This post is the fifth in a series on our new Slugs & Bugs CD Sing the Bible with Slugs & Bugs. The lyrics to Sing the Bible are word-for-word Scripture. I hope this series helps parents talk and think with their kids about each passage.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.
– Philippians 4:4-8
This is such a big verse.* There is so much to think about – I’m going to come back to it again later in the series. Also, I actually haven’t talked with my kids about this one yet. But I’ll tell you how I plan to start.
“The Lord is near.” To me, the rest of the passage revolves around those four words, so I’d love to get them thinking about why Paul includes those words. Sometimes we’ll talk about God by trying to imagining the most trustworthy, most patient, most forgiving, most loving and most wise person possible. If you knew someone like that, that always made the best decisions for you and everyone else, and you had their cell phone number, and they always picked it up when you called, how would that change your “hearts and minds” during the day? Would you develop a habit based on your confidence in him? How would that change stressful situations?
You can see where this is going. The Lord is near, and that can make all the difference, if we dare to turn and trust him in our daily moments.
As Christ followers, this “peace of Christ” is our birthright. It is the doorway to rejoicing in all circumstances, and I’d love for my kids to start the journey of realizing that truth right now. The Lord knows I’m still learning it.
*For those that don’t know, the Scripture reader on this verse is the most gifted and lovely Sally Lloyd-Jones (Jesus Storybook Bible, Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing). Her newest children’s book is delightful, titled Poor Doreen: A Fishy Tale.