A. Paul wrote the following to his friends in the church at Philippi:
“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 1:3-5
B. From these words we learn:
1. Every time Paul thought of these folks, he was thankful for the memories they shared;
2. When he prayed for them, which was often, he did so with feelings of great joy;
3. What created his close relationship to them and prompted his pleasant emotions was their partnership in the Cause – the gospel of Jesus Christ.
4. What a working church this must have been!
C. Application Points
1. Write down the names of Christians for whom you have fond memories and offer a joyful prayer of thanksgiving to God for them.
2. Send a note, email, or card to those on your list who are still living, expressing gratitude for their friendship and influence in your life.
3. Seek God’s help in becoming such a Godly friend to others.
4. Consult the Proverbs for wisdom on the subject of friendship (Prov. 3:28-29; 11:12; 14:21; 17:17; 18:24; 24:28-29; 27:9-10, 17).
Do not say to your neighbor, "Go, and come back, And tomorrow I will give it," When you have it with you. Do not devise evil against your neighbor, For he dwells by you for safety's sake. (Pro 3:28-29)
He who is devoid of wisdom despises his neighbor, But a man of understanding holds his peace. (Pro 11:12)
He who despises his neighbor sins; But he who has mercy on the poor, happy is he. (Pro 14:21)
A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity. (Pro 17:17)
A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Pro 18:24)
5. Work side-by-side and hand in hand with another fellow Christian in the promotion of the gospel.
D. Christian Work
1. This Christian work could be practically anything:
2. Sending letters or care packages to overseas missionaries; teaching via correspondence courses; engaging in online Bible discussions.
3. Giving financial aid to those who are actively teaching others, as the Philippians did to Paul (Phil. 4:15-16).
Now you Philippians know also that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me concerning giving and receiving but you only. For even in Thessalonica you sent aid once and again for my necessities. (Php 4:15-16)
E. In a Personal Note:
1. If daily Bible study isn’t practiced in your life, what profit is it?
2. It is one thing to hear, read, and learn.
3. It is quite another to do (James 1:22; John 13:17).
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. (Joh 13:17)
4. Sometimes it’s hard to make a direct transition from knowing to doing.
By Gary D. Murphy
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