Philippians 1:3-5 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4 always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, 5 in view of your participation in [sharing in the preaching of…] the gospel from the first day until now. In this passage, the apostle Paul writes to the people of the church at Philippi and is thanking God for the memories he has made with them. The letter is very personal in its tone—it conveys that Paul had a good relationship with these people. And the apostle Paul is very intentional in his word choice, especially when writing, which is why the word “all” jumps out in the third verse. First, that he is not just thanking God for the good memories, but ALL memories, “all my remembrance of you.” Were there any bad memories from there? We don’t really know, but it is likely that Paul had some not so good memories from there, as he seemed to suffer some type of hardship wherever he went. The word ALL appears again later in verse 2, this time letting them know that he is not only praying, but he is praying for ALL of them, not just a few select members. And then that word, joy appears. Remember, I said earlier in this devotional journey that …remember? It is used 6 times in the letter and rejoice is used 9 times. Paul says he is “praying with joy.” That word JOY in Ancient Hebrew pictographs paints the picture of a new or separate door or pathway to behold. I see it as a holy pathway as Paul uses it here. No matter how rough the trail we are walking at the moment, we have a view of another pathway we are on of which the rough stuff is simply a temporary part of. The time we are going through at the moment may seem tough, even unbearable at times. But when we zoom out and look at where we came from, and where we are headed as a Christian, we can see the promised eternal glory God has prepared for us in His kingdom. This pathway runs like a golden thread through our journey and leads us on to the future God ultimately has for us. As Christians, we are on the pathway to heaven, and we should observe and acknowledge it. Hebrews 12:2 speaks of this: “…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the JOY before Him endured the cross…” Not only does Paul have heaven in view and is praying for them ALL—not just a select few… remember, EVEN the “overseers and deacons” are included. And not only is he praying with eternal glory in mind, but he is praying for their participation in the preaching of the gospel. This is undoubtedly the best memory he has of them because the apostle lived and breathed sharing his testimony and the plan of the gospel with others.
1. Who in your life should you give thanks to God for the memories?
2. Do you pray for those people?
3. Do you pray with Joy… with the pathway that leads to heaven in view?
4. Are your eyes fixed on Jesus Christ, the “author, and perfector of our faith” and is the doorway to heaven to which the Christian life pathway leads?
5. Are you participating in sharing the gospel?
6. Who helps and encourages you in this? (That is the person for which you need to pray)