12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing; 15 so that you will prove yourselves to beblameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain. 17 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. 18 You too, I urge you, rejoice in the same way and share your joy with me.
My study bible annotates that Paul is talking about the church’s problems and those of individuals in verse 12. I think what he is trying to say here that we should hasten to resolve our problems and quarrels, for it hinders us in our work for God.
God calls us to stand out in the crowd. The light in the darkness, representing Him. Our pastor this weekend asked us what happens in a dark room when a candle is lit. People are drawn towards the light. In this darkening world we live in, people need hope. People need a guiding light. It is by diligently, dutifully, and happily representing Christ and His family that we are able to be that light that provides comfort and warmth in a cold and dark world.
Paul says that he delights in this because it is what he has tried to teach the church at Philippi. Paul also relates his death as an offering of sacrifice and implores the church to feel the same way. As he says earlier in this letter, “for me to live is Christ, to die is gain.” How do we live? Do we live as a burning candle, burning as brightly and hot as possible until we are used up or are we “saving” it until it is “needed” one day?
How does your candle burn?