As I continue to study through Philippians I find that there are several repeated themes. Today I found emptying.
Regarding the Lord Jesus, we read that He “emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.” Philippians 2:7
Later in the same chapter the apostle Paul tells the Philippians “But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all.”
That phrase “poured out” reminded me of emptied. Here, as in many other letters of Paul, we see him following the example of Christ. Jesus emptied himself for us, so Paul is willing to be emptied, poured out, for the Philippians.
By nature we don’t like to be empty. We like to be full. And not all fullness is wrong. We should be full of love, full of mercy, full of joy. But in all our fullness, we should be seeking to empty it on others. Rather than being content in a comfortable, leisurely life, wouldn’t it be more Christlike to seek to serve and give?
Are we willing to be emptied for others that Jesus might be glorified in their lives? Are we willing to take the time necessary to invest in the lives of others to see Christ formed in them?
Paul thought of that day when he would stand before Christ, and it was important to him that he be able to present the churches without blemish, as his labor of love for Christ. Paul said that he would gladly pour out his life that the Philippians might be presented as a pleasing offering on that day.
My prayer is that we likewise would be willing to be poured out for Jesus and for others.