My younger daughter’s middle name is Joy so we have a family saying that she is the joy of my life. She is one of the joys of my life as are her sister and my grandsons to name a few. Joy is a recurring theme in Paul’s thank you letter to the church in Philippi. The word joy in various forms occurs sixteen times which is amazing to me because Paul wrote this letter while in prison. Philippians is one of my favorite books in the Bible. A few years ago I developed an acrostic of the word journey to teach from Philippians. The book Listening for God Through Philippians Lecto Divina Bible Studies supplied the insights included then and now.
J = Jesus – Philippians 2:1 -11
“ultimately, it is our minds that are changed after we come to Christ. Paul invited the Philippian believers to undergo a change of mind by taking on the thinking of Jesus Christ. That would involve a spiritual death and resurrection.”
O = others – Philippians 2:12- 18
“this new way of thinking would call for a lifestyle in which all actions were considered in the light of the interests of other people.”
U = unfinished – Philippians 3:12 -4:1
R = race –
“Paul emphasized two important attitudes that a believer should have about the Christian life. First, because the “race” is yet unfinished, there is always room for growth – we should keep pressing on. Second, we should be careful not to slip back and lose ground.”
N = now – be in the present.
E = eternity – keep one eye on eternity.
Y = you – choose to trust, choose to hope.
“The Christian life is not a dream world that separates spirituality from common affairs of life. Rather, the Christian life includes everyday relationships, ordinary concerns and the mundane matters upon which we focus much time and effort. The gospel of Christ has ramifications for everyday life. It affects relationships, daily choices, habits and patterns of thought. God is concerned not only with your beliefs but also with the way in which you live out those beliefs in daily life.”
Remember to find JOY in the JOURNEY – Jesus, Others, You
“For Paul and other early Christians, the Christian life was not a destination; it was a journey. We are called to remain focused and keep running the race – to remain faithful in our relationship with Christ.”
One last note if you have seen The Amazing Race on television there are required rest stops. God instituted the Sabbath because we all need rest in the midst of this unfinished race. Nothing steals your joy quicker than not enough rest.
- I Can Do All Things
- Such Love