Philippians 1:1-2 Paul and Timothy, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul’s letter to the Philippians is one of Paul’s prison epistles, written while he was incarcerated in Rome to the believers in Philippi. Philippi was a Roman colony and the citizens of Philippi were expected to uphold Roman culture, Roman philosophy, Roman fashion, Roman religious beliefs, and above all things, proclaim that Caesar was Lord and pledge loyalty to him and Roman rule.

Have you ever heard the saying, “He (or she or they) is out of this world”? Well, Paul is going to remind us that you and I are not of this world. From his prison cell, Paul reminds the believers that they were citizens of heaven, and that their loyalty belonged to The Lord Jesus Christ. He writes to the church that there is joy in The Lord Jesus Christ in spite of the fact that they were experiencing persecution because of their loyalty to Him. Internally, these saints were dealing with self-centeredness that was quenching the unity of The Spirit amongst them. Paul addresses this problem in chapter two with his powerful teaching on the need to walk in humility and being others-centered by putting on the mind of Christ.

Like all Scripture, the biblical truths of this letter from Paul are timeless principles that we need to hear today. A person or church that is alive in Christ will be a person or church that faces opposition and persecution because we no longer live by the standards of this fallen world system. We are citizens of Heaven and our calling is to be ambassadors who reflect the kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven. Paul reminds these precious saints and us of the wonderful promise that “The Lord is at hand.” (Philippians 4:5b) The assertion that The Lord is at hand means both that Jesus is coming soon, and that Jesus is already near them.

Dear ones, The Lord Jesus IS coming soon! The Lord Jesus IS near each and every one of us right now. May the imminent return of Jesus Christ and the reality of His presence with us inspire us to live kingdom lifestyles that bring Him glory and honor in this fallen world. Selah