“Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.” Phil. 4:9
One of the biggest mistakes I have made through the years, to which I still can fall so easily prey in my ever high-speed-through-life style, is to hurry and scurry through reading God’s Word and to miss the incredible significance of the words in His Word. Take, for example, Philippians 4:9, a scripture which I confess I had overlooked because I have usually in that chapter landed on the often preached verses including one of my favorites. But herein lies such a powerful message, and the language within it, when carefully read and digested, is incredibly revealing – and convicting.
The apostle Paul in this letter to the believers in Philippi tells them something that on the surface seems like a simple instruction to be quickly passed over. But not so. First and foremost, the instruction is just as much to us today as it was to the people back then. Second, pay careful attention to the language. Before Paul gives the instruction which is clearly from God because it’s God’s Word, he goes over four different things these people have done. They have LEARNED. They have RECEIVED. They have HEARD. They have SEEN him as a role model of what they have been taught. He practiced what he preached. They didn’t just learn from him. They took into themselves what they learned. It didn’t go in one ear and out the other. They digested it by receiving it rather than rejecting it and rebelliously tossing it to the wayside. They didn’t just listen to him and rush off back to their everyday lives. They heard him. And they saw him walk the talk. So what was the instruction? Not to just learn, receive, hear, and see what he taught. To DO it!
There are two vital lessons in here for those who want to spend eternity with God in heaven through a life devoted to Christ. We need to LEARN, RECEIVE, HEAR, SEE in others, and DO God’s Word. This involves diligent, continual, dedicated study not just relying on others preaching behind the pulpit, but spending time with the Lord ourselves deeply entrenched in ongoing study of His Word and committing to DOING what He by His Spirit teaches us in His Word. And we need to model His Word to others like Paul so others can LEARN, RECEIVE, HEAR, SEE, and DO what the Spirit of God teaches us in His Word and empowers us to do.
Are you a dedicated learner, receiver, hearer, doer, and model of God’s Word? There is nothing more challenging – and nothing more exciting and fulfilling – than learning to do just this. Notice the promise in this verse. “THE GOD OF PEACE SHALL BE WITH YOU.” There is no greater promise than God being with us forever because we genuinely believe in and truly follow the Lord Jesus Christ! Ready for the challenge?