When the Apostle Paul wrote the book of Philippians, he was a prisoner in Rome, but he was still rejoicing. There was a secret to his joy: single-mindedness. He lived for Christ and the advancement of the gospel message of Jesus Christ alone. Single-mindedness is an attitude of the heart and mind that says, “No matter the cost — I long to see Christ glorified and the Kingdom of God advanced through sharing the life-saving gospel message of Jesus Christ.” This is what Philippians is all about and as disciples of Christ today, it’s what we should be all about as well.
One of the sources of true joy we experience as Christians is the fellowship we have in Jesus Christ. Paul was in Rome and his friends were miles away in Philippi, but their spiritual fellowship was real and satisfying. When you have the same single-mindedness, you will not complain about circumstances because you know all the pain and trials we face result in this strengthening found only in the fellowship of the gospel. Fellowship has to do with more than just having something in common; fellowship is a growing realization we are all undergoing a process, the process of spiritual transformation. None of us have arrived yet, but we are on our way! And God is faithful and he’s bringing about the results in each of us he desires for us, as we surrender to him!
The first 11 verses in the first chapter of Philippians show us what it takes to be unmoved and single-minded. These verses show us fellowship has to be something deeper than sharing a cup of coffee or enjoying a day out on the golf course. Now, those things are good and I enjoy them and connection happens there, but what Paul is addressing in Philippians 1:1-11 is the true fellowship one has with the Gospel and how it links us together in a life-changing bond that has a dynamic, redemptive purpose in our lives and throughout our community.
So do you want to be unmoved? Do you want to experience true joy in your life? Then daily, thank God for his grace, and live in his peace. Thankfulness links us together in the fellowship of the Gospel. Living in peace also links us together but it then allows us to live out peace and reflect God’s peace toward others. We must rely on God’s provision for daily living! And we must rely on his timing. So be unmoved, hold on, for God promises provision in your current situation. Don’t let your present circumstance rob you of the joy that comes from knowing Christ is at work. It’s the transforming power of God’s love and the joy it produces we must seek. So then, let the love of God motivate you to love others and purpose with your life, to express that love in your actions.
In Philippians Paul prayed for three things: united love, discernment, and a filling of the righteousness of Christ. So then, to truly be unmoved and to experience genuine fellowship offered through the Gospel, joy that lasts, we must be committed to praying. Paul prayed the Philippians would be unified in love. Paul prayed they would be able to clearly understand what’s good and what’s bad, and he prayed their lives be filled and marked by a right relationship with God. It’s not about praying for others to get what you ultimately want. It’s about praying for them to ultimately get what God wants for them — an unmoved, single-minded fellowship with the Gospel.
Do you want to be unmoved? Do you want to experience true joy in your life?
Start then by daily, thanking God for his grace, and seek to live in and out his peace. You’ll have to fight for this, but God will sustain you, so rely on his provision! Let the love of God motivate you to love others and then, make prayer a priority in your life. May you be unmoved and single-minded on our mission as followers of Christ in our present world and throughout our community.
Nick Emery is the senior pastor at Good Shepherd Wesleyan Church. He can be reached at email@example.com.