When Everything In Your Life is Hard

August 31, 2017

Philippians 2:14-16

19 I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you. 20 I have no one else like him, who will show genuine concern for your welfare. 21 For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.

CONSIDER THIS

Don’t you love it how Paul just breaks out of the most massive Christological hymn in the history of hymns (aka Philippians 2:5-11) and now he’s onto his to-do list as relates to the Philippians. He’s sending emissaries and making travel plans.

Not only is Paul’s life a living crucible of the Gospel he is preaching, he has a protoge’ in whom the Gospel is also flourishing, Timothy.

Note Paul’s metric for what Gospel flourishing looks like.

I have no one else like him, who will show genuine concern for your welfare.

It’s got me asking myself, “Do I show genuine concern for the welfare of other people?” Or am I primarily concerned about my own welfare? Honestly, I don’t think I land in either of those places. I am somewhere in the mushy middle between them. The next verse instructs  me in a fresh way.

21 For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.

I’m not sure I am making this connection between showing genuine concern for the welfare of others and the interests of Jesus Christ. Let me state that more emphatically. The interest of Jesus Christ is served by my showing genuine concern for the welfare of others and not looking out for my own interests.

I’ll be honest with you Daily Text Friends. I am living in a season of time right now where everything about my life is hard. My own interests feel overwhelming a lot of the time. In fact, I am living into a season where I don’t have the bandwidth for too much genuine concern for the welfare of others. In other words, it’s not in my self-interest to show genuine concern for the welfare of others. It’s not that I don’t care. It’s that I don’t have the capacity. I believe the Lord allows times like these in our lives to grow us beyond our self-interest and to build into us new Holy Spirit inspired capacities. I believe times like these, which I know many of you are also facing, are those times when the Holy Spirit whispers, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 1 Corinthians 12:9 

That doesn’t make it any easier, just a lot more hopeful. I’m beginning to see my own job description in a lot simpler terms. It goes like this: Look out for the interests of Jesus Christ, by showing genuine concern for the welfare of others, period. There is a word that captures this whole thing: Love.

THE PRAYER

Abba Father, we thank you for your son, Jesus, who has shown us what genuine concern for the welfare of others looks like. It’s extraordinary. I don’t have this capacity, Lord, but I know you do and if you are in me then your capacity can be mine. Thank you for leading me in this way. We pray in Jesus name, Amen.

THE QUESTIONS

  1. Can you remember a time in your life where everything was hard? What did you learn in those days?
  2. Could Paul count on you to “show genuine concern for the welfare of others?”
  3. Why do most people look out for their own interest and not for the interest of Jesus Christ?

P.S. I know we are praying, but we are hearing some pretty hard things from our friends in Texas who are living in the aftermath of the hurricane. Let’s double down on those prayers– even to the point of travail. They need us.

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J.D. Walt, is a Bond Slave of the Lord Jesus Christ. jd.walt@seedbed.com.

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