It does not matter whether it is a teacher, boss or preacher. When you hear the words “in conclusion”, your attention increases. It could be that you will have one more chance to hear what you missed while your mind was wandering or it may be your opportunity to understand more clearly what the speaker was really trying to communicate. So when the Philippians heard Paul saying “finally”, what do you think their response might have been?
He had just a few more things that he wanted to tell them. It’s quite clear that he wanted them to experience the peace and presence of God. There seemed to be one sure path that would lead to that in Paul’s mind. He wanted them to know the kind of contentment that he has had and so he reminded them of the source of his strength. He wanted them to realize how a life of generosity, the giving of yourself and your means, would affect them now and eternally. What else was there to say? Oh yes, he just needed to thank them one more time for all that they had done and continued to do for him.
No doubt Paul had been telling his companions and, apparently his guards, about his friends in Philippi because he included their greetings, as well as his own, as he ended his letter. It’s a heart-warming thing to know that there is a bond between you and other believers around the world who are all seeking to give honor and praise to God. It increases your courage and commitment.
And now it is your turn, what will you say to Paul in response to his letter? What news will you tell him? Of course, you will want to thank him for his letter to you and your friends, but he will want to know more than that. He will want to know what progress you are making in your faith journey and if you are experiencing the kind of joy that he wants you to have, the kind that comes from knowing and loving Jesus.
NEW SERIES – Beginning Friday, September 16 “With All Your Heart” a study of the Book of Deuteronomy. Want some historical background? Read Exodus between now and then! Be sure to sign up to get the introductions sent directly to your e-mail each week (bottom of side bar on the Home page).
I’ve been trying to put myself in the place of the Christians at Philippi. They had no Bible to study and Paul’s letter must have been so wonderful to receive. It’s such a beautiful, positive letter. Above all are the words of joy that shine from Paul’s message. It radiates encouragement!
The parts that have especially spoken to me in this study are those about guarding my (spiritual) heart. and the part about thinking on what is positive, pure, lovely, admirable, right and things that are excellent and praiseworthy. These are hard times for many people and Paul’s words offer us hope and direction. I’m resolved to strive to imitate Christ, serve others and become the best person I can be.
Thank you for this study! You’ll never know what encouragement everyones’ comments and ideas have meant to me. I will never forget!
Am looking forward to the Autumn class….
When I think about conclusions, I think about Jesus’ words on the cross, “It is finished.” Hallelujah and Amen.
I’ve enjoyed this study and look forward to the next one. Blessings to everyone!
My prayer this week as we finish this study is to become content in whatever my circumstances, like Paul indicated. He had experienced so much in his walk with Christ, yet he learned to be content whatever his circumstances. I admit my circumstances sometimes dictate my contentment and my joy. This week I hope and pray that I focus on Jesus, be content in whatever comes my way, and knowing that there is no other place I would rather be than following Jesus and continuing to learn more about him and how I can share that with others. Enjoy your week everyone. I’ve enjoyed this study and look forward to the next one. Blessings to all.
If I were to write a letter to Paul, it would go something like this:
It was so good to hear from you. The letter you sent was very timely. Thank you so much for caring. What a great christian example you have been to me.
When I look at my surrounding circumstances (the economy is bad and many people have lost their jobs and/or houses) and begin to complain or grumble I think of you and your current situation. I then begin to be thankful for all the wonderful things in my life.
The letter you sent has been so encouraging! I have read and re-read it. The words of wisdom and instruction have helped me so much. Again, thank you for being such a great christian example and for caring enough to write.
Keeping you in my prayers,
I have enjoyed and learned so much from this bible study. Looking forward to the next one!
Gina, love your ” letter” to Paul……