Scripture:

Phil. 2:1 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, Phil. 2:2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.

Observation:

Paul continues his letter to the church in Philippi. At this point he transitions the letter to a challenge. The challenge is simple, live life and treat others the way you have been treated by Christ. If you have received encouragement, love, fellowship, comfort, or joy from Christ, then live in it and share it with other people. Paul challenges them to extend the joy of their salvation on to those around them.

Application:

I love the tone of these verses. The question that Paul asks has a sarcastic tone. Of course they had received love, comfort, joy, etc. from being united with Christ. He asks the question to reveal how ridiculous it is for believers to live selfish, self-consumed and self-promoting lives. The entire basis of the Christian faith is the story of how God submitted Himself to the humble position of suffering savior so that we could live in freedom and have eternal life. Therefore, if our Lord was willing to place our needs ahead of His, why in the world would we be known for being selfish and self-absorbed. As believers, it is not our role to receive the gifts of eternal life and freedom in Christ, simply to waste them and live like everyone else. We are to share the love, comfort, joy, peace, grace, hope and life we have been given with those around us. If we have benefitted at all from Christ, we should share with those around us what we have gained.

A few action steps:

-Assess my life and make a list of all the things I have experienced and continue to experience because of my union with Christ.

-Then make a list of all the people that should benefit from my continued relationship with the grace of Jesus.

-Brainstorm ways to share these things and experiences with those people.

Prayer:

Father, it isn’t that complicated. You have blessed me with a relationship that has given me clarity and joy beyond belief. Therefore, as long as I am alive, it is my role to share this with the people you have given me a chance to influence. May I not make my life and ministry more complicated than this!