What Matters Most

Philippians 1:1-11 – What Matters Most

What is joy and how does it differ from happiness? and How ought a Christian to view suffering? The Philippians were suffering for the gospel and that suffering had led to disunity and a temptation to pull back the reins on the advancement of the gospel in Philippi.

Verses 1-11 are Paul’s opening prayer of thanksgiving and it gives us insight into what Paul wants to accomplish in the hearts of the Philippians with this letter. Verse 10 is the key…”so that you may approve what is excellent.” A more literal translation is, “so that you may approve the things that matter most.” Paul prays that God would give them discernment and knowledge in order that they may understand what matters most in life to God and therefore what ought to matter most to them and us. When we are suffering, what typically matters most to us is relief and purpose. We want the suffering to end and we want to know why God brought the suffering into our lives. Ultimately Paul reminds us that it is the spread of the gospel and the fruit of that gospel that matters most in life. Look at what Paul mentions in his prayer,
1. partnership in the gospel v.3,
2. defense and confirmation of the gospel v. 7,
3. The consummation of the gospel in the day of Christ, v.10,
4. The fruit that comes from having embraced the gospel v. 11.

What is most important to you in your life? Would you be willing to suffer if you knew that God would use it to advance the gospel? When a Christian understands and embraces what really matters most in life, he or she will view suffering for the gospel as a grace! (v.7) Would God give us all such an eternal perspective.

Rev. David Camera
River Oaks Presbyterian Church