Philippians 1:24 “But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live.”

Reading through Paul’s ministry, I observed that he had two main focuses. The first was to share the Good News of Jesus Christ, the second was to encourage and love the body of Christ.

In John chapter 13, Jesus commanded his followers to love each other in the same way, He demonstrated His love towards us. Not only this, but Jesus tells us that the love we show to one another, will prove to the world that we are His disciples. Paul understood this and recognized that whoever received the Good News was grafted into God’s family and became his family. It was because of his love and commitment to the Lord and the body of Christ that he visited churches far and wide to bring words of encouragement to them. This wasn’t for his glory or gain, but so they may be strengthened in their faith (Romans 1:12).

One morning I received a text from a friend asking if I wanted to join her for coffee. I said that I was available and that I would love to. When we met at the coffee shop I asked if everything was alright, because to be honest, I was thinking something had to be wrong. Her response was one that I will never forget. She said, “Everything is great. I just wanted to hang out and see how you were doing.” This friend reaching out blessed me so much that I took her example and now use it too. We don’t have to have an agenda or a grand gesture. It can be as simple as meeting for coffee, taking dinner to a family, sharing words of encouragement, or offering a jump start. If your heart and intentions align with God, you strengthen the church.

The selflessness and investment Paul offered to the body of Christ was such a beautiful and strong example. This verse has challenged me and I hope you as well.

Michelle Esparza
Discipleship Administrator

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