Indeed, it is right for me to think this way about all of you, because I have you in my heart, and you are all partners with me in grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how deeply I miss all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus. And I pray this: that your love will keep on growing in knowledge and every kind of discernment so that you may approve the things that are superior and may be pure and blameless in the day of Christ filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God.
All fruit springs from some sort of seed. Without that seed, fruit would be impossible. Once planted and properly cared for, the seed matures into fruit.
“Indeed, it is right for me to think this way about all of you …” (Philippians 1:7)
At the beginning of his letter to the believers at Philippi, Paul rehearses the evidence (fruit) he’d seen of gospel grace (seed) that had been planted in their hearts and lives. Paul’s deep affection and appreciation for them is seen by the joy he expresses that is in his heart as he thought about them. His feelings were not misplaced. They were typical feelings that anyone would have toward partners who have demonstrated such loyalty and faithfulness.
“… because I have you in my heart, and you are all partners with me in grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel.” (Philippians 1:7)
Can you sense his heart’s overflowing thankfulness? What a beautiful phrase: partners with me in grace. That’s the most wonderful kind of partnership, isn’t it? I hope you have some partners in grace that walk alongside you in the gospel. We all need those who are with us in this journey of life. Scripture has included many instructions regarding our partnership with “one another.” We are to love, serve, honor, be devoted, encourage, pray for, and live in harmony with each other.
“For God is my witness, how deeply I miss all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:8)
The beauty of this kind of partnership is we can partner in grace even from a distance. Paul’s friends did this by living out their faith where they were. Just knowing they were in Philippi serving God and loving others encouraged and strengthened Paul from afar. He missed his friends deeply. He felt the sting and weight of the distance, but he also knew he was not alone in the shared gospel work. He had people in Philippi who were bearing fruit from the seed of the gospel that had been planted.
Paul and his partners found nourishment from the very same tree.
John 15:1-8 tells us Jesus is the source of good fruit; all who are in Jesus are partnered with Him by His grace.
Pause VI Day 1
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