Philippians 1:3-6 (NLT)
3Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. 4Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, 5for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now. 6And 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.
There is a sweetness that comes from fellowship with other believers, Paul is expressing his joy and thankfulness and affection for his Philippian brothers and sisters; as we should with each other. Not only is he thankful for them, but he is actively lifting them up in prayer. But why is it that Paul feels this way? And how and why could we feel the same way about our Christian brothers and sisters?
There is a huge clue to what Paul has in common with the Philippians, and with us, which takes the relationship to a deeper level than simply common belief, or faith. Verse 6 says “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished…” there it is: God began the good work. He sought us, he sought Paul, and he sought the Philippian believers, we are all in the same boat: free and alive because of undeserved grace!
With all the differences in our lives, different upbringings, different social and political beliefs, different experiences of pain, sorrow and joy; there is a much greater commonality: God reached out to us! In our lost state, He found us… it’s amazing grace indeed! For Paul, God struck him down off his horse, blinded him, and spoke audibly to him, what a miraculous encounter (Acts 9). It changed the course of his life forever. For us, God often reaches out to us in less fantastical ways, but there He is… always reaching his hand out, beckoning us to walk with Him!
God, thank you that in your great love, you sought me out, and thank you that I don’t have to walk alone, but that you have surrounded me with a new family, your children, and thank you God that you walk with me. Father, help me to support my brothers and sisters in prayer, encouragement, and thankfulness; we are all saved by your Amazing Grace! Amen.
(Written by Matt Beattie)