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Paul wrote to all the saints in Philippi, including their bishops and deacons, exhorting them to stand firm in faith, be of the same mind and rejoice in the Lord always. He used the opportunity to present Christ as their model of consolation, humility and true service.

Reference: Philippians 2:17 English Standard Version (ESV) "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."

Pauline epistle to the Philippians is known as "Pros Philippesious". In this very chapter, Paul instructed the church to have the mind of Christ and to do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that they might be blameless and pure "children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation." His aim was to build them up to live their new life in Christ unhindered, and shine like stars in their world, as they held firmly to the word of life. Strikingly he added, "And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain", which denotes his transparent commitment to spiritual service and calling.

Paul was so committed to his service towards the Christians at Philippi that he wrote in our referenced Scripture, "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." This was a man ready to offer himself as a drink offering and a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God on the altar of service, just for the sake of strengthening the faith and inciting the spiritual growth of those he served. In fact, his central thought or purpose for all his converts and gatherings in all the Christian churches he raised - was for them to have a meditative awareness of Christ as their role model in everything and to experience, practise, and enjoy a oneness of purpose, goal and mind with the Divine.

Apostle Paul was indeed a man crucified with Christ, and he demonstrated it in his commitment to the gospel he preached and in the manner he rendered his service to God and to the Christian believers. His calling was his very life, his blood, his vision, his food and everything. He was so conscious of his mission, that he was determined with a singleness of purpose to bring it to a successful end. All that apostle Paul stood for is the salvation of souls and building up their faith in Christ. You couldn't track him in his epistles fulfilling another vision or purpose or going in another direction, because he maintained an unbroken focus.

Personally I respect his commitment to his calling, his diligence, his drive, his ability to press forward, his selflessness, and his singleness of purpose in any circumstance. He was so dedicated to Christ, led by the principles of his divine calling, had faith in those he led because he saw them as God's own children; thus he looked beyond their faith challenges, saw their spiritual potentialities, and patiently built them with the Word, bearing in mind that they had the Spirit of Christ in them. Beloved, it takes a man sold out for Jesus to readily accomplish the duties associated with a purpose from God.

Paul stuck to his mission as an apostle to the Gentiles by God's choice. The mission was a specific one from our Lord Jesus Christ in the book of Acts: 'But the Lord said to Ananias, "Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel"' (Acts 9:15 NIV). Due to his commitment and availability as a minister of Christ to the Gentiles, God used him mightily in the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel, to bring the Gentiles to the Kingdom and make them a holy offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. Hence, he gloried in Christ Jesus in his service to God (see Romans 15:15-17 NIV).

Today we can learn from Paul's commitment and display the willingness to serve God and to fulfil His will and purpose for our lives without reservation. And as we yield wholly to our divine calling or purpose, may the Lord continue to reach people everywhere for His glory through us, Amen. Shalom!

Scripture Reading - Acts 20:24; 2 Corinthians 1:3-7; Colossians 1:24; 1 Thessalonians 3:7-10.

Guided Prayer: Heavenly Father, I thank you for the excellency of the knowledge of your will and purpose for my life, which is the basis for all your blessings in my life. By being fully dedicated to my purpose and walking in the light of my commitment to the Kingdom service, I'm daily rooted and grounded in the leading of the Spirit to fulfil my destiny in Christ, in Jesus' Name, Amen!


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