It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. (ESV)
Paul loved the Philippian believers. They held a very special place in his heart. In the opening verses he has talked about how he always thinks of them with thanksgiving. He has joy when he remembers them. They have been partners with him in the proclamation of the Gospel, the most important aspect of Paul's life.
He now defends those feelings here in verse 7. saying "It is right for me to feel this way about you all." What had the Philippian believers done? They did not just support them when he was with them, but Paul was writing this letter from a prison cell in Rome. In those times the Roman Empire did not feed you or care for you in prison. If you did not have friends to supply your physical needs you would surely die of starvation.
The Philippian believers were Paul's lifeline in prison. They not only sent him money, but they sent a man called Epaphroditus to be an encouragement as well. Paul describes the believers as "partakers with me of grace." What a privilege that these believers had. They knew that this Christian walk was best done together. If one part suffered the other part suffered with them and met their need.
There is an example here for us. As we consider those who have given their lives for the proclamation of the Gospel we can be partakers with them of God's grace. We can bless them with our prayers, our love, and our physical or financial support wherever they are. Ministry that is effective is always done together with God's people.
Who do you know that needs your support? A missionary? A local pregnancy center? An addiction recovery ministry? Your pastor? Be a partaker with them of God's amazing grace.
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