AN ATTITUDE OF JOY
Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless. But I will rejoice even if I lose my life, pouring it out like a liquid offering to God, just like your faithful service is an offering to God. And I want all of you to share that joy. Yes, you should rejoice, and I will share your joy.
Philippians 2:16-18 NLT
As we read this passage, we need to remember that Paul is writing from a Roman prison. Instead of throwing a pity party he is encouraging others with an attitude of joy. He wants them to continue to serve the Lord as torch bearers in a dark world so that “I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless.” I think we all want to know our work is not useless. We want our lives to have meaning and impact. We want to know we made a difference while we were here on the earth. Paul uses the word picture of the priest pouring out the liquid at the altar of sacrifice. In the Old Testament we learn that in a time of worship the priest would offer a sacrifice on the altar and pour wine on the altar as part of the required sacrifices. Paul is seeing his life as a life of sacrifice. He is being poured out as a sacrifice of worship to God. He reminds us that when we are poured out as a sacrifice, we should “rejoice.” It is easy to rejoice when life is great, the bills are paid, our health is good, and our family is at peace. But can we rejoice when we are called to sacrifice? I personally love Chick Fil A because of their food and service. I am always impressed when I thank an employee for their service and they respond with, “My pleasure.” That is such a step up from the “sure” or grunt I get at some places. That response lets me know they have been trained to see themselves as servants and they choose to take pleasure in serving. Think about the following: Do we have that same attitude when we serve people in our world? Do we consider it a pleasure when we sacrifice for others? Do we serve others with joyful hearts?
Holy Spirit help me to be a joyful servant of others. Help me to take pleasure in serving even when it causes a sacrifice on my part.
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