Wednesday, June 10

Three prayers

Scripture: Song of Solomon 5-8, Philippians 1

Philippians 1:3–6 Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. 4 Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, 5 for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now. 6 And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

Observation

Notice three things:

First, Paul’s affection for the Philippians.  Whenever he thinks of them, he thanks God for them; whenever he prays for them, he prays with joy!  This affection radiates through the whole letter.  Paul loves these people.

Second, the reason for that affection: they were his partners in spreading the good news.  In chapter 4, Paul thanks them for their financial partnership.  But their partnership almost certainly included prayer, friendship, and co-laboring.  There is a special bond of affection with people who partner with you in the gospel.

Third, confidence in the outcome: God will finish what He started in them.  God began a good work in them and God will continue it to completion, all the way to Christ’s return. 

 

Application

First, I want to feel that same affection for the people I lead and serve and work with.  Paul was a good pastor who loved his people.  Lord, make my heart like Paul’s; give me that deep affection for Your people.

Second, I want to encourage others to partner in the gospel with me.  I’ve experienced the bond that comes from serving Jesus side by side, sharing the labor and the sacrifice.  I want more of that.  Lord, give me more partners in the gospel, more people who are willing to serve, sacrifice and spread the gospel.

Third, I want to keep that confidence that God will finish what He started in people.  Sometimes I see people regress or fall away; it’s discouraging.  I need to remember that God’s promise is more sure than people’s behavior!  Lord, remind of this confidence whenever I get discouraged.

Prayer: Three prayers…see above.