Gracious God, in Jesus, we have the absolute assurance that we will spend eternity with you. Thank you for your plan, worked out from the beginning, to make me your own.
Read PHILIPPIANS 2:12-18
Do Everything Without Grumbling
12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”[a] Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. 17 But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18 So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.
- Philippians 2:15 Deut. 32:5
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
‘The Word became flesh and made his dwelling [tabernacled] among us.’1 Continue to praise God for the incarnation.
The day after Christmas is known as Boxing Day in many countries. The name probably originated in Victorian Britain, where a tradition developed of ‘boxing up’ leftovers and giving them to the poor. Today, in the West, Boxing Day is often a time of greed, not giving. People spend large amounts of money on commodities they don’t need. None of this is said to condemn, but we are called to live differently, to ‘shine … like stars’ (v 15). We could do worse than revive the old Boxing Day tradition. Certainly, we should swim against the tide of consumer culture and think of creative ways we can do good to others.
However, Paul takes giving several steps further. He isn’t sharing leftovers or even sharing liberally out of what he has. Instead, he offers his very self. The Philippians’ service is described as a ‘sacrifice’ and his own life is a ‘drink offering’ poured out on top, making the first sacrifice complete (v 17).2 Are we willing to give ourselves completely in service of God and of others? Such a question can seem too big for us, but we can start right now in myriad small ways at work, at home, and in the church. How is God calling you to offer yourself today?
Such self-giving is, astonishingly, a route to rejoicing (vs 17,18). Paul is able to celebrate because he is firmly focused on Christ and the ‘day’ of his coming, that is, his glorious return (v 16). He knows that on that day darkness will be dispelled and everything brought into the light. The challenge is to live our lives so that what will be important on that day is what is important to us now. Such an attitude may be derided by many, but it is the pathway to lasting joy.
‘What can I give him…give my heart.’ This Christmas time, offer yourself afresh to God.3
Lord Jesus, thank you that you have called me to be a light in the world. Help me to shine brightly so that others might see you.
Last Updated on December 26, 2023 by kingstar