Philippians on Friday: Was it Worth It?

Philippians on Friday: Was it Worth It?

Philippians 2:16: “Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.”

We can see at the end of verse 16, a very transparent apostle. He wants to know that his ministry to the Philippians has not been in vain.

philippiansPaul is not naïve about his situation. He knows he may never be released from prison or that any day could be his last. He can sense in his spirit that the end of his earthly race is approaching.

He’s reflecting on his life and ministry.  He’s thinking about the impact he’s made. It’s as though he’s telling the Philippians:

I will have great joy if I know that all my investment in you has paid off.  I will rejoice if I can be confident that you will continue to the end.

What Paul meant in this verse when he said, “Holding forth the Word of Life” has sparked some disagreement.  “Holding forth” can mean two different things in the Greek language:

  1. To Show Forth or Display
  2. To Hold Fast

Whichever thought Paul had in mind, the message to the Philippians was the same.  Paul just wants to know that his labor was not in vain.  As his time on earth winds down, he wants to know that the Philippians will continue on, either by continuing to show forth the Gospel message or by holding fast to the Gospel message and their faith in Christ.

Paul will have great joy if he knows that all his travels to Philippi and his teaching, prayers and impartation were not in vain.  He wants to feel assured that all his sacrifice was worth it. If the Philippians don’t hold out until the end, Paul’s work would seem in vain.

I don’t want any of those who’ve poured into my life to ever feel like their sacrifice wasn’t worth it.

The Apostle Paul was the spiritual father of the Philippians – he had established the church in Philippi.  But he was concerned about more than just their beginning.  He was concerned about the long term.  He was not just focused on conversion but on discipleship.  His joy would come from them continuing.  He would feel satisfied that his efforts were worth it if they would remain steadfast in the faith.

Will Others Say It Was Worth It?

 Think of all the spiritual leaders who have invested in us:

  • Parents
  • Pastors
  • Sunday school teachers
  • Youth pastors
  • Older saints in the church

We are what we are today in Christ because of those who have poured into our lives.  I’m sure our spiritual mentors will, like Paul, find great joy and satisfaction in knowing that we will continue on with Christ until the end.  I want those who’ve invested in us to feel like their sacrifice was worth it!

PhilippiansLet us “hold forth” the Word of Life by continuing to do the Lord’s work and not wavering in letting the light of the Gospel shine through us.  May we “hold fast” to the Word of Life by remaining steadfast in the faith and being determined to finish the course.  Many people have invested in us and sacrificed greatly to help us get to where we are now.  How sad if we were to throw in the towel and stop short of the finish line.  I don’t want any of those who’ve poured into my life to ever feel like their sacrifice wasn’t worth it.

Paul said in Hebrews 12:1:

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses….let us run with patience the race that is set before us…”

There is a great number of people who are watching us.  Those who’ve poured into our lives are witnesses of the spiritual race that we are running.  Let us endure faithfully to the finish line, and bring great joy to those who have invested into our lives.  I want that great cloud of witnesses to say, “It was worth it!”

~Matthew Ball

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