Wednesday, June 10
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.
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.
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.