Text: Philippians 2:19-30
Theme: Paul saw the Lord as involved in every part of our lives.
Key verses: “If the Lord Jesus is willing, I hope to send Timothy to you soon for a visit” (v. 19). “All the others care only for themselves and not for what matters to Jesus Christ” (v. 21). “And I have confidence from the Lord that I myself will come to see you soon” (v. 24). “Meanwhile, I thought I should send Epaphroditus back to you” (v. 25). “And he certainly was ill; in fact, he almost died. But God had mercy on him–and also on me” (v. 27). “Welcome him in the Lord’s love and with great joy, and give him the honor that people like him deserve. For he risked his life for the work of Christ, and he was at the point of death while doing for me what you couldn’t do from far away” (v. 29-30).
What God said to me: Dwayne, take note how Paul naturally and intentionally weaved my name and my purpose throughout his conversations and writings. This is how Paul lived. He saw everything through the lens of my will and my Lordship. Even simple, everyday matters were filtered through what matters to me. Sending Timothy and then Paul himself also coming for a visit were only possible and doable if he first had confidence and permission from me. Yet, it was more than mere permission that Paul needed. He wanted to be sure what he did really mattered to me. And who had mercy on Epaphroditus? Who was ultimately responsible for him getting well and being able to travel to the Church at Philippi? Paul believed it me–his Lord Jesus Christ whom he followed and trusted with every fiber of his being. If Epaphroditus was to feel welcomed–truly welcomed–by the Philippians, it would need to be “in the Lord’s love.” That was to Paul the only route to “great joy” and honor. Anyone who would risk “his life for the work of Christ” deserved honor. Dwayne, I point these things out to you to give you a deeper, behind the scenes peak into Paul’s amazing life. It was truly a life went spent, and it was because for Paul to live truly was Christ. He knew he was “in Christ” and his entire living and breathing and moving had their origin and feasibility from his relationship with me. Learn to live your life in this way; seek my will and way and what pleases me, regardless of whether it pleases you or others. Never be ashamed or timid to give me credit and weave my name naturally into your everyday conversations and responses to those you encounter. The world needs to see a life completely yielded to me and totally immersed in my will and purpose.
What I said to God: Thank You, my Lord Jesus Christ. You are my Savior and my Source. I can do nothing without You, but with You I can do all things. Please empower and help me to follow You intentionally, implicitly and daily. And please forgive me for those times when I shied away from including Your name and purpose in my conversations and thoughts. I am so sorry! You are my everything, and may I never be ashamed to share You with my friends and with people I meet. Merry Christmas to You, the reason for this season.