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, 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. Philippians 1:3-6
For 22 months I’ve almost exclusively read and listened to Paul’s Letter to the Philippians found in the Bible. I have no idea how many times I’ve been through this letter to date but I keep going back to it. This morning, yet again, I was struck.
Remembering can be healthy. Some call it reflection. As he sat incarcerated in Rome for being a follower of Jesus Christ, Paul was reminded of those believers in the city of Philippi who had been in partnership with him since the beginning.
These paragraphs are too few to list what the people of Philippi knew about Paul’s past, yet they stuck with him anyway. It seems reasonable they partnered with Paul because he was about more than himself. They saw something in him. He was about the Gospel.
And perhaps too, their hope for Paul, was the same as he expressed for them, ‘that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion.’
Paul believed the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ was true and the reality of that belief was being worked out in his own life. It shaped him and his priorities.
We’re about 2000 years post Paul’s earthly life. I haven’t known the gospel from the beginning. Paul did. Because of Paul and a whole host of other imperfect followers of Jesus Christ, I too believe. I too want the gospel to affect every part of my imperfect life. And mirroring verse 27 of the first chapter, I want to conduct myself in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ…whatever happens.
In a conversation earlier this week with a staff member here at BENCHMARK HQ, I was asked what I wanted for those involved with BENCHMARK. Philippians does a great job of defining that hope.
I want to be aligned with God’s best interest for you. I want He who began a good work in you to carry it out to completion.
Being involved with an organization for 23.5-years, I have a ton of memories. I remember people who were instrumental in helping BENCHMARK get started. I remember people who have been a part of my life for a season and some for long stretches. I remember my parents who always encouraged me to follow Christ…no matter what. I remember people who have come…and gone. I remember those still around.
People have donated, prayed and encouraged God’s good work in me so that life will be much less about me and much more about life in Christ…which has been your hope for me and my hope for others.
There are times when I’ve been a little sore about those who have come and gone. But in my best mind, when I am thinking well, I trust that God manages His Kingdom and His servants well. I trust that He is working in my best interest and in theirs.
And I pray with joy. I pray for those who were and are currently involved in my life and the ministry I lead. It’s the always part of praying where I need to be more consistent.
At this point, I remember you.