My Connection Group (small group, Bible study group, whatever you want to call it group) is doing a verse by verse study through the book of Philippians. After two weeks of introduction to each other and the book as a whole, we dove into chapter one, verses 1-11 this past week. Without trying to rehash all we learned, I came away with a couple of personal applications. The first of which comes from verse 6 -“…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.” God used this verse in my life last week as He showered down His words of affirmation on me. Someimes I can be really hard on myself. I don’t understand why I do idiotic things, think wrong things, do wrong things. Honestly, I am not the best person you have ever met. And as I was reflecting on my inadequacies, God brought this verse to my mind – “he who began a good work in you will carry in on to completion…” I was reminded that God has started something in me and plans to finish it. He has given me a new life in Him that I didn’t have before and he plans on finishing what He started in this new life. My life is still under construction. I’m not finished yet. And God always finishes what He starts. There is a lot of work that is yet to be done. But it is nice to know that it’s not only up to me to get it done – God is working in me. And He’s going to finish. I thank God for all of us that I should be a better person today than I was yesterday. I will be more loving. I will be more of a servant to my wife, family, friends and neighbors. I will think more of others than myself. At least that is the promise the way I see it.
Anyway…application #2. As fellow Christ-followers, we are “partners in the gospel.” We’re family. We’re co-workers. We’re friends. And we’re in this thing together. I need you. You need me. And it would be really great if we all would follow the example of Paul and the Philippians in supporting each other on our spiritual journey. We could use the encouragement. I know I can. I love it when people build me up. I ought to take the initiative to build others up more than I do. If I enjoy the encouragement, I can’t imagine why fellow travelers on this journey wouldn’t as well.