Cool Heads in Chaotic Times
Scripture: Philippians 4:4–4:7
Paul ends chapter 3 ends with a call to a heavenly mindset:
'For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.'
Then chapter 4 begins with Paul saying: 'Therefore...in this way stand firm in the Lord, my beloved.'
The 'therefore' connects the previous call to a heavenly mindset to the exhortation to 'stand firm in the Lord.'
Matthew Henry said, “The believing hope and prospect of eternal life should engage us to be steady, even, and constant, in our Christian course.”
And that really is what the bulk of chapter four deals with. They are to stand firm in a heavenly mindset. They're citizens of heaven and that citizenship is to be accompanied with a particular set of characteristics.
Every nation or government seeks to produce a certain character in its citizens.
For example, in the ancient world the Spartans sought to produce a war-like people and the Athenians a wise people.
In the more modern world, the British seek to produce a proper people, Germans an efficient people, and the French a cultured people.
Now, I'm not sure how to sum up the type of people America seeks to produce in a few words. Once upon a time, the goal was to produce a self-reliant sort of people. Not so anymore.
Today, my inclination is to say we are a comfortable people. We are all about the low cost pursuit of happiness. And our paternalistic government seems to nurture that. They seek to produce a docile and dependent people.
Nonetheless, the question then is what are the characteristics of the citizens of heaven? What is our heavenly government seeking to nurture in us?"