"Joy For People"
by Pastor Kent Munsey
Philippians 1:3-8 (NLT)
Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now. 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. So it is right that I should feel as I do about all of you, for you have a special place in my heart. You share with me the special favor of God, both in my imprisonment and in defending and confirming the truth of the Good News. God knows how much I love you and long for you with the tender compassion of Christ Jesus.
What is it that consumes our minds and hearts? Do we think about things? Do we think about ourselves? Our prayers reflect the deepest desires and concerns of our hearts and minds. What do our prayers reveal about our hearts?
Apostle Paul sets an incredible example for us. While in the Philippi prison, Paul was not thinking about his own circumstances, but rather he was thinking about other people. He was thankful for them. He prayed for them. Because of this, the apostle Paul had great joy.
Think about the following:
- What is on your MIND?
- What is in your HEART?
- What is in your PRAYERS?
Joy is a gift from God. Just like the righteousness we receive by grace, we don’t have to earn joy. We lose our joy for people when we fail to remember the work that God is doing. To cultivate your joy for people, keep in mind:
- Salvation: The Work God Does For Us
- Sanctification: The Work God Does In Us
- Service: The Work God does Through Us
When we look to our circumstances or emotions for joy, it will always be fickle and fleeting. Have people on your mind, in your heart and in your prayers. The Joy of the Lord is our Strength (Nehemiah 8:10).