Rejoice Because It’s Worth It
Read Philippians 2:16-18 (ESV)
...holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Likewise, you also should be glad and rejoice with me.
What is the hardest, but most worthwhile, thing that you have ever done?
I have spent a lot of time in school studying to be a pastor, apologist, and Bible teacher. It has definitely not been easy. I have had to sacrifice time away from my family to study and to travel to attend classes, workshops, and seminars. The courses have been rigorous, and my academic abilities have been stretched to their limits. And yet, I can proudly say that it has all been worth it. I did not labor or sacrifice in vain. Why? My studies have greatly impacted my own faith. But I also consider my ministry to be an offering to impact the faith of others. My ministry brings me great joy, even on the hardest days, because I know that what I do matters for eternity.
In today’s verses, Paul encouraged the Philippian church to “hold fast to the word of life.” Why? Paul wanted to know that all of his hard work in ministering to the Philippians was worth it. He wanted them to hold on until the very end—the day of Christ.
Paul had dedicated his life to preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And that came with a price tag. Paul endured terrible suffering. He was beaten, imprisoned, shipwrecked, and eventually executed—all for the sake of sharing the Gospel with others. He felt as if he were being “poured out” as sacrifice. To know that his faithful service and sacrifice mattered in the lives of those he taught was his pride and joy. Despite the hard work, despite all that he endured, he rejoiced to hear that the Philippians were remaining faithful to the Word of God.
Some translations of verse 13 read “hold forth the word of life” or “hold out the word of life.” Paul is telling us to cling tightly to God’s Word, yes. But he’s also encouraging us to offer God’s life-giving Word to others! Paul was urging the Philippians to share the Gospel, even if that meant they too would have to sacrifice. Paul reassured them that sacrificial and faithful service to the Lord leads to incredible, deep, and lasting joy!
Friends, we can share in that joy as well. Trust me when I say, nothing brings more joy than the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the Word that gives us life! So hold fast to it. Cling to it as your lifeline. But don’t keep all of that joy for yourself. Offer that joy to the people God has placed in your life. Your sacrificial service to the Lord will not be in vain. Rejoice! It will all be worth it.
God, Your Word gives me life. When life is hard, I cling to it. Thank You for the honor of living my life to serve You. I know that every sacrifice I endure will be more than worth it on the day that You return! Give me courage, strength, and wisdom to share Your life-giving Word with others. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
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