Philippians – Feeling the Love

Happy Monday, ladies! You have no idea how often I think of you all! It’s crazy! But this weekend while we, (the Scripture Dig team) were ministering together in Pigeon Forge, I couldn’t help but think of you all!

You girls prayed me through a difficult time of sharing a piece of my painful past and I want you to know I felt those prayers! They mattered! You matter! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I was definitely feeling the love!

What a beautiful group of women from West Park Baptist Church! And what an awesome job Voice of Mercy did leading us into worship! If you girls need someone to lead the worship at any of your events, you will some very happy campers if you’d call them to be part of your event! Just sayin’!

Ministering along side my fellow diggers on the Scripture Dig team was a HUGE blessing! The love these ladies have for God, His Word and others is absolutely inspiring and I’m honored to be on that wonderful team of women of the Word!

Sometimes, I’m just overwhelmed that the Lord allows me to do this!

Well, we’ve got some Philippians to study today and I’m thrilled that we landed on this sweet segment of Scripture right on the heels of a weekend in which I felt so much love from you all!

I’ve posted Philippians 4:10-19 (NASB) below and have also given you a Biblegateway link so that you can look at our text in various versions. It will definitely be worth your time!

As you read through these verses make note of the ways in which the Philippian church demonstrated the care and concern for Paul.Keep in mind that we are going to examine contentment in our study Wednesday, but today, we’ll focus on the way the Philippian church demonstrated love to Paul.

“10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. 14 Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction. 15 You yourselves also know, Philippians, that at the first preaching of the gospel, after I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving but you alone; 16 for even in Thessalonica you sent a gift more than once for my needs. 17 Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account.18 But I have received everything in full and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God. 19 And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus”.

When Paul wrote to the church at Corinth (2 Corinthians 11:8-9), he was sure to mention the generous and sacrificial financial assistance the Philippian church provided for him.

As a missionary, I know ministry takes money. It’s just the way it is. The more financial support a missionary, church or ministry receive, the more ministry the can do.

At the risk of getting a bit bold, I’m going to go off on a soapbox here. You see, the Philippian church knew Paul. They knew his heart, they knew his ministry and they knew he was a man of God who had set his face life a flint to impact the world for Christ.

They didn’t have a committee meeting and decide to send him $15-$25 a month and expect a bi-monthly newsletter, a monthly email update and a quarterly financial report in order to continue their support. And they certainly didn’t expect him to hold to culturally irrelevant traditions of men that would never work in every climate and culture he ministered in. (Did I just write that out loud?)

They just loved God and they loved Paul and they wanted to support him and his ministry.

Their support of Paul was all about the love! Their love for God and their love for him…and Paul was certainly feeling the love.

They loved him through their prayers and they loved him from their depths of their wallet. It was tangible – it was evident – and it made an eternal impact of which you and I are still reaping the benefits each time we read through Scripture.

That being said, the question to each of us is…

Are we following their example?

Do we faithfully pray for missionaries, ministries, pastors and churches?

Do we willingly and sacrificially give to support those in the ministry?

Do we look for ways we can demonstrate love to them like send cards and gifts to their children on their birthdays, make other Christians aware of their ministries, have a weekly or monthly prayer meeting for them, send them care packages or items they need to help fulfill the work of the ministry?

How do we demonstrate love for those who are serving on the front lines of ministry to see a world won to Christ?

Many missionaries on the field end up packing up and going home because of lack of prayer, and lack of emotional and financial support. Maybe we can help change that one missionary – one ministry – and even one pastor at a time.

Okay, so I know this isn’t the touchy, feely, Bible study of Philippians 4 you might have expected, but I really do hope it encourages us all to be more aware of our brothers and sisters who are trying to reach the world for Christ at great personal cost.

Are they feeling the love? Are we showing it?

Sometimes I fall so short of doing what I know I should to help those who have forsaken all to reach those who otherwise would not ever hear the Gospel! Today’s post has been a great reminder for me to do what I know I should do to help my brothers and sisters in Christ in the battle for souls.

Many of you prayed for me and the Scripture Dig team while we ministered together in Pigeon Forge and I want you all to know that we really did feel the love! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

What do you think? What are some ways we can show those who serve Christ with reckless abandon that we love them – that we are standing with them in the work of the ministry?

I hope you’ll finish Philippians with us! You can receive your Bible study in your inbox by clicking this link. Or you can click on the Google or Networkedblog link to receive it in your feeder.

© Stephanie Shott, 2011

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