I wish to encourage you to appreciate God’s work in others. Appreciation is a wonderful commodity that we can freely pass on to others. The recipient feels valued, even wanted. It overcomes hurts and fears; it energises fatigued bodies and inspires vigour for persevering in life.
The apostle Paul often wrote expressing his appreciation of others, however, I want to draw your attention to his letter to the believers in Philippi. In Philippians 1:3, Paul starts “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you”. As we remember others, particularly fellow believers, as we think of them during the activities of the day, our response should automatically be one of thanks to God. Thanks for the Lord’s work in their lives, and thanks for the Lord intersecting your life with theirs . Like Paul, we should be thankful for others who also love Christ “with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel” (Philippians 1:4-5). Mutual faith in Christ and His gospel enables us to identify and express joyful thanks for others who also share eternal life.
Paul’s appreciation was heightened by His certainty in Gods undeterred, life changing ministry in others. He could confidently say; “I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). Likewise, our appreciation is a double barrel, first it’s admiration for God’s determinate work of irresistible grace. Second, it’s an expression of our love for our brothers and sisters in Christ. We are joyed by the absolute certainty of the salvation and security our loved friends have in Christ as Lord.
Writing from prison, Paul could say; “It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel” (Philippians 1:7). So, like Paul, we focus on God’s grace which is working out His mercy in each other’s lives. We celebrate the Lord’s love expressing itself in our fellow believers. We rejoice in the Holy Spirit’s determined ministry bringing fellow saints to maturity in Christ. We acknowledge our partnership in each other’s lives, supporting others through difficulties, pains, unjust circumstances, as well as through the times of ease and comfort. We willingly uphold each other during times of defending the gospel and sound doctrine. We unit with these ones, celebrating the victories and accomplishments of Christ in their lives.
Realising the close association of fellowship in Christ, Paul continues explaining that; “God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:8). Thankful appreciation develops a genuine yearning, a longing after, for not only fellowship with, but for the riches of Christ Jesus to be settled in the hearts and minds of those you love. No wonder Paul prayed; “And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God” (Philippians 1:9-11).
Today, I encourage you to thankfully praise God, particularly for those in your life who love Jesus Christ. Communicate your appreciation to those loved ones. Our Heavenly Father will be glorified, Jesus Christ will be pleased, and the Holy Spirit will be honoured as He accomplishes His work in and through you.
Together For Christ: Lincoln Forlong www.bbf.net.nz
“Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”