Always? That is strong language. The Apostle Paul was given to using words that stretch us, words like always (Phil 1:4) and I am sure of this (Phil 1:6). Paul believed what he taught—impressive. And he left us with a lasting impression.
For example, Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. (Phil 4:4) Always? Rejoice? The depth of our understanding of what the Lord has done for us, and what He is hoping to do in us and through us, is measured by how much we rejoice. If you are like most of us, rejoicing is less than always.
Do we have a heart for those that are lost? A heart for followers of Christ who have not matured to their full potential to serve the kingdom? It is the missionary task to disciple the nations—and to disciple with great joy.
We always thank God, the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you. (Col 1:3) And, I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers. (Philemon 1:4) Paul is joyful in past, present and future encounters with others as he tries to encourage them in the faith.
We know this is God’s desire. Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (I Thess 5:16-18) We need to search no further for God’s will for our lives.
Can we adopt this worldview that was held by the Apostle Paul? It is my eager expectation … that with full courage now as always, Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. (Phil 1:20)
Our striving should be to confidently reflect the mark of divine reality in our life and in our work. Paul was one of the boldest in scripture, yet he still prayed for more boldness. (Eph 6:19)
Search for how you might be used in the missionary enterprise by signing up at missionnext.org. All manner of job disciplines are needed. You can be used. Take a next step. You will be glad you did to the point of rejoicing!
(1) Philippians 4:4
(2) Colossians 1:3
(3) Philemon 4
(4) 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
(5) Philippians 1:20
(6) Ephesians 6:19