We traveled to Philippi, a Roman colony and the leading city of that district of Macedonia. And we stayed there several days.
Read the entire passage: Acts 16:11-12
Our fall series is called Philippians: Choosing Joy Under Pressure. Philippians is a letter written to the church in Philippi by the Apostle Paul. A city in northern Greece, Philippi had a unique thing happen because of two important battles fought outside the town. After thes battles, Roman soldiers settled in Philippi, and the city was declared a Roman colony. The citizens were granted Roman citizenship and perks like tax breaks. When Paul arrives in Philippi, to be a Philippian is to be proud of the Roman heritage and your elite status as a Roman citizen in a Roman colony.
Paul and his team step into this city full of patriotic fervor to spread the good news of Jesus Christ. As they share the good news, they encounter successes and immense difficulties. Through the difficulties, they continually choose to place their trust in the Jesus they are there to talk about. When Paul pens a letter to the fledgling community in Philippi, he understands their difficulties. In the face of those struggles, Paul continually returns to the theme of joy in his letter. It is not joy based upon circumstances or feelings. It is a joy based on the focus on the generosity of God that expresses itself through gratitude and praise even in seasons of extreme pain and deep disappointment.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
God desires for us to choose joy. A joy deeply rooted in his love and care for us. A joy based on knowing Jesus has won and one day we will be with him in a new heaven and new earth where he will wipe away every tear from our eyes. Today, read through the letter to the Philippians in your journal or Bible. Underline each time Paul writes joy or rejoice. Take time to ask yourself the question Pastor Jeff Manion asked this weekend, “Where is my focus?”
Download a printable PDF for the week here.