Along the Turkish border there lays an ancient name carved in corrupted stone and washed with the annuls of time, blood, and tears. It is far removed from its original site of Philippi. Philippi was a Roman colony and situated about eight miles inland from the port of Neapolis or the modern-day Kavalla. Of all the epistles Paul wrote, Philippi was lauded high because of his tenderness and thankfulness towards the brethren there. They sent supplies time and again to them and cared for his needs while he sat in prison during 62 A.D. This is all great but how can you and I relate to some forgotten city?
When reading in the Word, we always look first at who the epistle or book is addressed to. That is important because some of them are not addressed to us some of them are. You’ll see if you look at the 7 church epistles that they are all addressed in a similar way. Philippians is no different.
“Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:” Philippians 1:1
It always helps me to go to the original Greek usages in a verse.
“Paul and Timothy, bondslaves of Jesus Christ, to all the separated ones in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, including the overseers and others who serve.” Phil. 1:1
The words “the saints” in the first verse are a Greek word hagios. Hagios means set apart, separated or a holy people. It also says to the overseers and others who serve. Who are those who serve? Those who are alive now and who serve the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul wrote to the people of Philippi with all the joy and love he would have written to you and I, living and serving God in our day and time in history. Though we can not go visit the site of the mysterious city, the service those brethren did for Paul by tenderly reaching out to supply him at his time of need, will forever soak the earth under our feet through the spiritual history of God’s people. Walls, buildings, and the lives of people may come and go throughout history but spiritual truths never fade or crumble. God remembers each triumph and victory, and when the award ceremony in heaven comes, He will hand out the crowns.
A thousand years from now, should the Lord tarry, our ancestors will wonder how we lived. They will read about our lives. Whatever they find will only be a partial truth, because it will only be the physical evidence of our lives. But God in all His knowledge will remember spiritual moment we lived. From the second we were filled with His priceless gift to every time we walked in His love. He remembers the spiritual journeys we never tell anyone about, these are woven like golden threads as far back to the day of Pentecost through every other believer. Each thread connects and unites us as a people set apart for God’s purpose.
Never underestimate the tiniest opportunity to do God’s Word. These are the passing moments when you received revelation from God and obeyed, though you didn’t feel like it. These moments bind you to the Apostle Paul, Timothy, John, Luke, Peter, and to the brethren at Philippi. You are one of “those who serve”. This epistle sits like a diamond in our midst. The truth and love from Paul’s heart in writing Philippians are words written to you from God Himself reaching out in history to all those beyond even our knowledge and understanding. This is how the Word becomes alive and rooted in our hearts. We must embrace it and make it our own. We must act on it as if we had just received the letter from God himself. By doing that we will start to see freedom and abundance.
I can’t wait to explore the rest of this book with you. Tomorrow we go to verse two. For today, embrace and ponder how much God loves you. He loved you enough to save this letter from Paul and the entire Word of God though the stones of the city lay mysterious and forgotten. These words pull us towards greater understanding of HIS-story. He set them apart so you would know how much every word means. If one small word means that much, how much more do you mean to Him?
Enough to set you free.
God bless you today!