Philippians 2:17-18, NASB
17) But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all.
18) You too, I urge you, rejoice in the same way and share your joy with me.
-a drink offering is wine poured out on an altar- Paul uses this metaphor again in 2 Timothy 4:6 and it seems that he is saying that if he is put to death it will be his sacrifice to the Lord.
-Paul will gladly sacrifice his life in service of the faith, it will be his joy, and he urges the Philippian believers to join him in regarding it the same way.
I am not facing the possibility of a sentence of death. Truth be told, I do not even experience what I would call persecution for the faith, not like those I know who live in places such as Nigeria for instance. Being a Christian there can get you killed these days.
It is important to Paul that the believers in Philippi not become discouraged by his treatment- he wants them to rejoice and be joyful in their faith. I struggle to be joyful in my faith sometimes just getting ready for church on Sunday.
I wonder as we pray for those serving in dangerous parts of the world if we ought to give more consideration to Paul’s words. I have often prayed for release from prison, safety in serving, but joy in the face of persecution? It just does not even come to mind. I think I need to add that to my repertoire of prayer requests. And I think I need to work on this attitude of being a drink offering myself, just as Jesus was broken and poured out for me on the cross. Though it is much easier to say that when I am living in the abstract, when death for my faith is not even within the realm of possibility as far as I can see.
Grace and Peace,
I am a woman with a Mary heart and these are my musings as I read and study God's Word
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