“Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
As Christians, we are not identified by what we do , but by who we are in Christ.
All of us from time to time are asked who we are and what we do. Our usual response is to tell people our name and where we work. Sometimes we identify ourselves by who we are married to, and how many children we have. All of these responses are good, but can suddenly change through loss of jobs, divorce, or death. Just within the last few weeks many in this country and around the world have lost their jobs or financial security, and some have lost family members because of the Coronavirus pandemic. Our world seems to be turned upside down and the heartache is tremendous for many. Some people may feel a loss of security because of the changes going on all around us. This is certainly understandable, but let’s take a look at what was happening in Paul’s world when he wrote Philippians .
Philippians is known as the book of Joy. If you know anything about the life of Paul the apostle, you might wonder how he ever ended up writing a book about joy. Before becoming a follower of Christ, Paul hated Christians and had them murdered. He was a popular Jew among Jews and had a long list of credentials that would have looked good on any resume. After becoming a Christian, he was the one pursued by people who hated him and his life would have come to an end sooner than it did if God had not stepped in and protected him from death. He was beaten and left for dead several times and put in prison for spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ. In fact Paul was a prisoner in Rome when he wrote the book of Philippians. Since he was handcuffed to a guard day and night, it is quite possible that Timothy wrote and Paul spoke the words the Holy Spirit gave him to say.
As he gave the introduction to this book, Paul didn’t say anything about himself except that he and Timothy were servants of Jesus Christ. Paul and Timothy’s identities were not wrapped up in where they were born or where they had been. They were servants of the most High King and no matter what their situation was in life, they never lost that title. Their job was to follow Christ wherever He led them and to obey His every command. They loved Jesus, and for them it was a joy to be His servant. No matter what happens to us in this life, if we know Jesus Christ as our Savior, we have everything which includes eternal life.
How would you describe yourself to someone who didn’t know you? What are some things you seem to find identity in?