Grateful for God’s work
Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now. And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:3-6 NLT
From the text, Paul could not think of the Philippians without giving thanks to God for their fellowship in the gospel. The word ‘fellowship’ refers to sharing or holding something in common. We have a tendency to use the word very loosely these days. Any gathering of Christians in which there is a feeling of happiness and camaraderie is called ‘fellowship’. We have almost made the word synonymous with good food and a few laughs. We can be sure that the apostle had something far deeper and different in mind. It was more than merely enjoying each other’s company. It was partnership that is rooted in their relationship with Christ. Christian fellowship when practiced based upon its purpose is a sight to behold. People who by nature have nothing in common find a common life in Christ. Think again of Paul’s ministry in Philippi. Lydia the slave girl and the jailer had nothing in common until they came to Christ (see Acts 16). It is the gospel of Christ which made them partakers of the same life and partners in the same cause. This is also the reason why they are partners in spreading the gospel. “For you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now” (Philippians 1:5). He was also grateful that the Philippians did not begin the work of salvation in themselves only to have God come along and add a little to it. It was entirely His work. God provided the way of salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ, and He is the One that enabled the Philippians to receive that salvation. Another thing that Paul is grateful for is that God does not begin salvation and then abandon it somewhere along the way. He does not pull those that belong to His Kingdom coming out from darkness and flames of destruction only to allow them to slip back and be consumed. God completes the work of salvation. The God who is faithful will faithfully complete His work!