Today, I was running some errands in South Bend and ran into someone who was also out doing errands.
It was a nice surprise, and as we talked it became apparent that God had orchestrated this encounter so that we may be mutually encouraged. We prayed together and I left with a lighter heart and praise on my lips, that in Christ, we can edify one another.
I was reminded of Paul, since I had just listened to the Book of Philippians during the drive. How happy he must have been to get letters from his friends at the church in Philippi. He expressed his appreciation for their care for him: “I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it” (Phil 4:10,11). The church in Philippi had sent resources so that he could continue to survive in his imprisoned state. He thanks them and says, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (v12-13).
Paul knows that in Christ, he can do all things — alone, if necessary, destitute, if necessary – but how wonderful it was that he was not alone, not destitute! Despite God being all he needed, God was not all he had – in Christ, he had so much more – “Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles... I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” (v 15-19).
The fellowship we have in Jesus is more than enough – the blessings we experience through and with each other are gifts from God:
1 How good and pleasant it is
when God’s people live together in unity!
2 It is like precious oil poured on the head,
running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron’s beard,
down on the collar of his robe.
3 It is as if the dew of Hermon
were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the LORD bestows his blessing,
even life forevermore.
May we experience more of this unity with each other as we each fellowship with the Trinity today.
Father God, thank you for brothers and sisters in Christ who lift us up and enable us to live out Your Gospel Commission. Help me today to be a blessing to others. Amen.