by Philip Layton
Paul commends the Church at Philippi for their joy and prayers
- Do you understand Paul’s feelings expressed in verse 21?
- Have you ever had to stand up for the gospel in the face of opposition (v 27)? If so, what did you do? If not, what would you do?
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Going Deeper From 'Words of Life'
Perhaps there was no other local church that enjoyed the intimacy of relationship the apostle Paul had with the church at Philippi. This church was founded during the apostle’s second missionary journey (Acts chapter 16) and was very mission focused – happy to support Paul’s ministry financially. Because of this, Paul wanted to thank them deeply. But most of all, he wanted to praise them for their continued faithfulness to the Lord. In so doing, he also was challenging them to keep Christ in the centre of their lives.
Paul’s letter was written from a prison cell in Rome, yet it is a letter filled with great joy and thankfulness to God. Right at the beginning he thanks God for every remembrance of the people in Philippi. In fact, the apostle says he has them in his heart (v 7). What a beautiful thing to say! Then he continues:
I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus (v 8).
Yet this letter is not intended only for Paul to let the people know of his great love for them, or to express gratitude and appreciation for how they were helping him in practical ways – important as these aspects are for furthering God’s Kingdom. Paul desired that the Philippians would grow and mature in the faith:
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ (vv 9, 10).
This is also my prayer – for myself and for all of us. That our love for one another may ‘abound’. That we grow and mature in the faith, remaining pure and blameless until we one day see Christ face to face.
May it be so, Lord Jesus!
Think of someone and send them a note – telling them how thankful you are for them being part of your life’s story.
Beverly IvanyTags: Philippians