Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends!
I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.
Yes, stand firm in the Lord! What a message for this time of uncertainty. The world around us doesn’t often cooperate with our plans or the timetables we try to set. We would like life to return to normal and for the fear of illness to be eradicated and for everyone to get along. We would like peace and blessing in our lives and across the globe. Knowing that such wishes rarely come true in the broken world, we remind ourselves to stand firm in the Lord, whatever may come our way.
We don’t know exactly what challenges the Philippian church faced, specifically the struggles endured by Euodia and Syntyche, two women commended by Paul for their ministry and commitment to the gospel. Churches have never been immune to conflict or trials, some internal and some coming from outside the body of believers. What we do know is that Paul wanted all those who called on the name of Jesus to “be of the same mind in the Lord,” that is to seek unity and peace with one another. He understood that everyone who seeks to advance the cause of the gospel is a co-worker and companion. The unity of the church gives us strength to withstand trials and to overcome hardship.
We should also find encouragement, as we stand firm and seek unity with one another, to know that our names are written “in the book of life.” The name of every follower of Jesus has been recorded, irrevocably and for eternity. Your name, known by and precious to Jesus, has already been written in that book. Jesus’ commitment to you is firm and unwavering, and He desires that our faith and the unity of the church remain firm as well.
Father, You know my name and have a place prepared for me in Your glorious presence. Thank You for this great assurance. Give me strength to stand firm through the trials of this life and to stand side-by-side with my brothers and sisters in Your church. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Pastor Mike Mirakian