you are "my joy, my crown,"
this is how we should stand firm:
"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;
for it is God who is at work in you,
both to will and to work for His good pleasure
Do all things without grumbling or disputing;
so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless 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,
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.
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.
You too, I urge you,
rejoice in the same way and share your joy with me."
"...whatever things were gain to me,
those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.
More than that, I count all things to be loss
in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord,
for whom I have suffered the loss of all things,
and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,
and may be found in Him,
not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law,
but that which is through faith in Christ,
the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith,
that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection
and the fellowship of His sufferings,
being conformed to His death;
in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Not that I have already obtained it
or have already become perfect,
but I press on
so that I may lay hold of that
for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet;
but one thing I do:
forgetting what lies behind
and reaching forward to what lies ahead,
I press on toward the goal
for the prize of
the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
"Rejoice in the Lord always;
again I will say, rejoice!
Let your gentle spirit be known to all men.
The Lord is near!
Be anxious for nothing,
but in everything
by prayer and supplication
let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God,
which surpasses all comprehension,
will guard your hearts
and your minds in Christ Jesus.
whatever is true,
whatever is honorable,
whatever is right,
whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely,
whatever is of good repute,
if there is any excellence and
if anything worthy of praise,
dwell on these things.
The things you have learned and
received and heard and seen in me,
practice these things,
and the God of peace will be with you."
Sisters, let us appear as lights to this world
and live in the moment for our great God
and glorify His precious Name!