I've been reading through Philippians the past couple of weeks. Man, what a great book to read if you are feeling a little low. It is one great cheerleading and encouraging letter. Over the next couple of days, thought I'd share some of the verses and phrases that have "shimmered" as I have been reading.
The word "deep" has been rising to the top of my thoughts as I've been reading.
(All of these quotes are from "The Message")
"Paul and Timothy, both of us committed servants of Christ Jesus, write this letter to all the followers of Jesus in Philippi, pastors and ministers included." Phil 1:1
I find it interesting that he singles out "pastors and ministers" - just one of those things that makes me go, "Hmmmm." The message is to pierce beyond the congregation - and land deep within ALL of them....leaders included.
"There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears." Phil 1:6
God started His work IN me......He is working deep.....from the inside-out.
"So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well." Phil 1:9
Ah, but to love well. What does that look like? Loving well....not just much. To me that also speaks of depth - to allow my love not to just meander along the surface of relationships but to look for cracks and crevices to pour Christ's love, through me, deeply into my relationship with God, self, others, and the world....as He has started a great work in me.
"Live a lover's life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of: bountiful in fruits from the soul,...making Jesus Christ attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God." Phil 1:10-11
A life of depth thru Jesus Christ......bountiful in fruits from the soul. I love that phrase. fruits from the soul....as Jesus works deep in me, my very soul will become bountiful and reveal more and more of the attractiveness of Christ.
"Through your faithful prayers and the generous response of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, everything he wants to do in and through me will be done." Phil 1:19
Faithful prayers and generous Spirit - not only do I need to go deep in my prayers with God but I need to let myself marinate deeply in the prayers of others. To humbly ask for and graciously receive prayer - so that I am deeply immersed - and that everything he wants to do in/through me will be done as I respond to the Spirit.
"So I plan to be around awhile, companion to you as your growth and joy in this life of trusting God continues." Phil 1:25
Depth in relationships through perseverance in love. Depth by committing time. Depth in walking along side and encouraging depth in another person's journey with Jesus. This is a theme that has resonated with me greatly in looking at how we minister to youth - and how we need to better walk with them rather than challenge and abandon them.