A Case Study of Philippians 1:1-11

A Lifetime of Learning & Being Transformed

“Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, 

To all God’s holy people in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus. 

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.” (Philippians 1:1-11)

St. Paul wrote a letter to the disciples (followers of Jesus Christ) in the city of Philippi. He came to their city on one of his missionary journeys.  He served them and share with them the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

The disciples grew to be a strong community resolved to serve their city and share the Gospel with the rest of the city. While Paul was in prison he wrote them this letter to thank them for their prayers and support. as we read this letter we can learn from Paul the Philippian disciples how to persevere and rejoice in all circumstances.

In these opening verses Paul gives thanks for their gift and praises them for their faithfulness from the beginning. The Philippians did not wait until they were believers for awhile, gaining book knowledge and then going out to share the Gospel.

Instead from the beginning of their faith journeys they served others and shared the Gospel. Their joy and excitement abounded and was contagious. They went out right away to invite others to experience Jesus Christ’s love themselves.

We can learn from them to be resolved to share our own joy with Jesus Christ all through out our faith journeys. We do not have all the answers just the willingness to share our personal story.

By being in relationship with Jesus Christ we are given new lenses to see the world and others. During our faith journey we see through the lens more clearly as we have more experiences and knowledge. We put them on and learn from the Holy Spirit how to love more dearly as God loves.

This growth process is not easy. It requires a resolve to keep learning to keep serving humbly. This can be tricky. As we learn more have more experiences, we can falsely believe we “know it all” and do not need to learn more. We try to do it on our own without the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Instead we continue to on our faith journey humbly learning from the Holy Spirit, growing in knowledge and experience. As we grow we recognize God’s Will and become more transformed. We become more like Jesus and we will continue to become more like Jesus until we are called home to Heaven.

So what does this mean in practical terms?

Each day we pray to see others as God sees them. Ask how can we serve one another. If there is someone you have been praying for maybe ask them how you can put arms to your prayers and authentically love them.

Also, we can look to ow we represent Jesus Christ in the world. If we are the only encounter someone has with the Gospel what will they learn from us? What do we want them to learn from us about Jesus Christ?

Each day ask God to teach you more bout Him, to stretch you towards growth. Ask for an open heart to grow, open your eyes to see how He is leading.

The Philippine disciples served with joy and resolve. Life was not easy or perfect. But they continued to serve and share in all they did and said. We can learn from them to keep growing to be more like Jesus Christ. All until we return to be with Him forever.

This Week’s Challenge 

Name one area God is challenging you to grow in faith.
Write what He is teaching you about it.
How are you applying that lesson today in your life?

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