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"Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus. To all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons. Phil 1:1    

In this chapter we hear of a personal letter to the Philippians, not intended for general circulation to all the churches as was the letter to the Ephesians. Paul wanted to thank the believers for helping him when he had a need. He also wanted to tell them why he could be full of joy despite his imprisonment and upcoming trial. In his uplifting letter, Paul counseled the Philippians about humility and unity and warned them about potential problems.     

The Holy Spirit led Paul to the full joy of Christian life. He opens his letter by calling himself a slave of Christ Jesus. As a slave he not only works for Jesus, he belongs to Him body and soul. Jesus paid the price of His life to redeem Paul from the slavery of sin and self. Freed from this evil, he joyfully devotes himself to Christ the Redeemer. His joy as a servant of Christ remains constant, even as he writes this letter behind the bars of his prison cell.    

We see Paul's true sense of service when he joins with Timothy to his own as a partner. Young Timothy is his equal as a servant of Christ. Personal honor is left behind in the desire to serve Christ alone.       

Christian friends, This joy we find in Christ Jesus, who became a servant for us. As His servants we are no longer interested in gaining credit for our work. Servants find joy in knowing that all credits belong to Christ Jesus.    

More like the Master I would live and grow,                                                   More of His love to others I would show;                                                           More self-denial, like His in Galilee,                                                                        More like the Master I long to ever be.  

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY - To belong to Christ is to be a saint; to live like a saint is to be like Christ.

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