Today’s Scripture: Philippians 1
One of the biggest blessings of my life is being a parent (the hardest job you will ever love). God blessed my husband and me with two amazing daughters. Anna is 25, and she lives in Pensacola, Florida. She is in the Navy and learning to fly helicopters. Sarah is 23, she lives in Richmond, Virginia, and is in sales. Both of my daughters are doing well, and I am so proud of them. I love and adore them.
I believe my job as a parent is to love, guide, encourage, teach, and pray for my daughters. The way I do this has changed now that they are adults. A wise person told me, “Your daughters are adults now, and your job is to coach them more than parent them.” He said to ask good questions like, ”What did you learn from that?’’, instead of lecturing. I had to change my perspective and give up control. It has been a difficult transition. I have worked on keeping my mouth shut and not trying to fix everything. I need to let my daughters go on the journey God has for them, without interfering with God’s plan.
I will be honest, it’s difficult when my girls are struggling and they are so far away. I really miss them, and I long to see them and hug them. My mommy instincts kick in, and I want to fix all their problems. But instead, I step back and remind myself—love them, support them, pray for them, and encourage them. I pray that God will give my daughters wisdom and strength, that they will each fulfill their God-given purpose, and that they will have close relationships with him.
I believe Paul exemplifies the role of parent, mentor, and coach. Paul was in prison when he wrote this letter to the Philippians. He didn’t know if he would live or die, or if he would ever see them again. I believe the purpose of this letter was to show encouragement, love, and joy to the Philippians and to us.
3 Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. 4 Whenever I pray, I make all my requests for all of you with joy.
I love these verses! Paul is being a parent and a coach to the Philippians and to all of us. He loves them, he thanks God for them, and he prays for them with a great joy in his heart. He is thankful for them. He wants the very best for them. He goes on to tell them they have a special place in his heart. He is encouraging them.
8 God knows how much I love you and long for you with the tender compassion of Christ Jesus. 9 I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. 10 For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. 11 May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God.
Isn’t this what we want for all of those whom we love? We want them to know how much we love them, and we want them to know what is really important—Jesus! We want them to be changed by Jesus and we want their lives to bring glory to God.
In Philippians 1:6, Paul talks about how he is certain that God has a purpose for their lives: “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”
Philippians 1:6 is the theme verse for CedarCreek’s latest series, Refresh. I am so filled with gratitude and joy that God will continue to work in you and me until Jesus returns. I believe we are refreshed when God works in us to change us and make us more like him.
What is God calling you to do? Who can you encourage and pray for? How will you encourage this person? What will you pray for them?
Read Philippians 1 as if Paul was writing it specifically to you. Journal how he makes you feel. Make a list of people you can encourage and pray for, then do it. Attend GrowthTrack, if you haven’t already.
Heavenly Father, thank you so much for being the perfect parent. Thank you for giving us people in our lives that exude your love, wisdom, and peace in our lives. I am so grateful that you have a perfect plan for my life. Please help me to fulfill the purpose you have for my life. Please increase my faith and trust in you when I am struggling. Let the deepest desire of my heart be fulfilling the purpose you have for my life in order to bring you glory. Amen.
This post was written by Marsha Raymond. Marsha has been happily married to her husband, Jeff, for 30 years. They have two grown sassy and fearless daughters. She loves spending time with God, her family and friends, reading, riding bicycles, yoga and walking.
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