Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now. And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:3-6
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
We have been talking about Missions this month in order to raise our level of awareness, understanding, and participation. We established that Missions is all about joining God in his two-fold mission of compassion for the world. This means that Missions brings the Gospel message of redemption to the world and cares deeply about the significant pain and suffering that exists in our world by taking helpful steps toward alleviating it.
Last week we talked about the need for God's mission for the world becoming the purpose of life for each and every follower of Christ. We also saw that liberation from being driven by self-interest, self-preservation, and self-exaltation is absolutely essential for this come about. This week we are going to explore this more fully as we seek to become followers of Christ who have a full and complete participation in God's mission of compassion to the world.
Our passage for today helps us to see that a full and complete participation in God's mission is the expectation for everyone who is a beneficiary of that mission. Paul is speaking to followers of Christ in the city of Philippi. He says of them: "You have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ." Their full and complete participation in missions is a significant thread the runs through the entire epistle of Paul to the Philippians. Paul describes their participation in missions as a good work of God within each of them individually. But notice that Paul gives a time frame of this work of God in the lives of these followers of Christ. This time frame has three parts: 1 - "from the time you first heard it," 2 - "until now," and 3 - "until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns." This establishes that full and complete participation in God's mission is absolutely his expectation for us. It is not just a simply a matter that the Philippian believers happen to be participating " in spreading the Good News about Christ." No, it is work God expects to do in the lives of his people from start to finish in their Christian experience.
Throughout the week we will explore more fully what it means for us to "become" ones who have a full and complete participation in God's mission. Our Missionary speaker this past Sunday and his family are engaged in a Missionary effort that wonderfully exemplifies the opportunities we have for expanding our corporate and personal involvement in missions. Scroll down to Sunday below for prayer requests for the Alvarez family that you can pray for throughout the week.
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, I want to be a "mission" oriented Christian. Show me more of what this means and deliver me from being a "me" oriented Christian (oxymoron). Thank you for all the opportunities you give me to serve you. Help me grow in my understanding of how all of this is a good work you are doing in me. Lord, I love you and worship you. Amen!
(Be sure to scroll down to Sunday for prayer requests for our Missionaries from Sunday)
Posted on Mon, November 23, 2015
by Alan Porter