October 4th, 2023 – Wednesday Late Afternoon/Early Evening
“Therefore, my beloved brethren whom I long to see, my joy and crown, in this way stand firm in the Lord, my beloved.” ~Philippians 4:1
Do you recognize the love of Christ in this passage? Do you see how He is flowing through Paul like a jetstream of love to the Philippian church? Twice Paul refers to the Philippians as “beloved”, once as “brethren whom I long to see”, and then as his “joy and crown”. The believers in Philippi (just as in other places) were near and dear to Paul’s heart; they were deeply and affectionately loved and adored by him…and by Christ. This love and affection bound Paul and the Philippians together and it was God’s love of them that enabled them to know and pursue the Christ who lived, died, and rose again for them.
Do you see the power of Christ undergirding Paul’s command? Do you realize the significance and prowess of Christ’s authority in the life of the believer? All of the instructions found thus far in this letter point believers to an impossible – impossible apart from Christ – life of submission, surrender, and sacrifice; yet, the Philippians were also reminded of the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, His example of humility, and the provision and power of God. The Philippians could stand firm (or fast) in obedience and grace, with their very existence rooted deeply in and empowered by the Lord, because He was their source of redemption, will, work, and identity. No temptation, no onslaught, and no trial can overcome those who are submitted to the King of Kings.
How about you and I, dearly loved brethren? Has God changed? Has His instruction been altered? Have the trials and temptations of this life grown too large or too difficult for the Master of sea and sky to handle? No, of course not! Therefore, let us, as the Philippians of old, stand firm in the Lord who loves us and fills us with His powerful Spirit.
Thank You, Father, for the love and power of Christ!