Wednesday, January 25, 2012

                            OUR NEED FOR GOD AND ONE ANOTHER     There is a song that tells us, "No one ever cared for me like Jesus..."  It is true no one could show the depth of love revealed by Jesus in the death He suffered for us.  Even if man wanted to only Jesus could have been our sacrifice for sin, for all others have sinned and fallen short of God's glory. 
     The song ends with the words, "O how much He cares for me."  My heavenly Father did not call me into service to be a sacrifice for sin, but that doesn't mean I can't show my brothers and sisters how much I care for them.  In fact, as I serve God each day and acknowledge my love for Him, my brothers and sisters will at times be the recipients of that love.
     Mention the passage in Philippians 4:13 and most will readily quote the words contained in that verse.  The words of that verse are most certainly true.  We are dependent upon our heavenly Father for strength.  This is not a physical strength needed for some laborious task, but an inner strength needed to stand strong against the trials and temptations of life.  While each of us live this truth each day, we should also pay attention to what else Paul said.
     Verse 14 begins with the word "nevertheless."  That term is meant to convey an additional thought which goes deeper into the relationship Paul shared with the brethren in Philipi.  You have probably taken note that in the context of Philippians 4:10ff, Paul is speaking of contentment.  He states he has learned to be content in whatever circumstances of life he happens to be experiencing.  This not to say he is happy about those circumstances, but that he possesses an inner peace provided by God that sees him through any circumstance life brings his way.
     In his "nevertheless" statement Paul makes mention of the brethren's help.  It was these brethren who attended to Paul's needs, both in his affliction and in financial support during his travels and preaching of the gospel (vs. 15,16).  In these words Paul tells us today how much we need God, as well as one another.
     Each of us must gain our inner strength from God.  But that strength is made stronger through the love and concern shown to us by our brothers and sisters.  This is why Paul acknowledges their gift.  Praying for God's strength and showing our love for God is manifested in our love for one another.  What God wants us to see through these inspired words is that God is working in our lives, both individually and collectively through the church.
     I can do all things through God who strengthens me.  Those 'things' relate to a life fully anchored in God's love and truth and walking faithfully with Him each day.  As I do it is a wonderful assurance to know my brethren are walking with me, and that our God will supply our needs.  Rodger