“Therefore, my beloved brethren whom I long to see, my joy and crown, in this way stand firm in the Lord, my beloved.” (Philippians 4:1, NASB95)
A couple of things stand out to me as I ponder this verse. First, note the beauty of Christian brotherhood/sisterhood. Look at the intimate way in which Paul describes and praises his Christian partners in Philippi. He considers them his beloved, his joy, his crown. When we come to know Jesus Christ, our view of the world changes, too. We begin to see others as Jesus sees them. But even more intimate is the relationship we have with one another as Christians. The oneness of heart that the Spirit of God creates among us is amazing.
Second, we are called to “stand firm in the Lord.” This can be a challenge as individuals who live in a sinful and broken world. It is even more challenging to stand firm as a group of believers. For us to be unified and confident in our belief is a gift of the Holy Spirit. When we stand united and firm in our faith in Jesus and His teachings we become a powerful testimony to His grace and to the transformational power of His teachings.
I pray that the Holy Spirit works boldly among us so that we might stand firm in the Lord.