Daily Devotional ThoughtsThis Week’s Study: Philippians 4:5-4:8Monday - Let your forebearance be displayed to all.Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand (Phillipians 4:5)."Gentleness" is translated "moderation" in the Kings James Version and "forebearance" in Young's Literal Translation. Forebearance probably best reflects the meaning of the original Greek manuscript. To paraphrase: Let your patient forebearance be displayed to all.Displaying patience and forebearance is relatively easy when everything is lovely. Showing gentleness and forebearance when assaulted by trials, temptations, irritations, and ridicule is not so easy.You may have heard about the man who prayed: "Dear Lord, I've done pretty well today. I haven't hurt anyone's feelings, I haven't lied, I've been patient and kind and gentle. But Lord, I'm going to need some special help now, I'm getting out of bed and up for the day!"May God help us to "Let [our] gentleness be known to all men."Tuesday - The Lord is near.Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand (Phillipians 4:5)."The Lord is at hand." I used to struggle and struggle with that phrase. I wondered, What could possibly be meant by "at hand." I looked up the meaning of the words in the original language and discovered the original word meant "near (literally or figuratively, of place or time)" (Strongs).Some (but not all) Bible scholars think the meaning is that the coming or return of Jesus Christ is near or at hand. While that may indeed be valid, it doesn't really fit the context of the surrounding verses. I believe it means "The Lord is near." Meaning that we shouldn't worry (V. 6) because we know the Lord is nearby. No matter what the trial or temptation we face, God is in the midst of it. He is there so do not worry or be anxious (V.6).Wednesday - Don’t worry, instead pray!Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God (Philippians 4:6).Remember that chapter and verse designations in the Bible are arbitrary, meaning they weren't in the original manuscripts but were added to make Bible study easier. Therefore, in the original manuscript we will find no demarcation between V.5 and V.6.When we understand that we see how the thought begins in V.5 and flows in V.6 as translated in the New English Bible: "The Lord is near; have no anxiety, but in everything make your requests known to God in prayer and petition with thanksgiving." Rather than worrying about a problem take it the Lord in prayer! Here is how Jesus Himself put it: "And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (Luke 18:1).Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!That calls me from a world of care,And bids me at my Father’s throneMake all my wants and wishes known.In seasons of distress and grief,My soul has often found relief,And oft escaped the tempter’s snare,By thy return, sweet hour of prayer! (William Bradbury, 1861)Thursday - God’s peace will guard your heart.[A]nd the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).When I consider this verse I find great comfort as I picture it in my mind. First I remember the Lord is near. Because He is near, I don't need to worry! Instead, I place my needs, fears, concerns and hopes before God in prayer with thanksgiving. "And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, [guards my heart and mind] through Christ Jesus."The word picture I get is that of an armed sentry pacing back and forth guarding my heart and mind, keeping out everything that disturbs my peace. Since God is in control, I know He only allows that which is for ultimate best good to get past the guard. Every time I am tempted to fret or worry, I lift it up to God and remember that He is guarding my heart and my mind. Friend, it doesn't get any better than that!Friday/Weekend - The Gatekeepers.Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things (Philippians 4:8).Here is the standard to measure everything seeking entrance into our minds.The King James Version translates Philippians 4:8 thusly: "[W]hatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."If the entertainment we watch, if the book we read, if the music we hear, if the thoughts we think pass by these gatekeepers, we will avoid much sin and sorrow. AND, we will be taking big steps forward as we allow God to develop holy and pure characters in us.Memorize this text and let it guard the entrances to your mind.