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. Philippians 1: 3 – 5
Think of all the times you have been involved with a group of people for a common goal and how you formed a bond with those individuals. Relationships formed, sometimes lasting as lifelong friendships. Groups such as athletic teams, group projects, fund-raising activities, health or rehab programs, different types of classes or clubs, and community organizations. A common goal brought you together and you realized you needed each other for cooperation, support, and encouragement in helping to bring about your end results.
All of these activities most likely brought satisfaction and many fond memories, but none more so than when we join with others to learn about or share the Word of Christ. We all know the love and bond of friendship we have formed with members of different churches we have been involved in throughout our lives. So many individuals stand out who have meant so much to us in our own spiritual growth and have loved us through so many life experiences.
I can name so many men and women who have helped my faith to grow and even children, in their sweet innocence, through whom I have learned so much about our amazing God. I was very blessed to be a part of a very special group of women in a Ladies Bible Study for over 10 years, and it was the most amazing experience as we delved into God’s Word together.
We all have probably been a part of such groups and have heard stories of so many wonderful mission trips where friendships formed all over the world, of youth groups who developed such close bonds, of prayer groups, choirs, Sunday School classes, and children’s mission groups who shared one common goal. Something special happens when we join with others “in partnership in the gospel”. We think of and remember these people with much love, gratitude, prayer, and joy.
Paul had these same feelings for the early believers in the church of Corinth as we see in this verse. Not only did he have strong feelings for them, but he wanted them to know of his appreciation for them. They shared in his love of Christ and in his efforts to carry forth the gospel through their works in their own church. They prayed for his well-being and his ministry, financially supported his efforts, and stood by him while he was imprisoned for teaching his beliefs. He understood their love and sacrifices for him and that knowledge filled him with joy and gratitude even during the difficult times.
Even though I don’t know many of you, I often think of you as “partnering with me” as we share a love for God’s Word. When I started this blog, I wanted to do something in return for all the blessings God has given me and my family. I felt I wasn’t a speaker, nor was I physically able to go on mission trips or do the work I would like to do to serve Him.
After doing a year of devotions for my children, Bob encouraged me to try to write a devotional blog, and this became my ministry – to share Scripture verses and my love of God with you. It has been a privilege and a joy to be able to do so, and I pray that I have given you food for thought or perhaps a word of comfort you might have needed on a particular day. I am so grateful for your encouragement and support and for all the times that you have shared a devotion with someone else. In doing so, you too are a part of this small ministry – as we pass on a verse and message about His love which might bring someone closer to God. Thank you for sharing this journey with me as we seek to know Him more and share His grace with others.
“I thank my God for you and remember you in my prayers.” May God bless you always.
Dear God, we are so grateful for all those who have meant so much to us on this walk of faith throughout our lives. Help us to “partner together” as we learn more about your love and grace and share it with others. Amen