Philippians 1:1
All the Saints

Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:

Obedience is a characteristic of servant-hood that is both expected and appreciated. Paul had wanted to go from Mysia to Bithynia, but when the call came to Macedonia, He “assuredly gathered” that he was to go there in obedience to the call. That led him to Philippi and a new work in a new area began. It is one of the things that brings joy to a believer/servant that cannot be really defined. To be in the place God wants us, doing what God wants us to do, gives us joy no matter what difficulties might occur and, to a certain extent, what the results are. “One plants, another waters, and God gives the increase.” The joy of sharing in a work with the Almighty God is beyond expression. When one can share that work with a son in the faith, that also gives great joy.

Two men: different ages, different background, different countries –
One older than the other by far; brought together by God.
Each a servant in his own way and in his own right –
One called to serve in the Gospel dramatically, unforgettably.
The other young, impressionable, sensitive, willing but unsure –
Wanting to please God; impressing others with his real faith.
The one outspoken, passionate, devoted to a cause and his God –
The other willing to do what he was told; to serve the older in any way.
One out front in “The Way”; rising to each challenge without turning aside –
The other doing mundane tasks; going where he was told, making things easier.
Both servants of Jesus Christ; both aware of His sovereignty and authority –
Both caring for those God cares for: likeminded, responsive to needs – Servants.

Called out by God, though we all are different –
Lives to be lived in wholeness and meaning.
Not wasted people nor time in God’s eyes –
But chosen, elect, of supreme importance to God.
Saints without statues raised in their memory –
A reason for existence; a purpose not fully understood.
Meeting together with a common gathering Center –
The Lord’s name and Person; the reason why they know each other.
Living in the same city; brought together by grace –
Gathering in fellowship and unity; needing to be preserved for God.
Servants and saints; brothers and sisters; believers and witnesses –
Children of God who love the Lord; followers of Christ – Saints.

Responsible men who have been tried and proven – and don’t quit –
Using their hearts as well as their heads to draw conclusions.
Leaders of men, they do not turn aside from the hard questions –
They pray for answers – answers in peace; they know God has given them this work.
They shepherd sheep and lambs: sheep need food – lambs need care –
And they provide for others by listening to God, and acting for Him.
Making decisions together; looking at options; considering the choices they have –
Cautious and bold; quiet and forthright; plain of speech and careful how they speak.
Not satisfied to leave things undone; ready for every good work; prepared –
Humbled when God blesses; thankful for each forward step; appreciate little things.
Men of the Word; quoting relevant scriptures; reading what truly applies –
Shepherds who feed; elders who have experience; bishops who watch –Leaders.

Ready to work; willing to act when delegated a task; careful over their charge –
Not complaining about the work load; thankful to be able to help.
Rising to the occasion; faithful until the work is done; not a quitter –
Accepting what they may not understand; fulfilling what is expected of them.
Trustworthy and willing to be counted on; there when needed; expecting to work –
Acting without being told all the time; seeing what needs to be done and doing it.
Accepting criticism as par for the course; knowing not everyone will be pleasing –
Accommodating themselves to the comfort of others; going without, that others may have.
Doing the same thing over and over again for God’s glory; looking beyond tomorrow –
Standing in the gap; building up the wall; fixing the broken gates of truth.
Doing what they do in the name of the Lord, not for praise of men; standard-bearers –
Deacons who are ministering to the needs of others at their own expense – Ministers.

“We are one in Thee, O Father God; we are not our own; we function as one body. Thanks for the variety of persons Thou hast put in my life to help meet my needs. May I be ready to serve and minister to Thee by serving and ministering to others. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.”

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