I can guarantee two things when you visit Stephanie’s personal blog: you will be encouraged and you will be challenged. She certainly does that for me in this post from her Philippians study. After reading this again from Stephanie, I’m going to make my list–how about you?
Well, let’s get cracking with today’s study of Philippians. We’re only going to look at two verses today, but they’re power-packed, transformational verses.
“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 2:17-18 NLT
In the New Testament, we only find the phrase “poured out” twice (Phil 2:17, 2 Tim 4:6) and both were used by Paul. It’s the Greek word, spendō, and it is used figuratively of one whose life-blood is poured out unto death for God.
Paul’s reference was to the Old Testament drink offering found in Numbers 25:29 which was a sweet aroma unto the Lord.
As we see throughout the New Testament, Paul’s life was all about being poured out unto the Lord and for fellow believers. It made his heart smile to know he was being sacrificially used by God to minister to others. Joy and sacrificial service were ties that bound his heart to his brothers and sisters in Christ and that brought him joy.
It’s funny how we let ourselves get so wrapped up in our own little worlds and neglect to pour ourselves out to minister to the needs of others. Many times it happens because our lives are so busy. But there’s great joy in serving God and serving others for the glory of God. Our heart rejoices when we are able to bring joy to others.
So today, we’re going to look at some very practical questions that will require some very practical application. Are you ready girls? Let’s see if we can make our hearts smile as we serve others and in the process, our lives will be a sweet aroma unto the Lord. It don’t get much better than that! :-)
1. List at least three people you know that are in the need of some encouragement.
2. List a few people who have a need that you could meet. (Like visiting a widow and helping clean their house or taking a meal to a neighbor or driving an elderly person to the store, babysit for an overwhelmed mom – you get the idea)
3. Make a list of those you could teach or share a biblical truth with or maybe do a Bible study with. Remember much of Paul’s ministry was teaching the Word of God.
4. Now that you’ve made your list, go back over it and begin to write what it is you can do to be poured out as the sacrifice of their faith.
You see, I think sometimes we just let life happen to us and the good intentions become our list of should-a, could-a, would-a’s. That leaves us frustrated.
But when we become intentional in the way we approach life, our ministry to others – the pouring out of our lives – will begin to become more than mere intentions – they will become actual acts of service that have the power to change peoples lives.
THAT, sweet sister, will not only put a smile on the face of those you are ministering to, it will make your heart smile, as well. And in the process of pouring out your life, you will become a sweet smelling aroma to our glorious God!
So, let’s be like Nike girls and “Just do it!” – today!