April 1, 2021 - Pastor's Corner
As we continue our journey of pulling out brief insights from Paul’s letter to the Philippians, please remember that the overall theme of this letter is the gospel’s impact on our personal lives as expressed in a corporate setting. That is, the truths we see in this brief letter by Paul should impact us first as we live them out among our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, namely, the members of the biblical local-global church we belong to.
For today, our specific focus is on 2:25-30. Please take a quick moment to read these verses afresh. From them come the following insights:
- Paul reminds us again of the incredible encouragement that comes from other believers. But he adds how significant such encouragement is during times of illness, especially serious illnesses. Also, by sharing how the near-death illness of his friend hurt him, the apostle demonstrates that regardless of our closeness with God, we are not exempt from illness and suffering.
- When reading these verses, it is possible to come away thinking that a deep commitment to the gospel guarantees the near loss of life. In fact, Paul seems to indicate that such suffering is a badge of honor for the Lord. Well, in a way, these things are true. For a deep commitment to the gospel does cost us the privilege of defining the shape and trajectory of our lives (cf. Mark 8:35). And the rarity of such men and women in this world should cause us to treasure them as they point us to Jesus, the Author and Perfector of our faith.
- Part of the work of Christ is caring for the needs of others, especially of those belonging to the household of faith, namely, other Christians. This certainly fits with Paul’s previous commands in 2:3-4, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interest of others.” And in these verses, the apostle narrows the focus to the corporate care of individuals who have committed their lives to the gospel. Here we certainly see that caring for God’s missionaries is something we should all be involved in.
Finally, I encourage you to read Philippians 3:1 ahead of our time next week. As always, church family, may grace and peace be yours in abundance from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!