Strength and Glory to God
Evander Holyfield, Tim Tebow, and Steph Curry all have one thing in common. They give God the glory for their success. All three of these men and so many athletes, quote, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” ~ Philippians 4:13. I’m in awe of the millions of people in the world who have the privilege of reading “Phil 4:13.” We hear sports commentators quote it, or see it written in an article, because these brave souls claim from whom they get their strength. Jesus Christ.
The Apostle Paul’s Letter
The other day my friend and I were trying to quote Philippians 4:12, “I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.” What follows is, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” ~ Philippians 4:13. Paul wrote this letter to thank the church of Philippi for their generosity. Now two millennia later we see this referenced on a lapel of a boxing robe, the eye black of a football player, on the sneaker of a basketball player, and more.
While in Philippi
Paul, Silas, and the others traveling with them were staying in Philippi. Luke writes in Acts 16: 12-16, “And on the Sabbath day we went out of the city to the riverside, where prayer was customarily made; and we sat down and spoke to the women who met there. Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” So, she persuaded us.”
Up until this Sabbath the Jewish people who became believers in Jesus, were meeting at the river outside the city. Paul and Silas are then put in prison (If you haven’t read this story, please do Acts 16:16-39 So good!). Verse 40 continues, “When Paul and Silas left the prison, they returned to the home of Lydia. There they met with the believers and encouraged them once more. Then they left town.”
Lydia’s gift of Hospitality
Because Lydia listened to the truth and believed, her family believed with her, which is amazing itself. She invited Paul and Silas into her home. They stayed. After prison, her home was a safe place to return. Other believers were meeting there.
Because Lydia invited the disciples, the church of Philippi was born. Because the church of Philippi existed, they were able to help Paul financially. Therefore, Paul wrote a letter to thank them. Because he wrote the letter, Evander, Tim, Steph, and more can bear the “Phil 4:13.”
Millions of us in search of strength, know we can find it in Jesus Christ.
One Act of Kindness
Lydia asked them to her house. One act of kindness is still encouraging us 2000 years later. Go the extra mile. Take the next step. Just one gesture can change lives. #celebrateeverything
In Christ's Strength,