Philippians 1:7-11 were our memory verses this week:
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.
Some notes for more study:
Verse 8 seems to be saying essentially, I miss you, and so does Jesus. I’m not sure I’ve ever been missed by a pastor as a member of a congregation. But none of my pastors have been imprisoned. Imagine the Philippians, their pastor cares for them and guides them, and continues to encourage them. He is leading from prison! Time and space do not get in the way. This is extraordinary to me.
Longing, missing, wanting what others have, on the surface those are selfish emotions. But I see a motivation and reason to excell and improve. When I became a Christian, the seed had been sown as I watched a friend go through life, devoted, peaceful, with love…all things I wanted. I missed. We influence those around us with our everyday walk. Saint Paul takes his work seriously.
I had stuff going on this week, emotionally draining stuff. I should say I let my stuff drain me. I didn’t turn it over to the Lord, not even a little bit, and I think the enemy jumped right in to make it worse. It took a physical toll on me too. My stuff imprisioned me. This makes me appreciate the bigger picture of Paul and his people of Philippi. My prayer is to focus this next week outside of myself, working to set a strong example, working to encourage and lead, working in the strong name of Jesus.