It is by your holding fast to the word of life that I can boast on the day of Christ that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.
Imagine Paul dictating a letter to this beloved church from his prison cell. He remembered how he first met them, and how God’s word about Jesus Christ had transformed so many lives there. He recounted stories of Jesus life, death and resurrection as foretold by the Prophets. Paul told them about his own transformation – a scholar of Scripture, a murderer of Christians, a life-changing encounter with the risen Christ, more years of studying Scripture through fresh eyes, and passionate ministry in the most dangerous of circumstances.
He yearned to see the fruit from God’s word of life, because he knew firsthand God brings life and redemption. He knew firsthand the people in that little church in Philippi had that life. Hang on to that word of life, beloved people, he thought, because I may not see you again before the Last Day. Oh, Lord, he prayed fervently and earnestly, may my efforts for you not be in vain!
Haven’t each of us prayed that same thing as we toil away in our corners of the world?
God’s word of life had made itself evident to Paul through Scripture, tradition, reason, and experience. In fact, Paul’s life was a living poem of God’s word of life. We tend to think of God’s word as consigned to the pages in our bibles. But God has also written poetry on our souls through answered prayers, resurrected relationships, the ups and downs of ministry, dead ends and disappointment.
We, like Paul, are living poems of God’s word of life. God will also reveal the fruit from our lives on the Last Day. Until then, let’s keep that poetry coming.
Questions to Ponder:
- As you look back on 2022, where have you seen God’s poetry?
- As you look forward to 2023, what poetry would you like to co-author with God?
Prayer of Response:
Gracious God, thank you for the word of life that comes to me in so many ways. Help me to be curious about your word is being written in new ways to bring your goodness into our weary world. Amen.
—Submitted by Libby Rutherford
Libby is a longtime member of Lifesprings. She’s married to Jay, mom to John and Sarah, grandmother to Malcolm, and has two cats and countless chickens. She pastors two rural churches and lives in Apple River, IL.