The purpose of Wooddale Church is to honor God by making more disciples for Jesus Christ.
A virtue that inspires each of us as human persons is persistence. When we read stories of persons who refuse to give up in the face of difficult circumstances, we feel motivated to do the same. This week we unpack a little gem of a verse that is, in the flow of Paul's writing, a summary statement: "That's how you do it!" What is Paul referring to? The previous chapter where Paul gave his advice: trust in God, not in yourself; forget the past, pursue the future; follow good examples, not bad ones. But this little summary seems to repeat chapter 3. Is there anything else here? In fact there is: in this little gem of a verse, Paul's affection for the Philippians explodes off the page. The Philippians are Paul's beloved. He longs for them. They are his crown and joy. What difference would this make? The wonderful advice of chapter 3 is about doing wise things. But what motivate me to do the things that enrich and enhance my life and avoid those things that will destroy it? A deep sense that I matter to someone. Living my life well certainly benefits me. But what if I feel like throwing in the towel. Paul gives me one more thing to meditate on, when I'm tempted to give in. I remember, I bask in, I wrap around me like a warm blanket the reality that others care for me. And ultimately, this means God cares for me, too. Why persevere? Why keep going when it seems impossible? At the end of the day, because God and the community of those who love God treasure me. When I don't know whether my life matters, I am dearly beloved by God