Devotional Thought: Is It All About You?

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by Stacy Lynn Harp

This morning as I was reading through Philippians chapter 1, the word YOU stood out to me.  The reason it stood out to me is because as I’ve learned to memorize scripture, I’ve noticed that my focus often goes many different places.   First, I notice that I try to concentrate on the overall meaning of the passage and then I really zone in on every word and as a result focus on the meaning of each word.

I’ve also learned to memorize six to eight verses at a time and that gives me context.

We live in a world that is so self-absorbed that we often truly do think everything is about us.  As I was going through Pexels.com  to find the graphic for this post, I put in the word YOU and things that came up all had to do with US, not YOU as in someone else. I chose the graphic in this post because it could’ve gone with chapter one of Philippians.

I love Paul because he had a heart for his fellow saints.  In chapter one of Philippians the words you and your are used 27 times in 30 verses.  (In the Modern English Version) 

Twenty seven times (maybe more or less in the original Greek) Paul made a reference to those he was writing.  Here are a few things that Paul wrote concerning his fellow saints.

  1. He wanted to extend God’s grace to them. v. 2
  2. He thanked God when he remembered them. v. 3
  3. He prayed for them with joy. v. 3
  4. He noted their fellowship in the gospel. v. 5
  5. He notes that God has begun a good work in them. v. 6
  6. He says he has them in his heart. v. 7
  7. He reminds them they are fellow partakers of God’s grace. v. 7
  8. He longs after them with the affection of Jesus. v. 8
  9. He prays that their love may abound with knowledge and discernment. v. 9
  10. He wants them to be able to approve things that are excellent, pure, and blameless for the day of Christ. v. 10
  11. He wants them to know that the things that have happened to him have been for the advancement of the gospel. v. 12
  12. He acknowledges that they pray. v. 19
  13. As he considers wanting to die to be with Christ, Paul thinks of them because he knows they need him. v. 24
  14. He thinks upon being with them for their joyful advancement and their rejoicing for him. v. 25-26
  15. He reminds them to have good conduct worthy of Christ. v. 27
  16. He reminds them that when he comes to see them, he will know of their conduct. v. 27
  17. He tells them to not be frightened by their adversaries. v. 28
  18. He reminds them that having adversaries is a sign of their salvation. v. 28 
  19. He reminds them that part of being a Christian is suffering for Jesus. v. 29
  20. He reminds them that he also has suffered for Jesus. v. 30

Wow!  Isn’t that an amazing list of the things Paul wrote about!  Paul had such an outer focus that not only did his prayers concern others, but he was so full of encouragement for his fellow saints.

My question to you today is are you like Paul in your love for the saints?  Do you know how much your ministry impacts others?  Are you aware of God’s grace working itself out in your life?  

Today, as you consider how your spiritual walk is an extension of the whole body of Christ, reread Philippians chapter 1 and see how the Lord will speak to you and then I want to encourage you to reach out to another believer and encourage them, the way Paul encouraged the Philippians.  It will make a difference.

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