No church in the New Testament had a more dramatic beginning than the one in Philippi, as described in Acts 16.
It involved a businesswoman, a fortuneteller, floggings, singing, and a midnight earthquake. In the midst of these events, Paul planted the Philippian church and watered it with his blood.
Years later during his first Roman imprisonment, Paul wrote this very personal letter to the church. They had a unique place in his heart.
In these four chapters, Paul used the words I, me, and my over one hundred times as he expressed his love and gratitude for the faithful support of this beloved congregation.
It’s no wonder, then, that contentment and joy are dominant themes of this letter, along with the Christ-like practice of humble service.
In chapter 2, we have one of the most import passages about Christ in the Bible:
“Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men” (Phil 2:6-7).
Therefore, said Paul,
“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth” (Phil 2:9-10).
In keeping with His example, we too, then, should not look to our own interests but to the interests of others.
Joy, contentment, and humble service! As we internalize Philippians, we’ll increasingly share these qualities exhibited by those who confess Jesus Christ as Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Despite persecution and problems, we can rejoice in the Lord always, not through selfish ambition, but through Him who strengthens us.
“Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.
Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice” (Phil 4:1, 4).
God, grant me joy, contentment, and peace, regardless of my circumstances.