Wednesday, 24 June 2020 Philippians 1:1-14
“ I thank my God every time I remember you.” -Philippians 1:3
Writing an encouraging note to someone in our times of trouble is something unheard of. That’s exactly what Paul did during his first Roman imprisonment. He used this time to remember, thank and pray for the believers at Philippi.
He wrote to them telling them how much he valued their partnership in his ministry. Vs.5 “ I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first until now.” As leaders in the ministry that God has entrusted us, let’s pause and think…When was the last time we took time to thank the ones who have labored with us? Have we verbalized our appreciation and acknowledged the sacrifices each of them has done to see the gospel advance? If we have been tight lipped on appreciation, may we today learn from Paul, the importance of expressing our gratitude to our fellow partners in God’s vineyard!
Secondly, he encouraged the believers to continue to put their trust in the power of Christ to keep them till the end (Vs 6). As a leader he understood well that it was God who had begun a work in the people of Philippi, he was just an instrument God had used. As human beings our instinct to follow and depend on a leader is great. Now the believers of Philippi had no one to either lead them or teach them the way of the Lord. Paul, here encourages the people to not look at him but rather look to Christ who had begun a good work in them. His confidence was in the Lord who would complete the work He had begun in them even if there was no one to lead. Are we as leaders building our people to be more dependent on God and less on us? If not let us like Paul make a decision to keep pointing them to Christ for He is faithful to see them through to the end even when we are not around.
Thirdly Paul revealed his longing to fellowship with them. In Vs 8 he says: “how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus” The word we need to notice here is “all”. He did not say some. He valued each and everyone in the church at Philippi. We are living in a time where we are surrounded by celebrity pastors and leaders that’s giving rise to the growth of Mega Churches with 20,000 to 30,000 members. One wonders how these pastors can invest in all of these lives personally? In this verse it’s very clear that Paul had a very personal relationship with everyone in the church.
Jesus tells us the parable of The Lost Sheep. Though the shepherd had 100 sheep with him yet, he noticed the minute he lost one of them. Why was that? He knew each one of his sheep personally. Today as leaders and pastors in the church, Youth ministry, Children ministry do we know the lives God has entrusted to us in a personal way? Are we making an effort to build each of them personally in the Lord? Only if we do this, will we be able to love them with the love of Christ just as Paul did.
May God help us as leaders/people in responsible positions, to learn from the life of Apostle Paul as we lead the people He has given us.
Thought for the Day: “God has entrusted us with his most precious treasure – people. He asks us to shepherd and mold them into strong disciples with brave faith and good character.” - John Ortberg
Listen: ‘Good Shepherd of my soul’