It doesn’t matter whether it is a teacher, boss or preacher. When you hear the words “in conclusion”, your attention increases. It could be 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 he wanted to tell them. It’s quite clear he wanted them to experience the peace and presence of God. There seemed to be one sure path which would lead to that in Paul’s mind. He wanted them to know the kind of contentment 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 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 this letter. It’s a heart-warming thing to know 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.
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 and if you are experiencing the kind of joy he wants you to have, the kind that comes from knowing and loving Jesus.