September 17, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved. I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord.”—Philippians 4:1–2 (NKJV)
It’s been said, “The Bible isn’t just cake for special occasions, but bread for daily living.” The point being, God’s Word isn’t something just to be brought out every so often when something momentous happens. Rather, it’s to be used day in and day out in the deepest trenches of our struggles, pressures, and conflicts. Unless we see this, we won’t apply Scripture as we’re meant to, nor will we experience its power in the times when we need it most. We need to understand that the Word works in real life, even in those things we might be tempted to sweep under the rug. But if we trust in its power and put it into practice as occasions arise, we’re going to see spiritual victories where there’s only been defeat.
We get a great example of this here as Paul continues his epistle to the Philippian church. Based on our reading above, there were two women who were well known within the church and to the apostle, as well. Their names were Euodia and Syntyche, and it’s clear from Paul’s plea that they be “of the same mind in the Lord” because they were notoriously at odds with one another. We don’t know the cause of their disagreement, but we do know it was “out there” in a way that was damaging their reputations as Christians who should be known for their harmony and peace with one another.
Whatever the issue was, Paul considered it important enough to publicly reference it, and here’s where we see the power of applying God’s Word in our daily lives. Paul has been penning some universally profound truths—deep doctrinal waters—in this letter. And yet, he sees fit to stop and call Euodia and Syntyche out on their bad attitudes and implore them to start thinking as the Lord does instead. Just like that, they were woven into God’s Word in a manner that’s as practical and true to life as you can get!
But again, that’s the beauty of the Bible. It isn’t just about lofty theological concepts. It’s also about telling two sisters to stop fighting and to come together the way Jesus would want them to. That’s how the Word works. It tells us what we need to hear and what we need to do in our daily grind so we can grow more like Jesus. Because in all actuality, if that’s not happening, then what else really matters? God’s goal in giving us His Word isn’t an enlightened intellect but a transformed character—and we can rest assured that Euodia and Syntyche were transformed as a result of this.
Allow the Word of God to affect you the same way. Ask the Holy Spirit to use it to personally convict and challenge you. Recognize that your heart needs a lot of work and that it’s the Word that works to make us more and more like the Master.
Pause: How is the practicality of God’s Word demonstrated in this passage?
Practice: Recall a time when the Word worked to change your heart. What areas require more work to be done?
Pray: Father, thank You for being such a practical Savior. You don’t give me theories but You give me precisely what I need in order to change and to grow up into Your image and likeness. Keep me ever mindful of my need for You and complete that good work that You’ve begun in me, by the power of Your Word. Amen.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.