Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. 4Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, 5for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now. 6And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
7So it is right that I should feel as I do about all of you, for you have a special place in my heart. You share with me the special favor of God, both in my imprisonment and in defending and confirming the truth of the Good News. 8God knows how much I love you and long for you with the tender compassion of Christ Jesus.
9I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. 10For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. 11May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God.
Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi is one of his most encouraging texts. The Philippian church was very much alive with love for God and neighbor. They had grown as disciples of Jesus Christ under the leadership of Paul and his companions.
At this time in my life’s journey I find that I resonate very much with Paul’s words to the church in Philippi, because I feel that way for you.
Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God.
When I think about the kindness and warm welcome you’ve given Erin and I from day one up to the present day…
When I think about the way’s we’ve partnered with God and each other to reach out in compassion and care for those in need…
When I think about the love I’ve seen you share with one another, even when we may not all see eye to eye…
When I think about the ways that you’ve opened your heart to the life-changing world-transforming presence of Jesus time and again; your YES to God’s call upon your life that has led you to invest in our common ministry for Jesus…
Every time I pause to think about these things, I will always thank God for you. I want to leave you with these final words from me.
Continue to say YES to God’s call. Continue the work of boldly sharing the good news of the Kingdom of God in your work of creating spaces of belonging for the poor, oppressed, and forgotten.
Continue to live as a representative of Jesus Christ by loving your neighbors as yourself.
Do this and we will continue to give each other more and more reasons to say, I thank God for you.