Phil 1-4 Paul, as a prisoner in Rome, received a visitor who had traveled from the city of Philippi to bring a gift to him. Imagine his joy to receive not just a physical gift but to receive words of encouragement from the Philippian believers. There is no greater gift than receiving one who comes bearing gifts of love from those we miss. Unfortunately, Paul’s visitor, Epaphroditus, took ill as he visited Paul. Yet, this dear fellow believer did recover, and Paul earnestly wrote a letter to let the Philippian believers know how he was faring. He was not only sending Epaphroditus back to them but also Timothy.
Paul’s letter to them must have encouraged them beyond belief! It had been some time since their beloved friend had left them, and they had heard not a word. Now they received not just their friend but also a dear letter to remind them to love one another deeply. In his letter, Paul reminded them to be gentle and be anxious for nothing. Even more, Paul wanted them to know that God is using this imprisonment here in Rome, and the message of His love was being poured out amongst the guards who serve Caesar. Many were hearing the good news of Christ.
When we are far away and hear that others are praying, it encourages our hearts. Who today needs that message of encouragement?