We Are Better Together | July Newsletter 2024

Philippians 4:1-9

In my 10th grade high school music class, I had a music teacher named Ms. June Thomas. At the time, I attended Northside High School, and I was on the path to graduation. I always had a gift and interest to sing gospel music. There were several classes I had to take, but I also had to take a class in one of the arts. I choose singing. Mrs. Thomas knew this class was needed for graduation. As she began to teach us voice lessons, she pulled us to the side, one at a time and said to us we must finish this class. She even came up with a parable to make sure we understood the severity of participation in Music 101, “Whether the weather is cold or whether the weather is hot, we will be together no matter the weather, whether we like it or not.” Quite a tongue twister, but it assured us we were stuck together in the Ministry of music for Northside High School. I learned a valuable lesson in that high school gospel choir, we are better together!

In my opinion this is the message the Apostle Paul is writing about in this 4th chapter of Phillippians. 

The church at Phillippi was suffering much persecution from those inside and outside of the Church. They were a church that was going through, but even though they were going through themselves, they were still supportive of the Apostle Paul. Philippians is one of the prison epistles. Unlike the other 3, Paul didn’t write to this church out of a crisis, but he wrote to these believers to show his appreciation and affection for these believers.

Philippians 4 speaks of Christ’s strength in times of suffering. Paul encourages these battered and belittled believers to stick together. 

He starts off by saying Therefore. You must ask the question, what is therefore, therefore? In chapter 3 he had just told them of the bragging rights he could have. Being a Pharisee of Pharisee, well educated, known by both sides of the track, circumcised on the eighth day, well versed in the scripture. Paul says I could boast, but nothing matters to me but Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Everything else is counted as dung. He goes on to say he has not made it, but he is pressing toward the prize which is Christ Jesus.

He tells them they are going to have to change their mind about earthly things and put their minds on heavenly things and bring their flesh under control. 

With all that’s been said, Paul says “therefore”, I Love you, you are my Joy and crown, you are my dear friends. I know there have been some differences between you, but I’m counting on you to remain together. He first speaks to the saints about their Togetherness, “ If We are gonna become One in Christ! 

  1. Stand Together– In easy times, sometimes are easier than others, but sometimes things get hard. But you will make it and subdue the enemy if you stand together. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says, “Two are better than one, greater is their reward when they stand together. Pity the one that when he falls, he has no one to pick him up. Not only should we Stand Together, but we should, 
  2. Stay Together– Sometimes on our walk we will have Personality conflicts. We just don’t sit right. When this happens, it will cause problems. But don’t let a clash stop the work. I’m pleading with Euodia and Syntyche, make up and continue the work. We are a greater force when we stay together. A three-cord string is not easily broken. Not only do I pray you will Stand Together, and Stay together, but there will be breakthroughs when you,
  3.  Shout Together– v4 Paul employs them to rejoice in the Lord always. Rejoice means kick it. Kick it with Jesus, don’t let trials, temptations, turbulence stop your shout. Don’t be anxious, be gentle in front of folk. Don’t War in Public- Work things out. “Battles are not won on the battlefield, but battles are won in the Conference Room”, Talk it out, so you can Walk it out. Don’t Worry in Private. Matthew 6:34 says, DO NOT WORRY. Don’t worry about it but pray about it. Fourthly, 
  4. Supplicate Together– James 5:16 states: “the fervent effectual prayers of the righteous availeth much.” A family that prays together will stay together. When you pray, peace will find you. In fact, this Peace will surpass all understanding, Folk will be trying to figure out, how can you smile at a time like this. But tell them It’s something on the inside, working on the outside, and I just can’t hold my Peace.  Prayer will direct you and Peace will protect you. WE ARE BETTER TOGETHER!

By: Leon Jones Jr.