So we were reading about Paul's gratitude and thanks for the help we give and how we serve the Lord. And in verse 7 he says, It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God's grace for me. So he's basically confirming how much I appreciates, and I don't know about you guys but when somebody compliments me, it makes me feel like, "woah...they think that of me? boy i wanna keep doing that!" and i will purposely keep doing it. i mean, if someone tells you that whatever-brand-of-mascara-you're-wearing makes your eyelashes look amazing, you're not gonna just forget about it and "woopsies" and accidently throw that tube out! NO! you'll probably wear it every day and buy an extra pack. well serving the Lord and having faithful hearts means alot more then the tube of mascara, and it might be a dumb example but it's one i know we can all relate to.
Another point to grab in this verse is how he says, "whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God's grace for me." and whether he's in chains or out free, he's still thanking the Lord and others. Now when I don't feel good or am grounded at home, I am not a pleasant person to be around! But Paul is an example of how we need to thank God in pain, and thank God in good times. Whether you have cancer or you're a cheerleader or you're the school president or have a hard time with grades, THANK HIM! God gave you YOUR life because you are the best person in the WHOLE world to deal with it!!! And you can learn so much, and you can use your lessons to help other people! And when you feel like you're in a tough situation, please go read the book of Job. It's a long book. A really long book, actually. And one of the best. Actually, just read a chapter. Yeah, any chapter. The first. The last. I don't care... :) did i mention it's a great book? haha. at my church we sing a song called Blessed Be Your Name and some lyrics from it are "Blessed be your name in the land that is plentiful where your streams of plentiful. blessed be your name. blessed be your name when im found in the desert land." you can probably look up all the lyrics online if you don't sing it in worship, because it's truly an amazing song that can make me cry... Well in verse 8 he continues, saying God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus. Yes, God CAN testify how much He loves us, how Jesus has affection for us. Really, until today, I never thought about it that way. I looked up the defition of affection and this is what I got.
(1) A tender feeling/fondness for one another.
(2) Feeling or emotion for somebody.
See: Love, Friendship, Relationship.
JESUS has feeling for you, and look up His love, okay? And continue in your friendship with him, and grow strong in your relationship. Because I promise you, this is the key to Christianity. :)