Working In, Working Out
Lord, for Your love, for Your grace, for Your forgiveness, I thank You.
Read PHILIPPIANS 2:12-18
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Thank God for those who have taught you how to walk (and run!) Jesus’ way.
Discipleship is not simply a ten-week course for new believers on biblical fundamentals! How heart-warming it is to see here a flourishing spectrum of formal and informal relationships, where individuals are given space to reflect and work on their growing relationship with Jesus! Whether in mentoring young people, coaching leaders or soul friendship of those seeking to deepen their understanding, gifting and skills, these verses encapsulate the mindset of Gospel-focused spiritual direction.
First of all, although utterly committed to the Philippians’ spiritual maturity, Paul does not abuse his authority. His passion for their well-being and his physical distance do not make him a control freak. Rather, his exhortations rest on confidence in God’s power to go on transforming them, with or without him (12). Second, he is aware that in the spiritual battle, there are temptations to become discouraged, apathetic and divided, so he challenges them with warmth and tenderness to keep working out what God is working in them (12-13). He combines theology with practical examples, sprinkled with imaginative, relevant images. Third, he draws their attention to the goal (16). What can be more wonderful than to experience Christ’s pleasure in seeing his spiritual children persevere together as lights in a dark world?
Paul has much to teach us today, when many people, feeling the lack of helpful parental input, struggle to live for Jesus in a hostile or indifferent world.
Are there ways in which you could seek opportunities to invest in others? How could your church be better mobilized and equipped to foster intentional relationships, encouraging those with longer experience in the race to run alongside those with less?
Lord, I am grateful for those who poured their life into mine, pointing me to the fullness of life in Christ. Bring to my awareness someone whom I can mentor and disciple.
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