Phil. 4:5 Let your forbearance be known to all men. The Lord is near.
James 5:8 You also be long-suffering; establish your hearts because the coming of the Lord has drawn near.
Twenty one centuries plus years ago or more a star shown in the middle east signaled a seismic change in God's order of things. The change significantly rested on the birth of God who humbled Himself and took on the likeness of man to be born of a virgin.
Before then there has been several hints of God's intentions through the Old Testament. Proceeded by a messenger called John who was a forerunner to announce His birth. John also was privileged to baptise such a One. The ripples and intensification of the good news the birth of a child named Jesus Christ ( a name named above every name universally, in whom we find the fullness of God and the full hope of the hopeless world) is climaxing.
By this time there is no doubt that the main pillars or indicators for the physical return of the King of kings is undoubtedly all over the universe both heavens and earth including the depths of the earth. The fig tree is fully blossoming, with His children brought from all over the world to the promised land. The fulfilment of the Spirit of God dwelling in men have manifested according to Joel.
In 4:5 Paul also says, "The Lord is near." Many readers of Philippians take this as a reference to the Lord's coming. I do not say that this does not refer at all to the coming of the Lord; however, I believe that it does not mainly refer to His coming. On the contrary, it refers primarily to the Lord's presence with us.
The Lord is near; He is with us.When we live Him, taking Him as our pattern and counting all things loss in order to gain Him, we sense that He is present with us. He is near both in space and in time. In space, He is close to us, ready to help; in time, He is at hand, coming soon. The popular and most expected. However His indwelling aspects is hardly visible if you listen to their praises and worship songs.
Since the Lord is near, what need is there for us to be troubled and stirred up? When we live Christ, knowing that He is near, we should let others know our forbearance, our moderation our compassion our mercies.
Paul had no intention to be like Confucius in teaching us to be patient and to bear difficulties. The factor which motivated him to write I state again as I have before, these verses was his desire to show the expression of a life that lives Christ. Thus, in 4:5-9 we see a picture of a life that lives Christ. If we are living Christ, we should let others know our forbearance. They should see that we are calm, tranquil, and moderate and that nothing can disturb our inward calm.
However, when we are not calm, we surely are not in Christ. Then in our experience the Lord is not near.Instead of calm, we may have anxiety, which destroys our tranquility and causes us to lose the inward peace. Whenever we lose our tranquility, we are unable to live Christ. It is not possible to fight with others or to argue and at the same time to live Christ. Living Christ requires absolute tranquility, absolute calm.
Are we are directed by the indwelling spirit of or the nearness of Christ to remain calm in the face of adversities.? Does it affects the functionalism of the leading members of your local church?
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