From: Rich Carlson
Date: February 25, 2020
Subject: It's February 25; Good Morning Union

“Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles.”      Philippians 414

I’m sitting in my hotel in Atlanta getting ready to head for home this morning. It was a great Campus Ministries Convention and I am always blessed to fellowship with my fellow chaplains from around North America, but I’m also ready to come home and see all my school family again. I’ll be back on campus tomorrow morning!

Yesterday I received a response from GMU from one of my faithful readers and friend (and a professor at the seminary no less!) suggesting that it would be a good balance to yesterday’s GMU, to write on the next text. “I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me,” was yesterday’s text with the idea that it’s not a blank check to prosperity and fame, but a promise that as I remain faithful to God, I will be able to do everything He needs me to do for His kingdom.

The next text, my text for this morning, adds to what Christ will do for me, and suggests that friends and family can also play a huge part in supporting me as I serve and follow God. Paul says that the people at Philippi “shared in his troubles.” He says that “in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel… not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only.”

When Paul left Philippi, in what is in northern Greece today, and traveled south to the city of Thessalonica, on his way to Athens, he met “considerable opposition” from the people there. And repeatedly the believers in Philippi “came to his rescue.” What an amazing group of believers he must have left there in Philippi; believers who understood that one of the responses to the good news of the gospel is demonstrating its effect on me by how I care for, love and support/encourage the other believers in the gospel! The Philippian believers apparently got it!

God blesses me SO THAT I can bless others. The impact of the gospel changes my life and the most visible change might just be how I treat others. Philippians 4:13 is still correct. “I CAN do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” What if that “strength” sometimes comes from God, channeled through fellow journeyers on the way to the kingdom? What if I am the channel for helping and supporting a “Paul” of today do all that God is calling him or her to do by being their “strength” and support system? I wonder if I took care of the people in my life the way God has taken care of me, through the grace and goodness of the gospel, how that would change my life and the lives of those around me? I really don’t wonder; I think I know! Thanks Tom, for “strengthening“ me this morning by challenging me to “read the next text!”

Have a great day demonstrating your care and support of God’s ‘Pauls” and “Paulettes” in your life today,

Pastor Rich


Quote for the day:      “The law of self-serving is the law of self-destruction.”   DA624


PS        Special Assembly, CVC, 10:30am. Kevin Hines is a unique authority on depression and suicide because he is one of very few people to survive a jump off the Golden Gate Bridge. If you’re struggling with depression or know someone who is, you will want to hear how Kevin went from the pain of mental illness to being glad he’s alive. #Be Here Tomorrow

PPS      Christ on Demand- 7:30pm in Rees Hall Chapel. Join Amber and friends for 30 minutes of praise and the Word.