Rejoice Even to Death
Verses 17-18 But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.
Living out the teaching of the Word is important in our lives of faith and today Paul explains how much he is willing to sacrifice for these beloved believers.
A drink offering was an addition to regular offerings, a bonus given in praise and adoration of God. This was generally done using wine. But Paul didn’t have this in mind when he talked about being poured out. These friends in Philippi had served God by faithfully caring for Paul and his needs. They had shown love to him and it warmed his heart to see their acts of love.
Paul knew that in the same ways that they had shown their love to him, he was sacrificially showing his love to God. Paul had a growing understanding that he was nearing the end of his ministry and earthly life. He could see that He was likely to be martyred for the sake of Christ. This was his way of pouring out his life for Christ. But he isn’t defeated by this possibility. No, he rejoices!
Rejoicing isn’t our first response to suffering that comes into our lives nor is it our first thought when those we love suffer. But Paul isn’t only rejoicing himself, he is telling his friends to rejoice with him. Paul saw the truth of his suffering as being a blessing to not only himself. He knew that it spoke as a witness to the truth of the Gospel and that it would benefit his friends. But how could suffering and being put to death bring benefits to those doing the suffering and dying?
It has to do with the reason for their suffering. They were suffering for the name of Jesus and this suffering was worth it to them because Christ was worth it to them. Their love for Christ was so deep that they were willing to suffer for Him, even to death. Is that the level of love we have for Him? We don’t usually hear people rejoicing as they are suffering because of Christ. In fact, how often do we suffer for His name? We don’t suffer for Him very often. It isn’t that there is no opposition to Him, as there is more opposition to His name than most any time in our life. Could it be that our lack of suffering reveals a lack of standing for His name?
Making It Personal
Have you ever stood for Christ when it wasn’t popular? Have you ever suffered for Him? What does your level of suffering say about the depth of your love?
Making It Personal Kids
Why would someone not like you because you love Jesus? Have you ever been picked on for loving Jesus? Will you keep loving Jesus even though you get picked on?
Father, we are so weak in our love for You. We confess the times we haven’t stood strong for You out of fear of man. Give us the courage to live boldly for You no matter the results. In Jesus’ name, amen.