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Read Philippians 1:1–11

I thank my God every time I remember you.’ (v3)

Christmas is often a time to say, ‘thank you’. Perhaps we have received a gift from someone, or an act of kindness – or perhaps someone has tirelessly helped us throughout the year, and so we want to show our appreciation.

The apostle Paul wanted to show his appreciation to the Philippian church that had encouraged and supported him. Writing from prison, Paul wrote the church an encouraging letter to thank them for their ongoing support and prayers.

Although Paul was imprisoned and so could not be with them personally, he took the opportunity to write to them.

In his letter, Paul pronounces upon them God’s grace and peace (v2), thanks God for them (v3), and assures them of his constant prayers for them (v4).

Paul goes on to remind them of their times together serving Jesus (v5) and encourages them by reminding them it is God who will see them through until the end (v6).

Perhaps we too could use this season to say ‘thank you’ – to call or write to someone to encourage them – to pray God’s grace and peace into their lives, thanking God for them, assuring them of our prayers, reminding them of God’s strength.

Written words can be especially powerful as they can be re-read, allowing the recipient to dwell on them, and to be encouraged by them each time they are read.

A PRAYER TO MAKE: ‘Lord, thank You for the people You have placed in my life. Help me to encourage them in return. Amen.’
AN ACTION TO TAKE: Think of someone you could write to and encourage.
SCRIPTURE TO CONSIDER: Psalm 136:1–26; Rom. 1:8–10; 1 Cor. 1:4–9; 2 Tim. 1:3– 5
Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.