DEVOTION: I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the Gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:3-5
Paul is talking here about his friends and fellow Christians in Philippi. In spite of severe persecution they were faithful to their Lord god. In spite of dealing with all sorts of troubles from both the unbelieving Jews and the Roman government they didn't waiver in their faith. Instead, the news of their faith continued to grow stronger and stronger and their example of faith revealed the love of Christ in what they said and did.
There are many of you that when I think of you I am floored by the faithfulness to Christ you exhibit and the example you are to other of what it means to be in the love of Christ. It encourages me in my work to see Christians such as yourselves doing the work of the Lord.
I am especially thankful at this Christmas time to know that so many of you care for about me and my family, and that you take time to pray for us often. It gives me confidence that I am not doing my work in vain, but that it is producing fruit in many of you.
On the other hand, there are also many I am concerned about. Maybe it is because I haven't seen you in worship in a long time. Maybe it is because you are having trouble with relationships in your life. Maybe it is because you are continuing in an illness that has plagued you for a long time and it is causing you depression, anxiety, and spiritual exhaustion.
Whatever the case may be, whether I am thanking God for your faithfulness and the good that He is providing to you, or am concerned for you and your faith, please know that I never stop praying for you and that I care about all of you as much as the Lord has given you to me to care for.
Peace be with you all this Christmas as you rejoice in His incarnation, His life, His death, and His resurrection! All for you!!
Let's pray: Lord God, bless and keep the people on St. John's in Your mercy and grace that they may serve you in peace and joy! Give them comfort in their circumstances and peace to know that you will never leave them or forsake them. Amen.
MONDAY'S QUIZ: Where was Philippi in relation to Israel?