by David Sanford

Day 2

Read Philippians 1:3-8

In the opening verses of this joy-filled New Testament epistle, we find Paul repeatedly expressing deep feelings of joy and love for the Philippian believers (1:3, 4, 7, 8).

Paul is joyfully confident that God will complete the good work He has started in the Philippian church until the day of Christ Jesus (1:6)

This close bond is noteworthy, particularly when we consider that Paul and the recipients of this letter, the Philippian church, were separated by more than 1,100 kilometres. In the ancient world, such a distance would have made communication difficult. Also, some of Paul's readers would not have spent much time with him, while some might not have even met the apostle.

Despite this, a remarkably strong bond unites Paul with his readers. He loves them, he offers wonderful prayers for them, and he thanks God for them. Likewise, the Philippian believers have great affection for Paul. They pray for him through thick and thin (v. 19), and when possible, provide financial support to the often hard-pressed apostle (2:25; 4:10, 14-18).

It is important that we take note of the Philippian church's ″partnership in the gospel from the first day until now″ (1:5). Theirs was a partnership that was substantive, heartfelt, and dedicated. No other church, especially in those early days, came anywhere close to doing the same (4:15).

What joyfully bonds Paul to the Philippian church, and vice versa? It's the gospel of Jesus Christ-the very power of God to save us, to seal our shared destiny, to unite us in this life, and to keep us together no matter what happens (or doesn't happen) this side of heaven. Paul is joyfully confident that God will complete the good work He has started in the Philippian church until the day of Christ Jesus (1:6).

This gospel continues to create lasting bonds of love and friendship between believers today. How wonderful that we can still share the same bonds of joy with other believers that Paul had with these early brothers and sisters in Christ!

Think through:

Name the brothers and sisters in Christ whom you are most thankful for, and why. Commit to being there for them even when life gets rough. Turn your reflection into prayer.

Imagine saying the words, ″I have you in my heart″ (Philippians 1:7). How would this affect the way you thank God for each person you listed?




About Author

David Sanford loves God's Word and has served as the author, co-author, editor, managing editor, or executive editor for more than a dozen Bible and Bible-related projects. He and his wife, Renée Sanford, a noted author and editor in her own right, live in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States of America.

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Our Daily Bread Journey Through® Series is a publication of Our Daily Bread Ministries.

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