Nurturing “Joy in the Faith”

What’s it like to have a heart for God, to be totally devoted to Jesus? Paul gave us a glimpse in Philippians 1:21-30. In this passage Paul wrote about his longing to be with Christ yet his deep desire to continue serving him. “I am torn between the two,” he said in verse 23.

Paul revealed that it is his “desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far (verse 23),” but recognized the importance of remaining with the Phillipian church. As difficult as it is was for him at times, he knew his calling was to “continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith (verse 25).” For Paul, it wasn’t just about his personal salvation. He had a longing to be with Christ; a deep desire to serve him; a total selfless dedication to being a disciple of Jesus.

This passage caused me to examine my own life and my devotion to Christ. While I may long to be with Christ, I don’t always share Paul’s dedication to be with those who need to be nurtured in their faith in Christ. Am I so totally devoted to serving Christ that I feel as Paul wrote: “so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me (verse 26).”

How deep is your commitment to Christ? Is your faith all about your salvation or does it include a dedication to growing other disciples? It wasn’t enough for Paul to just bring salvation in Christ to the Philippians. He wanted his passion for Christ to be contagious so that their boasting in Christ would overflow into the lives of others.

© 2019 CGThelen

15 thoughts on “Nurturing “Joy in the Faith”

  1. I struggle because I don’t long to be with Christ outside this world. I know I will be there one day so I throughly enjoy each moment I have here. I don’t desire to depart here until I know all I love are going to be with Him too. That’s my heart’s desire. No one left behind.

    1. Such a good desire — no one left behind. Some days I am discouraged because it has been so many years of trying to show those I love the joy of the Lord. But then last year a friend of ours came to Christ after 20 years of rejecting Christianity. That gave me hope for the other people in my life. Praise God that he is patient.

      1. Praise God!! My loved ones hold out but I have hope and faith. I live my life and watch Hod work through me trusting He speaks more loudly than I ever could. Let’s keep persevering!!

  2. I’m afraid I don’t share the excited anticipation of other Christians when it comes to Jesus’ return. So many people dear to me are not ready, and when it crosses my mind, my immediate thought is, “Not yet, Lord!”

    1. Your comment reflects a heart for God; that deep desire for others in our life to share the joy of the Lord; to share eternity with us. It brings to mind 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

  3. I wonder if I shall ever attain even unto Paul’s mindset (Acts 20.24 But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.), much less that of Christ.
    To be so void of oneself, so focused on the will of God, must be so peaceful.

  4. It is my conviction that we are all called to proclaim the gospel and contribute to the making of disciples with whatever gifts we have received. I pray that God would use me and my gifts for His glory. Right now that means my blog as I seek to reach the mentally ill for Christ while at the same time edifying my brothers and sisters in Christ and opening their eyes to the struggles of the mentally ill. We each have an area of expertise in our lives, a personalized mission field, and my hope is that God use me in mine. I want to see lives changed by the gospel!

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