I thank my God on every remembrance of you,…
I. THANKSGIVING IS A NATURAL AND PROPER EXERCISE OF THE BELIEVING HEART, The apostle usually giving in the case of the Philippians.
1. Scripture has psalms of thanksgiving. (Nehemiah 12:8.)
2. We have constant reason for thanksgiving. We thank God for temporal mercies (Exodus 15:1, 2); for spiritual mercies (Romans 1:8; 1 Corinthians 1:4); for deliverance from the body of death (Romans 7:25); but, above all, for Christ, his unspeakable Gift (Luke 2:38).
II. THE APOSTLE'S THANKSGIVING WAS BASED UPON HIS ENTIRE REMEMBRANCE OF HIS CONVERTS. "Upon my whole remembrance of you." Gratitude is usually fed by memory. They had been often in his remembrance for ten years back. Every fresh token of their affection received in his trials and imprisonments would revive the thought of them.
III. THE OCCASIONS OF HIS THANKSGIVING. "Always in every prayer of mire for you all, making request with joy." There is something significant in "the studied cumulation" of the "alls" in the passage. It marks the overflowing heart.
1. The apostle was much in prayer for his converts. He had a large heart, for he prayed for them all, Ministers should bear their people much upon their hearts in prayer to God. They should pray always for their people. The apostle prayed for his converts as often as he remembered them
(1) because "the anxiety of all the Churches" was upon him;
(2) because he had a deep affection for them;
(3) because they were exposed to great dangers at once from errorists and from persecutors.
2. His prayers for the Philippians were always with joy. "Making request with joy." Though he was a prisoner exposed to all the morbid depression caused by isolation, joy mingled with all his prayers. The sum of this Epistle is, Gaudeo; gaudete. Eighteen times does the word occur in its verbal or substantive forms. Joy is a true fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). The apostle mingled joy with his requests,
(1) because the converts at Philippi were very dear to him;
(2) because they were so mindful of his necessities;
(3) because they abounded in many spiritual graces.
IV. THE CAUSE FOR WHICH HE RETURNED THANKS TO GOD. "For your fellowship in aid of the gospel from the first day until now." It was a fellowship of faith and love and service with a view to the furtherance of the gospel. It implied:
1. A cordial and united action.
2. A thoughtful consideration for the apostle's wants.
3. A continuance in well-doing,
which was at once a proof of the gospel's power in their hearts, a demonstration of Christian consistency, and a means for sustained success in gospel work. - T.C.
Parallel VersesKJV: I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,