Bible Reading: Philippians 1
Have you ever tried to pinpoint the number of thoughts that run in your heart every day?
Let me help- experts estimate that the mind thinks between 60,000 – 80,000 thoughts a day! That’s an average of 2500 – 3,300 thoughts per hour.
Let’s be honest- that’s a whole lot to handle!
While there are the play around, largely inconsequential thoughts, there are those thoughts that kind of sit heavy on your heart with some great degree of weight.
For Paul, his thoughts about the Philippians was one of such. How he loved those guys! He calls them his ‘beloved and longed for brethren’. (4:1) He writes to them ‘[God] knows how much I love and miss you these days. Sometimes I think I feel as strongly about you as Christ does!’ (1:8 MSG). Sadly, he had to be away from them, and here he sat in the far away Roman prison, with chains on him.
So when he writes to them: ‘I have you in my heart’ (1:7 NKJV), we should understand the weight it represented to Paul.
If you woke Paul up from his sleep and said ‘what’s on your mind, Paul?’ he’ll burst out ‘The Philippians!’ If you met him seeing a movie and then power was interrupted and there was a 30 second silence, Paul’s thoughts had already strayed to the Philippians.
‘You’re constantly on my mind’(1:7 ISV)
As you look to 2020, what is your disposition about the people and the things that are constantly on your mind? What things are uppermost on your heart? A loved one? A job situation? Your hopes for your business? A pending application? Plans for marriage?
What do you do where you have strong thoughts but seemingly little control? Are we really helpless?
In our reading today, we learn from Paul that there’s a whole lot we can do about the people (and things) that are constantly on our minds, and not just sit hopelessly in chains:
- We can reach out where we can (v 1)
- We can choose to be full of thanksgiving, and not just worry (V3)
- We can pray with joy, and not anxiety or fear (V4)
- We can pray some more! (V 9-11)
- We can encourage ourselves in what God is doing here and now (v 12-18)
- We can stay full of hope in what God will yet do (v19-20)
- We can stay pointed towards and focused on Jesus, our ultimate hope (v27-28)
What’s top on your heart when you think of 2020? Who has really been on your mind?
Why don’t you pin that list, go over it again and learn from Paul, that the chains on your hands (or wherever they are) do not have to be chains on your attitude!
I pray that your love will keep on growing and you will fully know and understand how to make the right choices. Then you will still be pure and innocent when Christ returns… Philippians 1:9-10 CEV