Today’s Bible reading is Philippians chapter 1
(Read the entire New Testament in 2014 by reading only one chapter each day)
Paul loved the church. Out of every letter Paul wrote to churches, none display his affection for God’s people like that of the Philippian epistle. He wrote, “Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy…” There were three reasons for Paul’s joy. First, because of their fellowship in the Gospel. There was a strong bond between Paul and these believers because of the Gospel. He was highly interested in their spiritual progress. Paul said, “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6) Not only did Paul rejoice in the fellowship of the Gospel, but also He rejoiced in “furtherance of the Gospel” (Philippians 1:12). The Philippian church gave sacrificially to assist Paul in preaching the Gospel. They were very generous in their love and support of his ministry. Paul took joy in knowing that they were praying for him. Paul not only rejoiced in the furtherance of the Gospel, but also He rejoiced in the faith of the Gospel. (Philippians 1:27) Paul summed it up in one phrase. He said, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21) He was willing to suffer for the sake of Christ, and even wrote these words from a prison cell. He encouraged the church at Philippi to be courageous for Gospel, and to suffer faithfully for Christ.
Prayer: “Dear Jesus, Let us be the kind of church that when others think of us they rejoice in You. In Jesus name. Amen.”
Randy J. McPheron