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.Philippians 2:17(NASB)
Following his conversion on the road to Damascus Paul had spent his life in sacrificial service to the Lord for the joy of seeing others come to a secure, trusting faith in Christ. Paul rejoiced to see them grow in grace and mature in their Christian life. And despite his imprisonment in a Roman jail, it was with the joy of the Lord that Paul was able to write his letter of encouragement to his brothers and sisters in Philippi - exhorting them to unity, humility and continued sacrificial service to the Lord.
Paul longed for the time when he would be with his Lord. Much of his time in his service to Christ had been fraught with difficulties and dangers.. but he laboured-on ceaselessly for the joy of seeing saints in the various churches coming to full faith in the Lord Jesus, and becoming themselves a living sacrifice - holy and acceptable unto the Lord.
Paul made special reference to the single-minded faith of the saints in Philippi, who had become obedient to the gospel and submissive to the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives. In many respects they were laying down their lives in sacrificial service to the Lord and Paul was overjoyed to see their faith blossoming into a living sacrifice unto God. And although part of his letter was used to encourage these saints to set aside all self-interest and selfish ambitions and to be bonded together in the unity of the faith, he gives great encouragement, by describing their work of faith as a precious, sacrificial service to the Lord.
Paul had been the first person to bring the good news of the gospel of Christ to the citizens of Philippi, and in a beautiful way Paul expands the self-sacrificial spirit he observed in these Philippians Christians to include his own involvement and joy in the maturing of their faith. Over the years Paul's life had become intertwined with the lives of these believers to the glory of Christ Jesus their Lord.. and he was in prison for sharing the Gospel of God with them.. and so we read in his epistle: '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.'
And in spite of his imprisonment in Rome, Paul's epistle to these saints gives a beautiful and joyful description of his own life and work as a drink offering which was being poured-out.. over their own self-sacrificial work, for the sake of the glorious gospel of Christ. Paul may have been in prison for teaching the good news of grace, but in his letter he was able to write: 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.
Despite his hardship and suffering, Paul rejoiced that he had not laboured in vain with these dear Philippians Christians, who had not only embraced the glorious gospel of Christ by faith.. but were themselves living sacrificially for their Lord. May we like them - joyfully present our own bodies and lives as a living sacrifice.. holy unto the Lord, and may we also rejoice with exceeding great joy in the Lord, as we look to Jesus and keep our mind stayed on Him.
Heavenly Father thank You for the example of Paul, who poured his life out as a drink offering over the faith of these self-sacrificing saints in Philippi. May we live our lives as a living sacrifice and be prepared to suffer for the sake of Christ, no matter what the cost - for the joy of knowing that we do Your will - to Your praise and glory, AMEN.