There are many ways we tear down our usefulness to the Lord Jesus Christ. We tear down our usefulness to the Lord Jesus Christ in many different ways. We are often too selfish, too concerned about our ‘rights’, too uninformed about Jesus, too apathetic, too full of excuses, too unforgiving, too engrossed in social and political issues, or simply too proud. We can be much more useful for Jesus, but we are too unyielding in our ways to care about the ministry that is passing us by.

Paul was in prison for Christ, and still found ways to be useful to Christ and even encourage others in increasing usefulness to the Lord Jesus Christ (Phile 1:1-3). To increase our own usefulness to Jesus we need to pray more thankful prayers, meditating on the love and faith of those who serve the saints (Phile 1:4-7). We need to understand what Christ requires of us, and treat Christ’s requirements as commandments even if phrased in such loving ways (Phile 1:8-11). We need to be willing to give up the great blessings we enjoy to be a blessing to others (Phil 1:12-14). We need to see ourselves and other Christians, not only as good friends, but as beloved family in the Lord (Phile 1:15-16). We need to stop thinking we are owed much by others, and instead realise how much we owe one another in spiritual service (Phile 1:17-21). Only then can we serve one another well, and affirm that “the grace of the Lord Jesus” is with us (Phile 1:22-25).

The Lord has called us to excel in our service to Him. One day, each of our acts of ministry to one another will be evaluated (1 Cor 3:10-14) and the reward will be entrance into the joy of God, with the welcoming words of “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much” (Matt 25:14-23). Let us therefore lay aside all the things that entangle us and let us run with endurance in all that we can do for our Lord Jesus (Heb 12:1-2).