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Chapter Four: The Foundation of Humble Joy. Although these next verses are often labeled “Final Exhortations,” they might be better called “Fundamental Foundations.”  I am intentionally reprinting this from the NIV.

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

1. I have highlighted five very important statements.  What do you think these statements have in common.  Think hard.

2. What is the significance of beginning this section with a command to REJOICE?

3. What do you think he means by gentleness?  Why the reminder that the Lord is near?

4.Why the command to abandon anxiety?  How does Paul say we achieve that?

5. What is the promise of choosing to do those things?

6.  Why the additional commands following this?  How do they help insure that you can rejoice in all things and abandon anxiety?




  1. These verses are marked in my Bible with a letter from Jean Spiese during her final days. She encouraged me with them, and said they had always brought her comfort and peace (along with verses 10-13). As I watched her during her final days, I saw how these verses helped her to die victoriously, not in sadness. She truly did rejoice in her friends and family and in all God had done in her life. She gently and lovingly helped us learn from her experiences. She gave her anxiety to God, more than anyone I have ever seen. She trusted Him, and He brought her peace, and that peace touched the lives of those around her. In spite of pain, she did focus on the good things around her. For me, she made death much less a scary thing and more of a going home after a long (and in her case, fruitful) journey. She is my role model for living and dying in Christ.

  2. Jean was a model and an inspiration to many of us. People die with dignity when they live for Christ.

  3. Rejoice in the Lord! Rejoice because we are given the gift of His love and eternal life – He is always near. He is present in EVERY situation we encounter. He says in EVERY situation, big or small, come to Him. It is so easy to do, but do we do it? We still try to handle things on our own. We then turn to Him when things are not going the way we planned or situations are difficult. We should always THANK Him for His gift of love before placing our burdens on Him. I myself need to work on that.

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