Daily Devotion for December 30, 2016

'Every Time I Think of You...'

Philippians 1:3-11 NLT
Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now. And 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.
So 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. God knows how much I love you and long for you with the tender compassion of Christ Jesus.
I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. May 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 introduction in this letter to the Philippians caught my attention...because my brain often “thinks” about other Believers I know or have known. Does this happen to you too? As I was considering this type of “thinking” I sometimes do, I couldn't help but notice what Paul DID when he “thought” of other Believers...

1) First of all, He gave “thanks to” God for those Believers he thought about...

2) Next, He made prayer “requests for” them...

3) He also considered them as having “been (his) partners in spreading the Good News”...

4) Furthermore, he was certain of this truth: “that GOD, who began the good work within (them, would) continue His work until it (was) finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns”...

5) In addition, he gave those Believers he was thinking about “a special place in (his) heart,” because they shared “with (him) the special favor of God”...

6) Moreover, Paul LOVED them and longed for them “with the tender compassion of Christ”...

7) Finally, Paul PRAYED even more for them! He prayed a) that their “love (would) overflow more and more,” b) that they would “keep on growing in knowledge and understanding,” c) that they would “understand what really matters,” and d) that they would “always be filled with the fruit of (their) salvation—the righteous character produced in (their) life by Jesus Christ,” because this would “bring much glory and praise to God”...

Brothers and sisters in Christ: Paul's doing for those Believers he thought of must have made a huge impact in their spiritual lives....

Lord Jesus, we Believers come before You today, and we ask that You help us stop merely “thinking” of those Believers who come to mind. Specifically, we ask that you give us right desire and discipline to 1) give thanks for those brothers and sisters in Christ we think about, 2) make specific requests for them, 3) rightly consider them our growing-in-You partners, 4) allow them to have a special place in our hearts because they share with us Your special favor, 5) LOVE them, and 6) help us pray ALL of #7 for them, so their lives increasingly “bring much glory and praise to God!”

We ask this in Your name, Lord, for Your glory, “Every time (we) think of” them...

AMEN!!!

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