Summer Daily Devotional - Philippians 1
Courage is Contagious
Welcome to Philippians! This is a power-packed, joy-filled letter written from prison by the Apostle Paul.
He has great affection for the Philippians and shares a special relationship with them because of their support and partnership with the Apostle.
Many Christians name Philippians as their favorite book of the Bible and it’s hard to disagree!
What struck me as I read chapter one again today was the hopeful tone. It’s as though Paul’s joy is invincible! No matter what comes his way, he has the eternal perspective that is undefeatable.
This is exactly what I needed to read today!
Here are 4 General Observations and Take-Aways for my soul today:
1. Community comes to those rallied around the advance of the gospel.
“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.” (1:3-5)
Pastor Josh has been beating this drum for months… “Who has more fun than Christians on mission? No one!”
Notice Paul’s joy and deep affection for the Philippians throughout chapter one. Even in suffering! That kind of bond comes from a shared commitment to Jesus… a deeply shared commitment. An “All In For One Name” commitment.
When we rally around the mission of the gospel with a passion to spread the name of Jesus, we find a brotherhood and sisterhood I’ve never experienced or witnessed any other way. Paul would seem to agree.
Go hard for Jesus and reap the fruit of life-giving gospel partners!
2. Confidence is warranted for the believer.
“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.” (1:6)
Loss of confidence in the heart of a believer is one of the primary goals of the enemy of our souls. Fight back! Need a boost of confidence today that God is absolutely at work in your life? Need the reminder that God’s not done with you yet? Know someone else who does?
Dial up Philippians 1:6 as often as needed. This is one of the first verses I ever memorized and I’ve lost count of the times it’s renewed my confidence, anchored my hope, and helped others in the same way. Don’t settle for anything less than a day of HOPE through the promises of God.
3. Courage is contagious.
“Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.” (1:12-14)
“I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.” (1:20)
This is how courage works and why courage is needed. It’s contagious. Paul’s boldness for Christ, even in the face of persecution and suffering, are helping and encouraging others to do the same. Paul’s courage is spreading and so will yours. Don’t miss the opportunities today to act and speak with Christ-honoring courage.
4. Christ … Better By Far!
“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.” (1:21-26)
Remember today, come what may… the worst that could happen (death) is gain for those who are in Christ. To live for Christ is a life of fruitful labor. To die is to be ushered in to the presence of Jesus which is better by far. Either way, we win. Either way, Jesus is exalted. And that’s the point.
Let’s prepare and strengthen our minds and hearts daily and commit to follow the example of Paul and of the Philippians so that together, in community, with confidence and courage, we would LIVE FOR CHRIST.