The Joy of Having a Life in Christ
The book of Phillippians is a remarkable one because it is written from the standpoint of a man in prison...
Awaiting his execution, the Apostle Paul isn't praying for forgiveness, for absolution or that his soul would make safe passage. No, Paul writes a passionate letter to the church at Philippi encouraging the Believers to find joy by leading a Christ centered life.
Paul, a man in chains chose to spend his final moments encouraging the people he cared for most. The church in Philippi meant a lot to Paul. Afterall, it was the first church founded in Rome. Under his care, Paul wanted to stress the importance of living a Christ centered life. He says, "I know what it is to possess status and power (3:4-6)." Paul had it all- money, fame, notoriety, you name it. But even he knew that when the dust finally settled, there is only one thing that mattered.
When everything is said and done, what truly matters is our quality of life.
Some things will never change. We will face hard times; bills will be waiting for us in the mailbox, the house will be a mess after we've cleaned it a million times over, and we may even hit a crisis or two in our lifetime. But this is why Paul emphasized, true fulfillment stems from a life in Christ. Demonstrated through the gospel, it is only He who brings us peace, stability and teaches us how to love. Christ came to give us life, so that we may live it more abundantly (Jn 10:10).
An abundant life is a fulfilled life!
The abundant life is obtained through Jesus Christ when we recognize who He is and what He has done for us personally.
He hung on the cross. With nails in His hands, sweat dripping from His brow and blood flowing from His sides. Bruised and beaten, He carried our pain and shame; our depression and all of our worries by trading in His crown for a crown of thorns. He, a King, who knew no sin, became sin for both you and I.
He did this so that we, my friend, could experience a better life- the abundant life.
"The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy (Psalm 126:3)"
The abundant life is a life of joy. Those who are living this life have the right perspective; a positive outlook on life. They often laugh and smile because they see the good in all things!
The abundant life is a life of hope, hope in our eternal inheritance! Though we are awaiting the glorious return of our Saviour, we wait with expectation- hope that when He comes, our bodies will be changed forever; and we will spend the rest of days in the presence of our King!
This is why Paul wasn't disturbed by the chains on his feet, or the sentence that was set before him. He understood that against all odds, the gospel needed to be preached. The message of hope and freedom needed to be heard to a deprived generation.
The gospel is for you! And through it, you may have the joy of living the abundant life. So, be like Paul, find your joy in a Christ centered life!