Most Scholars agree that Paul’s letter to the Philippians is his most personal and intimate letter.

In just four chapters, he has over one hundred occurrences of such words as “I”, “me”, and “my”.  In fact the word “I” occurs fifty-two times.  To read Philippians is to get a sense of the depth of Paul’s love for these individuals who he says were “in fellowship with Him and the gospel from the first day until now…”  

This is a reminder to us that love is meant to be an action verb.  Love left unexpressed is useless really.  How many of us would agree with the word of Marion Evans who wrote, “I like not only to be loved, but also to be told that I am loved.”  As Paul communicates His feelings and encouragement to these brothers in Philippi, we too can glean wonderful truths regarding God’s love of us and our love for one another.  While it would be enough to simply have Christ for this journey, He has given us the joy of community as we walk this winding path together.  

Paul mentions in 1:8, his great longing to personally join in the fellowship he once shared with his beloved brethern, but cannot due to his chains.  He remembers fondly their partnership in the ministry and how even now they have sent Epaphroditus to provide for his needs and encourage him while in prison. But, what can he do for them in response to their show of love?  

He can pray.

And pray he did.  What more could he do?  What better could he do?  Paul shared his prayer for the church of Philippi and for us in 1:9-11.  He prayed that they might grow more devoted to God and one another.  That they might exercise discernment and develop Christlike character, and their works might be righteous and acceptable to Christ and His eternal Kingdom.  What a legacy of faithfulness, friendship and fraternity.  The joy of community!  What more could we do?  I challenge you today to pray for each other. Make a copy of your class roll and pray for your classmates.  Take your church directory and commit to pray for one page a day. Pray for each other.  Then, send a card or a note of encouragement letting folks know you are praying for them.  Finally, look for a way to be a blessing to someone this week.  Let’s do this life not alone, but together - in community!

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