In The Word
Read: Philippians 1:1-11
1 Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus,
To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons:2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4 always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, 5 in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now.6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. 7 For it is only right for me to feel this way about you all, because I have you in my heart, since both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers of grace with me. 8 For God is my witness, how I long for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. 9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; 11 having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Walking In The Word
This message to the believers in Philippi began with the blessings of grace and peace of our God and moved to thanksgiving, encouragement, and love in Christ. The Lord used Paul to plant this church, and Paul continued to shepherd the believers even from prison. How many of us would be concerned for the church instead of focused on our own difficult circumstances? We find Paul thanking God for these believers and praying for them with joy instead of worrying about what will happen to himself.
Paul knew that when God begins a good work, He will complete it through Christ. He reminded them that his imprisonment was bringing the opportunity to defend and confirm the gospel to both the guards and the rulers. Paul didn’t long to be removed from his circumstances, but he did long to be with those he loved in Christ. He knew that these believers had a good foundation and a good start, but he wanted to encourage them to not stop there. He desired for them not only to keep the right focus, but also to continue to grow in love, knowledge, and discernment. This way they may remain faithful and true until they saw Christ. How about you today? Are you focused on your circumstances or the kingdom? Are there those around you that need encouragement? Is your prayer time all about you? Do you spend time praying for others, thanking God for them, asking Him to help them grow and remain faithful to the end? Keep the right focus every day.