boast in my weaknesses, so that the power of Messiah rests on me.”
The Greek word that is translated as ‘sufficient’ is ἀρκέω arkeō – Strong’s G714, which we have just discussed!
This word ἀρκέω arkeō – Strong’s G714is also found in:
Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 6:8 “When we have food and covering, we shall be satisfied with these.”.
We have our covering in the Blood of Messiah, and we have our food in the Word that sustains us, and having these we shall be content!
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 13:5-6 “Let your way of life be without the love of money, and be satisfied with what you have. For He Himself has said, “I shall never leave you nor forsake you”, 6 so that we boldly say, “יהוה is my helper, I shall not fear what man shall do to me.””
Be content with what you have… for יהוה is our help!!!
And it is in various circumstances that we will learn this, for we will quickly learn that יהוה is our help, when we find ourselves in life’s most difficult situation and circumstances, where the only peaceful option, is to learn to be content and satisfied with what we have! When we can continue to learn this, along with pure reverence, we will find GREAT GAIN!!!.
This message ought to cause us to look into the mirror of the Word and assess our own lives, in order to see if we are open to the continual learning of contentment, that, when coupled with reverence, we shall find great gain in standing steadfast in our belief, with a secure mind in our Master, or… are we falling too easily into worries!.
When we have the Master as our sure help and shield, why should we not be content!
As we consider the following verses from Tehillim/Psalms, may we be strengthened to learn to be content and stand in great reverence of our coming King.
Tehillah/Psalm 33:20 “Our being has longed for יהוה; our help and our shield is He.”
Tehillah/Psalm 54:4 “See, Elohim is my helper; יהוה is with those who sustain my life.”
Tehillah/Psalm 63:7 “For You have been my help, and in the shadow of Your wings I sing.”
Tehillah/Psalm 115:9-11 “O Yisra’ĕl, trust in יהוה; He is their help and their shield. 10 O house of Aharon, trust in יהוה; He is their help and their shield. 11 You who fear יהוה, trust in יהוה; He is their help and their shield.”
Tehillah/Psalm 124:8 “Our help is in the Name of יהוה, maker of the heavens and earth.”.
Knowing this truth, why should we worry anymore…. Let us learn to be content, Aměn!.
In verse 13, Sha’ul made a very clear and bold statement by saying:
“I have strength to do all, through Messiah who empowers me.”
This is a very powerful verse, which speaks great volumes, as it highlights for us the true reality that we are unable to do all without Messiah!
If He is not empowering us, we cannot do it all, yet when we allow His Word to empower us and lead us, we can do all.
Over the past couple of months, we have all been facing the effects of a wasting disease that has been poured out on the earth and, as a result, various battles and challenging circumstances have risen in our lives, to which we need to be empowered to endure as we stay in our Master.
When one goes through a battle of any kind, be it for health, for financial of for relational struggles, we may not often grasp the full reason for the battle, yet find that we need to get through it as best as we can.
This is where the powerful truth of this verse comes in; as we need to recognise, that without Messiah we are actually unable to do all.
While reasons for various battles may or may not be identifiable, what we, as believers in Messiah, must recognise and allow, is that it is Messiah who empowers us to have the strength to go through whatever we face and this truth must not be neglected, or misunderstood, in any way. .
The Greek word that is translated in Pilipiyim/Philippians 4:13 as ‘empowers’ is ἐνδυναμόω endunamoō – Strong’s G1743 which means, ‘to grow in power, increase in strength, strengthened, strengthens, be made strong’.
This word is used 8 times in the Renewed Writings (N.T.) and as we consider the use of this word, we are able to see that we are only truly strengthened, or empowered, in/by the Master when we walk as He walked and stay in Him by guarding His commands!.
We see this word ἐνδυναμόω endunamoō – Strong’s G1743 being used in:
Ma’asei/Acts 9:22 “But Sha’ul kept increasing in strength, and was confounding the Yehuḏim who dwelt in Damascus, proving that this is the Messiah.”
Romiyim/Romans 4:20-21 “he did not hesitate about the promise of Elohim through unbelief, but was strengthened in belief, giving esteem to Elohim, 21 and being completely persuaded that what He had promised He was also able to do.”
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 6:10 “For the rest, my brothers, be strong in the Master and in the mightiness of His strength.”
Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 1:12 “And I thank Messiah יהושע our Master who empowered me, because He counted me trustworthy, putting me into service”
Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 4:16-17 “At my first defence no one stood with me, but all forsook me. Let it not be held against them. 17 But the Master stood with me and did strengthen me, so that through me the preaching might be completely accomplished, and that all the gentiles should hear. And I was rescued out of the lion’s mouth.”
Can you hear the words of Sha’ul here?
When everyone forsook him… the Master did not!
The Master strengthened him, so that he could accomplish, completely, what he was to do, even being rescued out of the lion’s mouth – that is – he was rescued from a sure death sentence!
When everyone had forsaken him and no one would stand with him…!
How often have you felt all alone and forsaken by all? How often do you feel like giving up?
How often do you allow crippling circumstances or battles to cause you to fail in your trust and belief in the Master?
We can learn from this, how the Master’s Word is true and sure – He will never leave us nor forsake us – even when everyone else will!
And we can be sure, that even while everyone may forsake you and stand against you, you can still be strengthened in the Master to accomplish all that you should do!
The question is, “do you believe it or not?”.
This Greek word ἐνδυναμόω endunamoō – Strong’s G1743 is the construct of two words:
1) – ἐν en – Strong’s G1722 which is a primary preposition denoting position, and is translated as, ‘in, on, at, by, with’, and
2) – δυναμόω dunamoō – Strong’s G1412 which means, ‘to make strong, enable, strengthened’, and it is this word δυναμόω dunamoō – Strong’s G1412 that we see being used in the LXX (Septuagint – Greek translation of the Tanak – O.T.) 4 times.
We see it being used in:
Qoheleth/Ecclesiastes 10:10 “If an iron tool is blunt, and one does not sharpen the edge, then he needs more strength, and wisdom is advantageous to make right.”
This is plain and simple: if your sword is blunt… you need more strength!
The Word of Elohim is living and working and is sharper than any double-edged sword and is profitable for teaching, reproof, setting straight and instruction in righteousness, so that we can be fitted for every good work!
In Sha’ul’s letter to the Philippians, the Greek word that is translated as ‘strength to do’ comes from the word ἰσχύω ischuō – Strong’s G2480 which means, ‘to be strong, have power, strong enough, healthy’, and has the understanding of having sufficient strength, ability and power, both physically and morally. .
Our ability to be strong and able to be faithful witnesses of our Master and His coming reign, comes through Him empowering us through His Living Word, as we submit and obey and guard to do all He has commanded us to. .
The Master tells us that many will not be strong enough, as we see this word ἰσχύω ischuō – Strong’s G2480 being used in His words, in:
Luqas/Luke 13:24 “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, because many, I say to you, shall seek to enter in and shall not be able.”
Here this word ἰσχύω ischuō – Strong’s G2480 is used in the negative sense, of highlighting how so many seek to enter the narrow gate, yet will not be able to nor have the strength to do so, all because it is not Messiah who is empowering them!.
The Greek word that is used here for ‘strive’ is ἀγωνίζομαι agōnizomai – Strong’s G75 which means, ‘to contend for a prize, struggle, compete, labouring earnestly’.
Our sojourning is certainly not an easy road, yet we must labour intensely in the Word, as we seek to take our stand of righteousness, for when we labour in the Word, by meditating day and night on it and guard to do all that is commanded, as a pure love response of obedience to our Master, then His Word will cause us to be empowered to face all, no matter what we face… whether it be a physical challenge, an emotional battle, a relational one or any sort that tends to get us flustered, when we should be strengthened and empowered by our Master and Messiah!.
Reverence with contentment is great gain – will you live it?
The choice is yours – I charge you in the sight of Elohim to live the right way: His way!
And fight the good fight of belief, holding on to the confession of your faith in Messiah, by walking the talk, doing what you are commanded to do: guarding the commands and make sure that you hear, guard and do – without any grumbling! And trust in the Living Elohim, not in the uncertainties of things that perish!
And decide to do good – be rich in good works being generous ready to share!
Will you learn to be content? Will you think on that which you should?
Will you let Messiah empower you?
The answer to these questions should be a responding YES and aměn in Messiah!.
יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show you favour; יהוה lift up His face upon you and give you Shalom!.