Recently we did a study on the Book of Philippians. It was so good–what amazes me is that Paul was still able to write such a letter like this, full of so much joy, gratitude, hope, and encouragement, while in the midst of difficulty.
Paul writes this letter while in prison about 54-62 AD. He wrote it to a church community in Philippi that he had planted on one of his visits there. He wrote it to build his relationship with the church body there, to update them of his situation, to thank them for their support in his ministry, to increase their faith so that they could face threats, to give them peace so that they get along better, and to inspire them to live out their faith.
Paul expresses his joy for his fellowship with the Philippians, and the good work the Lord is doing through them. He also rejoices in the fact that Christ is being preached.
Paul give us the following instructions: Be united. Be selfless. Be considerate of others. Be humble. Don’t complain. Rejoice in the Lord always. Be cautious of the enemy. Stand fast in the Lord. Be anxious of nothing. Let your requests be known to God. Meditate on good and true things.
Paul says that our work is not the result of our own effort, but that God’s work in us is what gives us our energy. What we do in life is an expression of God’s saving work in Christ. We find strength through God’s power in us. Believe that God will complete the work He has started in you. God’s work begins in the individual life but is to be lived out among other believers in fellowship with them. All our work is God’s work and it is continuous until the Day Christ returns. Paul tells us that the most important motivation in our work should be love. So, since our work is of God, let us strive to work and serve Him in a worthy manner. We should be like-minded with the other believers we work with.
Having the mind of Christ is to think of others before yourself. We need to be humble and considerate not only to our Christian friends, but all of those around us. Jesus died on the Cross (the lowest humility ever!) for the sinners, not the righteous. In everyday life, we have the choice to humble ourselves and give others the credit for success, ultimately God. Or to be selfish and take all the glory and credit.