‘Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace.’ — Philippians 1:7
Paul models for us a pastoral heart. He says of the Philippians, ‘I have you in my heart.’
His love for the Philippians caused him to:
- Think of them while a prisoner in chains (v.13)
- Write them a very encouraging letter while a prisoner in chains (v.1)
- Wish them grace and peace from God (v.2)
- Thank God upon every remembrance of them (v.3)
- Pray for them (v.4)
- Believe in them (v.6)
- Greatly miss them (v.8)
- Desire their best (v.9-11)
These are all good reminders for us to treat one another with love, compassion, kindness, and grace.
In individualistic societies, we need to show more of this type of love and care for others.
We need to have people in our hearts, to think of them often, to pray for them frequently, to believe in them and to desire their very best.
How much love is in our hearts for others? How much do we want their best? May God help us to grow in our love for and grace to others.