Grace Shared (27-06-22)
Bible Reading: Philippians 4:14, 19-23
Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles.
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Greet all God's people in Christ Jesus.
The brothers and sisters who are with me send greetings.
All God's people here send you greetings,
especially those who belong to Caesar's household.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.
Paul’s letters to the churches are permeated throughout with grace. He begins and ends all of his letters praying that his readers will know the grace of God. Elsewhere he describes the grace of God as the countless blessings that God pours out on us when we deserve nothing. In other places he encourages Christians to show grace to each other. Here he does all three.
Paul is grateful (a word with the same root as grace) for the grace the Philippians have shown to him by sharing in his troubles. And not only with him, for it is clear here there are other Christians in prison with Paul who are also sending their greetings to the Philippians.
Paul then reminds the Philippians of the grace of God that will meet all their needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus, which has to be vast!
And then Paul concludes his letter by praying that the grace of the Lord Jesus will be with them.
Grace, like many virtues, is contagious. The more we become aware of God’s grace, the more we show grace to others, the more they show grace and the more, it seems, God pours out his grace.
And amidst this outpouring of grace, Paul reminds them and us to pray.
As in Paul’s day, there are Christians today around the world who are imprisoned for their faith.
Why not take a few moments now to pray that they will know the grace of God in their situation, and that, like Paul, they will know that they are not forgotten by the wider church.
Paul also refers to God’s people who belong to Caesar’s household. Then, as now, there are Christians involved in government, or related to people in government, of all political persuasions. Let us pray that they too will know the grace of God and use their influence to faithfully serve God, the country and the people they represent.
And then there is the wider church. Paul says, ‘Greet all God's people in Christ Jesus’. Let us also pray for the grace of God for all God’s people, of every denomination, theological persuasion or churchmanship, that the church of Jesus Christ would be united in the proclamation of the gospel.
For your abundant grace, so freely poured out, Gracious Father we give you praise.
For your church throughout the world, in government, in chains or free,
Pour out your grace again.
God of grace, amazing wonder