Greeting1Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,
To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons:
2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thanksgiving and Prayer3 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. 6And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. 7It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. 8For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. 9And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, 10so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
I was reading earlier from Ron Dunn's excellent book Don't just stand there, pray something. In it he is making a point about the importance of prayer. If we look at verse 6 it says :
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
It is a great verse it really is. It expresses Paul's confidence in God to complete his work in the hearts of the Phillipian believers. But the point the book was making was that that is not the only thing that Paul is saying here. He is not just saying " I am glad I witnessed to you now God will do everything else and I am finished my work." Paul is telling us something here that is massively important.
3 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy
Paul is praying for them. He has not at all given up and nor is he thinking that his work here is complete and he can move on.
I guess if your like me then you will know lots of people who have made a commitment to Christ and then seemingly have not followed through. We have all been in those meetings and seen the altar calls. You know the ones I mean. The "if anyone here wants to become a Christian please come forward." call. I have seen quite a few friends of mine take that walk forward and commit there lives to Christ. But now looking at them a few years later it is obvious they are not Christians. So is it all just there fault? I do not believe that it truly is just there fault. We put so much into evangelism but not a whole lot into the what happens now part of it. Part of it is explained here by Paul. He is praying for them. How much do we pray for new converts? I don't just mean by that a quick prayer here or there. Paul says " always in every prayer " and I do not think for one minute he is exaggerating. When reading Philippians you get a real sense of how much Paul loves and cares for them. He is expressing that love by praying for them every time he prays. So how about we take our lesson from Paul and do exactly what he does. How about we get on our knees(either physically or just spiritually) and pray for each other. Need some pointers?
9And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, 10so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
- Love may abound more and more.
- Approve what is excellent
- Be pure and blameless before God
- Filled with the fruit of Righteousness that comes from Jesus Christ
- To the Glory and praise of God.