“I am sure of this, that he who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)
Seeing the best in someone is not easy, but it is encouraging. I think that is part of the reason why TV shows like Ted Lasso are popular. What’s better than the optimistic coach Ted Lasso? The apostle Paul, seeing that Jesus is working in you!
Similarly, my wife likes to encourage me by thanking me for doing chores, like cleaning. But I think she shows her gratitude more when she says she sees God is working in me. It is such an encouragement for me to hear this. If she were to praise me for cleaning, I might be proud. But when she says she sees God is working in me, I can only boast in God, because I know it isn’t merely my own doing but God’s doing. I am so glad that we are partners in grace like Paul and the Philippians.
Having someone present and encouraging you towards Jesus is really helpful. This is why Paul later says to the Philippians that it is necessary for their sake that he remains (1:23-24). He continues that it’s for their progress and joy — so that they may boast in Christ Jesus (1:25-26). What a concept! Although Paul knew that to die and be with Jesus would be better, Paul believed that to remain with the church at Philippi was a bigger priority. Why? Because then the Philippians would grow in Christ and joy, and thus boast in Jesus! Paul saw them as partners in grace.
We are teammates in grace. In this “game” of life, our goal is Jesus. Our teammates are the body of believers, empowered by God’s Spirit. As we trust in Him and point each other to Jesus, day by day He is transforming us until the day He returns, when we will share in His likeness.
Let’s be like Paul:
- Be present for each other (“to live is Christ,” 1:21)
- Pray for each other to grow in Jesus (“I pray this: your love will keep growing” 1:9–11)
- Encourage each other whenever we see God working in each other (1:6).
To summarize and paraphrase Paul: “Jesus is life!!!”