Devotions for December 12, 2017

PHILLIPPIANS 1:1-8

Greetings from Paul
1 This letter is from Paul and Timothy, slaves of Christ Jesus.

I am writing to all of God’s holy people in Philippi who belong to Christ Jesus, including the church leaders[a] and deacons.

2 May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.

Paul’s Thanksgiving and Prayer
3 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.

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.

ORIENTATION OF JOY

Imagine being in prison, as Paul was while writing to the church of Philippi, and sending a message filled with joy and celebration! Paul oriented himself on the life, death and resurrection of Christ. He rooted his joy in prayer for others, in preaching the Gospel, and in the promise that God would continue His good work through Jesus Christ.

PERSONAL REFLECTION

Q: What is the link between constant, heartfelt prayer for others and true joy?

Q: How will shaping your prayers to remember others shape the orientation of your heart?

Q: Paul’s joy was founded on the hope of Jesus returning to find others complete, mature, and loving Him with their whole hearts. Who needs your prayers today for increased joy?

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