Philippians 2:16 (NIV): Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless.
Do you ever wonder about your purpose in life? Or if you're even making a difference in this crazy world? If so, you're not alone. Even the Apostle Paul seems to wonder about his legacy.
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Hey, welcome to The Simple Truth. I’m Julie Carruth.
In Philippians 2 verse 15, the Apostle Paul encourages us to remain pure and blameless in a wicked and crooked generation, shining as a light in the darkness. In verse 16 Paul writes that you have something that unbelievers need. He says, “Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless.”
So, if you’ve ever wondered what your purpose is, Paul makes it pretty clear right here. You are called to offer something that unbelievers can grab hold of – and that is the Word of God. You hold the gift that points the lost to eternal life.
And as Paul writes this letter while in house arrest, we catch a glimpse of him thinking about his legacy. He wonders if all his work has been in vain. Maybe you’ve even thought this a few times yourself. The idea of, “Am I even making a difference?”
Now, it’s interesting to note here that Paul uses a vivid picture to describe his thinking. | When he says, “I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain,” he uses his words to paint the scene of an athlete tirelessly training and hoping it’s not for nothing.
Paul loved to use images from an athlete’s life in his letters. Every major Greek city had gymnasiums that were used for more than just physical training. They were also intellectual training grounds. Philosophers, teachers, and preachers would often find their audiences there. Paul, being one of those preachers, had witnessed the rigorous training that these prized athletes endured year after year. His desire is that he’s not like those participants who may have trained in vain with nothing to show for it at the end of their life. For Paul, his greatest prize is seeing eternal life birthed in others as he points them towards a life in Christ.
So, your simple Truth for today: Your commitment to learning God’s Word is not in vain because you hold the key to point others to an eternal life with Christ.
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