In Observing People
One thing I see so clearly as I observe people, is that people need encouragement. People need to feel like a part of something. No one really needs to be an island to themselves all of the time. Almost everyone seems to be looking for some bigger purpose than just daily life. I might be wrong but that how I see things.
What do you think?
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.
God gives us faith so that we are able to believe in Jesus Christ for our salvation, and so that we can surrender our lives to Him, and in doing that we can bring Him glory. Part of His plan for us, to have what the Bible calls “abundant life”, is that we not do life alone. But, that we do life with other believers in Christ. So that is where the church comes into the picture.
Paul is talking to the church at Philippi here, a group of believers in Christ. He is describing how the church is to operate – at least partly. This is for us too, right?
There is so much teaching on the church in so many other places in Scripture, so we are definitely only scratching the surface here today.
Let’s get started in Verse 1:
“So if there is any encouragement in Christ…”
Paul wants us to encourage each other in Christ. He is not saying he wants us all going around patting each other on the back and saying ‘atta boy!’
Sometimes people need to be reminded that in Christ there is a bigger picture. In Him, we always have hope, right? In Him, we always have a reason to be full of joy. We need to be reminded that God is in control. We need to be reminded that we belong to Him.
So… we need to encourage each other in Christ, right?
Continuing in Verse 1:
“…any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy…”
We may need to just put an arm around a brother or sister in the faith and say, “I am praying for you.” At other times, we may need to say, “Let’s pray right now.”
The Spirit of God may put a verse in your mind that has encouraged you and you may need to share that verse with a sister or brother in Christ who is struggling.
These are just a few examples of how we can comfort from love, participate with the Holy Spirit, and show affection and even sympathy with other Christians.
Now to Verse 2:
“…complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.”
Paul knows that one of the signs of a healthy church is that they love and encourage each other in the Lord. He knows that their working together for God’s glory and being like-minded about the things they do, shows growth and strength in Christ in that body of believers. That is why knowing that is happening in their body would make Paul’s joy complete.
We were created by God. He put the need to be part of something bigger in us. He put the need for Him in us. That something bigger is His church. As we grow in our relationship with Him we will also grow in our longing to be part of His Body of believers – the church. That purpose is His purpose – sharing the gospel and growing through God’s Word, praying together, encouraging each other, and caring for each others’ needs. So if you are not currently part of a Bible-believing church in your area, I encourage you to find one NOW! Your Christian life is meant to be so much richer than it is!
Thank You, Lord, for Your beautiful Word. Help us to apply it to our lives. Help us not to just read it and walk away, not having been affected by it. Make us what You want us to be. Help us to glorify You in all we do. In Jesus’s name, I pray. Amen.
Go Deeper Today: