Today’s Reading: Philippians 1
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Key Verses: Philippians 1:3-4
I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy…
In Paul’s first imprisonment in Rome, he was under house arrest. The Romans had a practical financial plan. Prisoners who had resources payed for their own imprisonment costs. The initial purpose of this letter is to thank the congregation in Philippi for their financial support.
This was the first church Paul planted in Europe. Philippi was a Roman military city where Paul had experienced a severe beating and imprisonment. The warden of the prison and his family would’ve been there at church when this letter was read. The members no doubt expected “JOY.” After all, Paul, and his co-worker, Silas, had been singing praises to God (probably a Psalm of David) at midnight, their feet and hands securely fastened, when an earthquake hit the city and the shaking set them free. Read Acts 16:9-40.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord God, grant me the grace to exude joy in the midst of circumstances that would not naturally produce joy. Thank You for those You have allowed to bless my life. I pray that I will consistently pass on the blessing! Amen!!!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
When I opened my Bible to read Philippians, I found my notes from the message I brought at the home-going celebration of Leah Johnson. This special person in my life showed joy in very difficult circumstances. A mother of five, she still had time for me. I was 16 years old and still needed a mother figure. Her third son, Wallace, a classmate of mine, brought me home with him again and again. Leah, a single mom, welcomed me with love and joy. My own mother had died when I was 12, and my father had returned to Egypt where his services were required as a missionary. I can see in my mind’s eye her loving face, complete with the warmest smile I could imagine. I do thank God upon every remembrance of Leah and her family.
I’m taking the liberty of more than 100 personal words today. When the television opportunity presented itself in 1962, I had no idea how I would pay the bills. While I had the blessing of the congregation of which I was Pastor, there was no way that a television ministry could be funded out of the general fund of the church. I believe God speaks to me from the pages of Holy Scripture. Here in Philippians chapter one I found what I believe was, and still is, God’s answer to my prayer for the money to fulfill my vision to use television to communicate the Good News of Jesus. The Amplified Bible, which brings out all the shades of meaning present in the original text, is the translation that particularly spoke to me. Here are the words in which I found the answer of God to the challenge: Philippians 1:3-5 in the Amplified Bible says…
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you. In every prayer of mine I always make my entreaty and petition for you all with joy (delight). [I thank my God] for your fellowship (your sympathetic cooperation and contributions and partnership) in advancing the good news (the Gospel) from the first day [you heard it] until now.
This is exactly what has been happening. Check out the Crossroads Ministry at www.crossroads.ca. I resonate with the same joy expressed by Paul throughout his letter to the people of Philippi.
Yours for a joy-filled life based on the love and provision of God!
P.S. Apparantley there was a problem for some with the link I gave in yesterday’s blog to the interview with Pastor John Kilpatrick whose church experienced a great revival. If you still want to see it, try clicking HERE.