Verses 3-6: Now keep in mind as we examine the opening words, Paul
was in prison. Just how thankful would we be feeling in similar circumstances?
Paul identifies three ways he maintains his relationship with the Philippians.
He keeps them in his mind, his heart and his prayers.
First he remembers them on an ongoing basis. As a result, he was constantly
thanking God for them.
Paul keeps them in his heart. He is filled with joy. And why is this? because
he is in partnership with these believers in the dissemination of the gospel.
There is no greater work than giving out the message of salvation to the
lost. Paul can rejoice, because it is God who has made them a team with him
in the giving the word. He has total confidence that when God begins something
good, He will finish it. From the birth of the Church until the return of
the Lord nothing, nothing will interfere with the advancement of His work.
Verses 7-11: Paul speaks to the unity of the body as one entity. Though
he is currently in jail, when he is out preaching, all the blessings of God
received by him also belong to the Philippians. They are one family, one
body and he longs to be with them.
It was a while back that I heard someone, I don't remember who, talk about
us not being members of one body, but membranes of one body. This is a unity,
this is why one blesses one or hurts one does the same for the other membranes.
No matter how difficult our situation, or for that matter no matter how good
our circumstances, we always have the opportunity to pray; to commune with
God; to have fellowship with One from whom we can never be separated. We
have the opportunity to experience joy, through our relationship with a loving
Father. Paul could pray and rejoice even in prison.
It is as we pray for one another, and with one another -- in which we maintain
unity of purpose and spirit -- that we form an external partnership that
represents the reality of the spiritual unity that exists within the body
So in his joy, Paul keeps his readers in his prayers. He prays for that which
we all need: to grow in our relationship with the Lord, to grow in love of
God and others, and to grow in depth of the knowledge and the wisdom of the
Lord. For with this love, knowledge and wisdom comes the growth and maturity
that allows us to live as God desires us to, as we wait for His coming for
As we grow in our relationship with the Lord, and live in dependency on Him,
the results will be the ever-increasing manifestation of the Fruit of the
Spirit. And as we manifest that fruit, we will be less and less controlled
by circumstances and therefore be living in the joy that should be ours.
When we live for self, then all that occurs around us affects us. When we
live for God, then all that goes on around us is simply the background on
which we weave a picture of the glory of God and the joy that comes from
basking in His light.