What does it mean to think and act like a Christian? The key is to have a Kingdom Mindset – a way of thinking that recognizes God’s hand on your life. When we pattern our lives from the following verses in Philippians, we encounter the peace of God and the God of peace. To help us get the most out of this passage, let’s take a look at notes from the Tony Evans Study Bible.


Philippians 4:4-9 (CSB)

4Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6Do not worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy—dwell on these things. 9Do what you have learned and received and heard from me, and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.

4:4 – Rejoice in the Lord always!

The church faces opposition within and without, yet here is Paul, writing a letter about joy and telling the Philippians to rejoice. From a human perspective, it doesn’t make sense. And yet the path to joy is to actually choose to rejoice, so Paul tells them to rejoice in the Lord always.

Worldly happiness is not the same as godly happiness. Godly happiness is called joy. In the Bible, the word joy is a celebration term. Thus, Paul is calling for celebration. The difference between joy and secular happiness is that the latter depends on what happens; it is circumstantially driven. So, if things are going in an upward direction in life, you feel up, but if things are going down, you feel down. This keeps you on an emotional roller coaster Biblical joy, by contrast, has to do with stability and celebration on the inside regardless of circumstances on the outside. We must choose to rejoice in order to experience the joy God promises us.

4:5 – Let your reasonableness be known to everyone

In other words, don’t spread unhappiness to others. Being gracious means we don’t use our ministries to be vindictive or hateful when things aren’t going well. Rather, we embrace a good attitude because we know the Lord is near. If we refuse to rejoice and instead complain, we can make the very near God feel very far off indeed.

4:6 – Do not be anxious about anything

Every time we begin to worry, we should see that as a call from God telling us that it’s time to pray. Prayer is relational communication with God. It seeks to draw resources from the invisible spiritual realm into visible, physical reality. The sobering truth is that the more you worry, the less you pray. But the more you pray, the less you worry.

When you make a petition, be specific. A moment in which you are plagued by worry is not the time for one of those general prayers for God to bless the world. To deal with anxiety, make sure your petitions are precise. Get real with God.

Prayer can often feel frustrating—like when you go to a soda machine, put in your money, punch the button, and nothing comes out. But thinking of it in those terms causes us to miss how prayer works. God wants us to make requests with thanksgiving. Give thanks, not for the problem itself, but for the God you are inviting into your specific problem. Offering thanks is a demonstration of faith in God’s goodness and provision despite what you see.

4:7 – The peace of God

When you pray as instructed in 4:6, the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard [you] in Christ Jesus. In other words, you’ll experience calm in the midst of chaos. You will know God heard your prayer, not necessarily because the problem is solved, but because of the peace that God gives you. It’s as if God puts soldiers and sentries around your feelings and thoughts.


Kingdom Living: The Key to a Kingdom Mind

A kingdom mind is ultimately responsible for how you live out your life as a kingdom citizen. As you think, so you are. One of the most impor-tant things that you can do as a follower of Jesus Christ is to think on the things that are true. Far too often, Satan tries to place subtle lies within our thoughts. They aren’t enough to attract our attention, but they are enough to get our line of thinking off of the truth. In order to remain focused on the truth, it is essential to commit the Word of God to memory.

Scripture tells us to think on the things that are lovely, pure, sensible, and true. We read in Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi, “Brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy—dwell on these things” (Phil 4:8).

The reverse of that holds true as well. Whatever is untrue, dishonorable, unjust, impure, unlovely, and not commendable—we are to guard our minds against. Our minds are integral to how we live our lives: they steer what decisions we make, what words we choose to use, and even the level of faith we exhibit toward God. One of the most helpful things you can do is commit Philippians 4:8 to memory and make it your guiding force throughout your day. Do this and watch what God does both in and through you.


4:8 – Think about these things

We don’t want to lose the peace God grants us in the next hour or the next day. So to prevent that, Paul says we’re to dwell on whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, and commendable, and if there is any moral excellence and . . . anything praiseworthy, we’re to focus our attention there. One of the reasons we don’t keep our peace is that we tend to dwell on the things that are set in opposition to the peace we’re asking for. If we continue to entertain messages that work against our peace, anxiety will soon return. We must, therefore, ask ourselves if we are able to praise God for the things that we are dwelling on. If we can’t, then we’ll soon lose the peace God has given us.

4:9 – The God of peace

The Philippians were to handle things the way they had seen Paul handle things. He was in prison, but he was praising God instead of worrying. One of the purposes of the church is to connect believers with other kingdom-minded people. We need support, and we need good examples. When we’re rejoicing and praying and dwelling on the right things and watching the right people, we don’t just have the peace of God, we have the God of peace. We get his peace, and we get his presence.

The Tony Evans Study Bible

Tony Evans Study Bible Kingdom Mindset

The Tony Evans Study Bible is an extensive verse-by-verse resource that spans the whole Bible. You’ll also find engaging articles, charts, maps, Gospel harmonies, and more. Originally written around the CSB translation, you can use these notes alongside any Bible in the Olive Tree App! Add this study Bible to your library today and use it in your small groups and devotional time!

2 Comments

  1. Adekunle Oderinde Reply

    Thanks for the in-depth analysis of the word, keep the good work going and the Lord saviour Himself will reward you abundantly in Jesus name.

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