Good Morning! I have a dear friend who still sends cards and letters. She doesn't miss a holiday and I so cherish these real "snail" mail arrivals. From the background on the letter of Philippians, the church was being persecuted but had taken a collection to send Paul a gift in his imprisonment. This is the Philippians "thank you" letter and a message of encouragement. Boy howdy, I need the message of joy to refresh my thirsty, dry as bones spirit.
Paul calls himself (and Timothy) slaves of Jesus -- a slave being totally devoted to serving Jesus. Having just finished James -- a good portion of his message was about not having divided loyalties and here is Paul saying the same thing -- trust God completely. :)
"Grace and peace to you." Yes Lord, I need your grace and peace. My last week has been a rough and tumble time at work and personally. I've found myself wearing my porcupine coat...and I know that in my angst I've been prickly to others including those I hold most dear, which causes the blech to deepen and piles more shame on top of the negative thoughts already roiling inside.
I need to surrender the anger and hurt, allow God to calm the storm raging inside. It's easy -- once I let go.
Oh Lord, I failed again. Please help me to let go and hold on to your truths. The truths that reassure me that I am your child, you love me and it's not because I've earned it. It's because Jesus paid the price for my shortcomings, my failures, my anger, my sins, my darkness...He has wiped it away because You love all of us that much - including me. Lord, help me to reflect that love, help me to set aside my anger, help me to trust your justice and hold tight to your mercies so I can devote myself to you completely. Amen.
PS -- I don't always get this in-depth...especially just on "Greetings, it's Paul here." I just really needed the grace and peace part in case you didn't figure that out already. Please share your observations, applications and prayers in the comments. It may be me who is first to post, but I really learn from all the different thoughts and observations from others. :)