I hope you will join me in reading Philippians during these wintery days.
Bible Input is one of the spiritual disciplines. Just making yourself do it. Self-discipline in a spiritual arena. Self-discipline fights self-indulgence, one of the empty pursuits to which we are all prone. And it is something we must insist upon our children developing–discipline for the sake of godliness.
“Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,
To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons.
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. ” (Philippians 1:1-5)
From Self-Discipline To Joy
Every time Paul thinks about these people– remembering what happened, how they met, how the whole city got into an uproar over their work together, how he had to flee for his life, then come back later to teach and preach and strengthen them in the Christian faith and way of living–he is flooded with joy. He is so glad they met. He is so happy these Greeks have joined with him– a strictly raised Jewish boy from a “Turkish-Syrian” city–to plant churches.
Remembering all this then causes him to pray. He thanks God for the way they have worked together with him all these years to tell others the wonderful news about the Lord Jesus Christ. He wants them to experience again the unmerited favor of God and the peace that brings. He wants them to remember their work together for Christ Jesus’s Kingdom and to keep on, keeping on.
Take a few moments today and remember who you have partnered with to tell others how they may trust in Jesus for right-standing with God. See if you don’t remember them with affection and joy and thankfulness. Why not pray for them today–that they will continue to serve the Lord Jesus Christ whatever their circumstances and will discipline themselves to keep on chasing after knowing God and becoming more like Him? Maybe you should contact them someway.
There are many I remember with thankfulness and affection. Some I’m able to see and be with, but many are miles away or already in heaven. But, I’ll never forget Mr. Whitt and Ernie Reisinger who kindly and gently welcomed me as a Christian, then helped me along the way. I’m sure it took self-discipline on their parts to take time out of busy South Florida ministries to visit a young girl and listen to a young mother’s problems. We shared the grace and peace that comes from believing.
I hope you will be filled with joy in remembering those with whom you have worked and prayed.