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A Passion For The Gospel: Saying Thank You With Love, A Personalized Meditation On Philippians

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Sometime early in my life I understood that the income we had as a missionary family came from the gifts of others. In fact, every month when their financial statement from the mission came in the mail, my parents sat down and wrote a personal thank you note to each supporter. When I got older, my parents would ask me to write the thank you notes from time to time. I would write one, then copy it twenty-five or thirty times, address the envelopes, put on the stamps, send them. I don’t remember what I ever said, except to express thanks warmly and sometimes longwindedly. Who knows what my ten-year-old mind thought was significant?


When I was young I thought of Philippians as a book about joy, because the word is repeated often. But later I began to realize it’s a lengthy thank-you note to the Philippian church. It’s a thank you to the wealthy, worshipful, business-savvy, hospitable Lydia. It’s a thank you to the rough jailer who fell trembling at Paul’s feet and begged to know how to be saved. It’s an epistle of gratitude to the slave girl who was set free from her demons. And love to all the others who came after them, and through them into the family of God. Together, these compassionate believers had sent a gift with Epaphroditus to Paul, who was in prison for preaching the gospel that had set them free.

What could he give back? People in prison don’t own a lot, can’t do a lot. But his wealth was the kind that could never be taken away, and could be given in a letter. So just as they had sent material treasure to ease his physical needs, he also sent them from his treasure, to supply their spiritual needs. And I, in my need, generations later, am supplied, nourished, blessed, guided, strengthened, inspired, and challenged by that same “gift that keeps on giving.” How I thank a wise God who loved me enough to save me, and to give me the generous gift of this thank you note.

I want to soak it in now, personalize it till my very bones are filled with rich strength, rub it into the skin of my heart till it beats sweet with the fragrance of Christ.

To freely read the rest of this personalized meditation on the book of Philippians
click here to view the PDF.

Related Topics: Devotionals

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