by Aleta Kay
I love the book of Philippians. Let me just quote a few verses from the first chapter.
1:3—I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,
1:4—Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy,
1:5—For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;
1:6—Being confident in this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
1:7—Even as it is meet (helpful) for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace.
1:9—And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;
1:10—That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Jesus Christ;
1:11—Being filled with the fruit of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.
Here is the apostle Paul (formerly known as Saul, who persecuted Christians and thought he was doing God’s will) writing to the church, the Christians at Philippi, telling them how much he admires their faith. He appreciates their fellowship when he is with them. He remembers how they helped him when he was in prison (for preaching the gospel). Yet God showed His grace on Paul and delivered him out of his afflictions and imprisonments.
Paul told them it was helpful and good for him to remember how they came to his defense. He is pleased with the unconditional love that they have for each other and prays that will grow in the knowledge of the Lord and learn more how to discern good from evil. Sometimes it’s hard to tell, but if we ask God to lead us, we will learn to discern in those grey areas.
He prays that they will be filled with righteousness yet not be condescending, critical or judgmental. These are the things that please God and bring honor and glory to His name.
The apostle Paul left quite a legacy and reputation behind when he died. So did many of the people in Philippi and other places where people found a relationship with Christ through his ministry. They, too, left good reputations and examples for others to follow.
What are you leaving behind? How will people remember you? It's never too late to change your image; but don't just change it on the outside. It must be from the inside out or people will know you're a fake. Just ask God to help you. You'll be glad you did.