Monday, May 28, 2007

Philippians 4:8—“Finally, Brothers”

Building guidelines for fiction can be extremely tricky. Fiction, by its very nature, has extensive variety, much of which doesn’t fit perfectly into a box, and this creates innumerable variables that can play havoc with our structure. Therefore, a firm foundation is a must or everything could collapse upon us. What better foundation can there be than the infallible words of God?

So today we lay the first stones by studying the beginning words of Philippians 4:8. (For why Philippians 4:8, check out last week's post, "Philippians 4:8.")

Finally: Don’t start rolling your eyes yet. This is a very important word, perhaps the most important one in the verse because it’s a conjunction.

No, I’m not trying to show off my grammar prowess. Conjunctions are important: they demonstrate the relationship between two sets of words.

What then does finally show us, since it’s the first word of verse 8? That verse 8 is related to verse 7: “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (How’s that for the obvious?)

So God has promised to guard (a military word meaning to place troops around for protection) the heart and mind. What does that have to do with the instructions for verse 8? The Greek word for finally also means “from now on, henceforth, still, beyond that, in addition.” These instructions teach us how to mine treasures worth guarding: Since God’s peace places troops around our hearts and minds to protect us from enemy attacks, let us from now on fill our hearts and minds with treasure worth guarding.

Brothers: To whom do these principles apply? To Paul’s siblings? No, Paul writes to his fellow-Christians—and that includes us today.

Therefore, God’s peace guards every Christian’s heart, and so all of us should be intent on seeking the greatest treasure.

“Finally, brothers…” Two simple words packed with so much meaning—and we haven’t even hit the meat of this verse. Ever get the feeling this could take awhile?

Feet on the ground, head in the clouds,
Chawna Schroeder

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