Read Philippians 1:3-6
In this scripture, Paul says, “I thank my God every time I remember you.” Paul is thankful for God’s stirring of memories.
When I remember life events and people, thankfulness is not always my first response. Honestly, joy isn’t my default emotion when remembering much. And the gospel is not always front-and-center in my mind, either. But through loving and hoping for others, we open the door to thankfulness.
Paul also knows the power of loving and hoping for others. Take this scripture, for example. Paul is not boasting here about what God will do in him. Instead, he’s praying for his friends. His prayers are full of thankfulness and self-sacrifice, not unlike those of the Son of God, Jesus.
And the same can be for our prayer life. God is working in the quiet of our prayers to love those around us better and lay down our lives for them.
In the final verse of this passage, Paul says he is “sure of this very thing”. What is Paul sure of? The verb “perfect” is epiteleo in Greek, which means “to bring to an end, accomplish, perfect, execute, complete.” Paul is saying that we are all a work in progress, “… in the gospel from the first day until now.” We are instantly in the Kingdom, but we don’t go from one state to another instantly. He is caring for us in the gentle and gracious way that an artist completes a masterpiece.
Where is Jesus inviting you to remember joyfully?
Father God, Lord Jesus and Holy Spirit. God of Moses, Jacob, Paul and Peter: Thank You for the people You bring to my mind as I sit in Your presence. Teach me how to pray in joy for them. Teach me how to treat my memory as a place to meet You. Amen.
Shawn is part of the Forest Park East City Group.