Therefore, if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion. Philippians 2:1
Listen: Philippians 2
It seems reasonable that Paul would begin with certain behaviors he wanted to see changed in the lives of the Philippians. But he doesn’t. Before he tells them what they need to do, he focuses on what they have been given. What they are supposed to do is preceded by what they have. He reminds them of the encouragement they receive from Jesus, the comfort from his love, the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives and their outpouring of tenderness and compassion (which he personally experienced). This was their new identity in Christ.
It is the difference between living out of our fullness rather than living out of our emptiness. We live out of our emptiness when we binge-watch television, obsess about the upcoming party, go on a needless shopping spree or remain glued to cable news 24/7. At the end of it, we are just as empty spiritually (maybe worse) as we were before. You have nothing to give away when you are spiritually empty.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
The key to living out of your fullness is to realize two things—what you have and who you are. As a believer in Jesus, you are united with him. When that happens, you have encouragement from Jesus, the comfort of his love, the power of his Spirit in your life and tenderness and compassion (which you can give to others). Today, in your Chair time, write a letter to God thanking him for what you have and who you are. Use this as a prayer to begin (and close) your day.
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