Thanks for joining us today for our Friday devotion from Philippians! Today we’re looking at chapter two and verses seventeen and eighteen:
17-18 – Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all. For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me. KJV
Paul is making a reference in this passage to the Old Testament offering. The drink offering was done in conjunction with another offering, such as the burnt offering or the grain offering.
For a burnt offering, one would take an animal such as a lamb or ram and offer it as a sacrifice to God. At the conclusion of the burnt offering, one would then offer a drink offering by taking something such as wine and pouring it out on top of the sacrifice.
Paul is making a vivid analogy between his sacrifice and the sacrifice of the Philippians. He is telling the Philippians that their sacrifice and service to God is like the burnt offering. Paul’s life and ministry is like the drink offering being poured out on top of their sacrifice.
What can we learn from this passage?
There is Joy in Sacrifice
Great sacrifice, hard work and personal investment was required for Paul to establish the Philippian church and for he saints of Philippi to grow the church. However, Paul did not consider the sacrifices he and the Philippians made to be a drudgery or chore. He was not looking for sympathy in his suffering. He said:
“If I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all…”
Don’t weep for me! If my life is a drink offering poured out for the Philippians, then I rejoice! One finds joy in serving and sacrificing for the cause if God’s Kingdom. He then tells the Philippians to rejoice with him! He goes on to say that they should rejoice as well over the opportunity they have to sacrifice and work for the church.
Don’t ever consider the sacrifices you make for the Kingdom of God to be anything less than a joy. In fact, in this passage we find a key to joy – unselfishly pouring our lives out for Christ. Those who lack joy in this life are usually the ones who are serving themselves. If you want to find joy – pour out your life for the Kingdom!
Sacrifice Brings Glory to God
Paul has an incredible attitude in spite of his difficult situation. By referencing the Old Testament practices of offering sacrifices to God, he is reminding the Philippians that their work in the Kingdom was to bring glory to God and not self. The sacrifices of the Old Testament were offered to God. They were to give glory and honor to God. The focus of the offering was upon God, not upon the giver. Neither Paul nor the Philippians were working to bring glory to self. Their work for the church and people of Philippi was to honor God.
Don’t ever consider the sacrifices you make for the Kingdom of God to be anything less than a joy.
It’s interesting that Paul implies their sacrifice is the burnt offering and his sacrifice is the drink offering. He is reinforcing that all our work is for God’s glory not ours. The burnt offering was the primary or main offering. The drink offering was the secondary offering or the icing on the cake. Paul never implied that his sacrifice was the greater sacrifice. He was telling the Philippians that they were the main contributors to the work. Paul was not trying to take credit for the church at Philippi. He was giving the most credit to them. He was teaching the Philippians that when we worry about whose sacrifice is the greatest, we are missing the point. All the glory goes to God. It’s amazing what can be accomplished when no one cares who gets the credit!
Don’t get wrapped up in measuring your sacrifice against others’ sacrifice. We err in comparing ourselves with others. Always keep in mind that the glory goes to God anyway, not us!