Paul sacrificed for the sake of following Jesus. His career path, way of thinking, safety, and comfort, just to mention some. Paul was willing to do this because of the example of Jesus’ sacrifice for Paul and all of humanity, because of God’s great love for us. That love from God motivated Paul to sacrifice for the sake of the message of Jesus in his own life. How can God’s great love and sacrifice motivate you?
Another of Paul’s themes in Philippians is found in almost all of his letters because it is the foundation of Paul’s worldview, and more importantly, to the gospel of Jesus. All who follow Jesus are viewed by God as holy, no matter their past, whether good or bad. Because our position with God is not based upon our performance or perception of ourselves, but God’s perception of us based upon the performance of Jesus. No wonder Paul could write about joy even from a prison cell!
Of all the people in the world, Christians have the most reason to be joyful. Yet, Christians often do not have a reputation of joy. Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi was written from a prison, yet is dripping with joy. What can we learn?