The Pastor's Pen Image

“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”  (Philippians 4:19)
    When a person receives salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ, they aren’t totally aware of all that salvation entails.  We can live on the fulfilling satisfaction of our soul’s salvation only for so long, then real world problems and situations begin to reveal themselves ever so swiftly.  Young, infant Christians need to be protected and nourished in the right environment so that their growth will not be hindered (cf I Peter 2:1-3).  We call this discipleship of young Christians and refreshing to those who have been saved for some time.  It is important that every Christian understand exactly what they have in Christ.  The more mature Christian is responsible for teaching them what they have in Christ as they walk through this life.
    There are growing pains and there are just pains that are a part of life born out of the many situations we may find ourselves in.  Some situations can become very disheartening and take its toll on our faith, thereby hindering our growth and productivity as a Christian.  In the book of Philippians, Paul, the apostle, gives us a key word in each chapter that will certainly endear our Christianity.  He gives us four pictures of Christ and how each is associated with our future as Christians.  In Philippians 1:21-23, Paul shows us that Christ is our life.  He is all we need.  When we realize He is all we need, He becomes all we want.  You can only imagine how empty and meaningless life would be without Christ.  “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).  Here and hereafter, Christ is our life.  In chapter 2:5-8, we see Christ as our example.  The Christian needs to follow the example of humility, obedience and service. “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5).  Our Savior never thought He degraded Himself by being identified as a human and dying in the fashion of a man.  He humbled Himself to come to where we were that He might take us to where He is.  Christians need to emulate Christ as we serve and sometimes suffer, that others may come to Christ.  
     In chapter 3:14, we see that Christ is our goal.  “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”  This is speaking of the rewards for faithful life and service toward our Savior.  We should desire the prize that will please Him.  “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize?  So run, that ye may obtain” (I Corinthians 9:24).  Keep your eyes on the goal, Christian!   In chapter 4:13, we see that Christ is our strength.  “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”   During the days when we feel spiritually weak and physically exhausted, we must look to our Savior.  Whatever we endeavor to do, we must see Him as our Strength Giver. You will soon discover that the task at hand is not an impossible task when Jesus is providing the strength.  Paul discovered this first hand when he had a “thorn in the flesh” and sought relief from the Savior.  The Savior’s reply was, “...My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness…” (II Corinthians 12:9).  
      Paul rested in that statement, that promise given by the Savior. We should rest in it as well.  Yes, Christian, you have all you need in Christ; never, ever forget it.
                                                                                                                                          Pastor H. Preston Parker