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Posts Tagged ‘friends’

Verses 4-5: “And finding disciples, we stayed there seven days. They told Paul through the Spirit not to go up to Jerusalem. When we had come to the end of those days, we departed and went on our way; and they all accompanied us, with wives and children, till we were out of the city. And we knelt down on the shore and prayed.”

Our previous pastor had been at our church for about 17 years; he was much beloved and respected. Once, he thought he felt God’s call to take a pastor position at another church way out of town. He wasn’t sure, so he coveted our prayers and he put some “fleeces” before God to answer. We didn’t want him to go, but we didn’t want him acting contrary to God’s will either. He was a man of God who wouldn’t ignore God’s calling. I personally wrote him a letter to read on the trip up that I tried to encourage him through. I also humorously asked in the letter “what side of the road do you want the burning bushes on, to tell you to come back?” 🙂 As it turned out, that wasn’t the move God wanted him to make, and he stayed with us a while longer. God eventually did call him back near his childhood home in north Georgia, and this time, there was no denying God’s signs. He is there now, leading that church in following the Lord.

Paul knew where he had to go; his road lead to Jerusalem. His friends and fellow believers didn’t want him to go; they feared for his life. As already mentioned previously, Paul would not be dissuaded. He answered God’s call, knowing whether he lived or died, he would be serving the cause of Jesus. He was a man of God who wouldn’t ignore God’s calling.

How about you, fellow believer? Are you listening for God’s call in your life today…no matter where it may lead?

Something to think about.

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Verses 3-4: “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy,”

It’s a wonderful thing to hear from friends, especially when you haven’t seen them in ages. I was at a band festival recently taping the performance of my son’s band for the band director. My old university band was the feature exhibition and I saw some old friends who were in band with me from our college days at the event. I even saw an old friend from band who started the same time I did; I hadn’t seen this friend, literally, in years. They were as happy to see me as I was them, as old memories flooded back of fond days.

Sometimes, it can be just the message sent by a friend, whether a phone call or an email or a letter (some of you folks my age will remember what a “letter” is. :-)) Whatever the communique, it fills your heart with gladness to be remembered by an old friend; gladder still if they mention they have been praying for you.

Here is Paul, in prison in Rome, under arrest and awaiting trial by Nero, and yet he starts off this letter to his Philippian friends with this message. When you pray to God for someone, God hears our prayers. People who are prayed for, can feel the results of those prayers lifted in His name on their behalf. Though I may not do it every day, I try to remember to thank God for those who pray for me, and to ask Him to doubly-bless them in return. One of the best gifts you can give someone is to pray to God for them; have you done that today?

Something to think about.

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