I thank my God on every remembrance of you,…
I. THE REMEMBRANCE. No one looked back with deeper solicitude on past labours than Paul. Memory plays an important part in secular, religious, and national life. It influences the present and casts its shadow on the future.
1. Look at the general religious aspect of the subject. The history of the Church is full of imperishable monuments of life and character. This history has created an enthusiasm which has resulted in acts of the highest importance and use. Same histories debase, this elevates; some depress, this strengthens.
2. Look at the particular religious history of this subject. The history of this Church was interwoven with the apostle's liveliest interest. He was the founder of it, and it developed virtues which excited his warmest admiration. So there are tender recollections of the work of grace clustering around every particular Church. If we, at any time, are cold or despondent, let us open the chronicles of the Churches of our early days, gather around us the warm hearts which cheered us then, and though dead they will speak to us words of life and encouragement.
II. THE PRAYERS. We call prayer "the burden of a sigh, the falling of a tear." There is that in our life which lends sorrow to prayer. Much of this, however, is wrong — lamentation over pardoned sins, etc. We are under an obligation to approach the throne of grace with joy.
1. We may look at this in its general aspect. It arose from an absence of selfish desires, and absorption in the condition and want of others. Paul's heart was bound up with the interests of the Church. At Philippi there was everything to evoke spiritual joy. Paul, therefore, joyfully prayed for a larger blessing. Let us approach God with praise for the prosperity of the Church, and with prayer for its increase.
2. If we narrow our field of observation every Christian must feel thankful for his new heart. If the glory of creation, the goodness of providence, excites gratitude, much more this the chiefest of God's works. Let us supplicate its further perfection.
Parallel VersesKJV: I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,