1 This letter is from Paul and Timothy, slaves of Christ Jesus.
I am writing to all of God’s holy people in Philippi who belong to Christ Jesus, including the elders and deacons.
2 May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace
3 Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. 4 Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, 5 for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now. 6 And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
7 So it is right that I should feel as I do about all of you, for you have a special place in my heart. You share with me the special favor of God, both in my imprisonment and in defending and confirming the truth of the Good News. 8 God knows how much I love you and long for you with the tender compassion of Christ Jesus.
9 I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. 10 For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. 11 May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God.
Who do I give thanks for? I have a list of people that go back to when I was in high school who have all fed into who I am today. But even though they are the ones who have impacted my life over the years, Paul says that “the righteous character” that is produced in my life is produced by Jesus Christ. It’s not produced by me, or by those who have impacted me, it is produced by Jesus Christ. It is the fruit of my salvation. I’m like the tree, and Jesus Christ is the one who makes me–my tree–produce fruit.
A tree produces fruit when it is fed. There needs to be water and a richness in the soil. It doesn’t just happen regardless of the resources available to the tree. Seems like the same principle is true for me. I must first be fed by feeding on Jesus Christ before I can produce the fruit of righteous character. May I partake of the savior so that the fruit of my salvation will result righteous character in me.