Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Mission as Sharing Christ
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (V.4)
Witnessing Christ to the World:
Sharing Gospel to the world is an important command of Christ in his farewell message, (The Great Commission, Mathew 28:19-20). Many of us are not fully confident in sharing Christ either because of our fear or the sin that easily entangles us.
Philippians 4:4-9 is an important passage that will give us a different perspective in sharing Christ. It is indirectly telling us to 'Show the Christ' in us through our life. Show him through our words, actions, reactions and thoughts.
Verse 4 tells us to rejoice in the Lord always, and Paul is repeating it again: ‘rejoice’. Paul has every reason to be unhappy, since he is writing this letter from jail. Is it possible to rejoice always, while we are going through the deepest darkness of life? Absolutely, that is the beauty of the Bible, and the faith depicted in it. We have millions of reasons under the sun to become sad. But the foundation of our joy is in Christ and in Him alone. This joy is not based on what we gained or lost in this life but rather based on what He has done for us on the cross of Calvary. Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ (Romans 8:35-39). That is why Paul tells us to rejoice in Christ. Paul's praise and worship in jail [rejoicing in Christ] lead the jailer and his whole family to believe in Christ.
Verse 5 tells us to be gentle. Let others see the Christ-like nature in us (Matt. 11:29). God has placed many of us in commanding positions. Are we gentle and approachable, or keeping a distance from our subordinates, to show our power? Our lives should be an example to others, so that they can come to Christ.
Verse 6 tells us about anxiety. All of us have this emotion at different levels, and during different situations. It is impossible to lead a life without any anxiety at all. What Paul is asking us is to turn our anxieties into prayers and the Peace of Christ beyond all human understanding will guard our hearts and minds. Therefore those who have more anxiety should pray more. The best examples are from Daniel and his friends and also from the life of Joseph. How confident and calm they were during the most challenging phases of their lives! Today we are not alone. We have the promised gift of the Holy Spirit to guide us through this wilderness.
Finally Paul is exhorting us to think healthy. In order to think true, noble, right, lovely, admirable, excellent thoughts, we should feed our mind with these things. What we see with our eyes is closely related with our thoughts. Always guard our eyes. Avoid all the sinful circumstances, whether it is through television, internet or phone, and captivate all thoughts that are against the will of God. This will help us to witness more effectively for Christ.
Prayer: Father Lord, help me to show you to the world outside through my words, actions, reactions and thoughts…. Amen.
Thought for the Day: When anxiety is creeping in our mind, find a place for Prayer.
Dr. Jereesh John, St. Thomas MTC, NY