Philippians 1:8b

“How greatly I long after you all…”

I remember when I first met my wife and the months after that.  I had come to Iowa to visit a friend, and met her while I was out here.  When I left, I know that God wanted us together, and made plans to leave my job and move to Iowa in 2 months.  It was an exciting time.

We spoke on the phone often late at night, and wrote letters at least once a week, sometimes even more.  We longed for each other.  Thoughts of here dominated me daily.  Thoughts of being with her, of holding her close, of listening to her and sharing our lives.  It was a time of great expectation and hope.

I imaging that is how Paul felt about these people in Philippi.  He had come there to establish the church, and was there for a long time just getting the church established.  I imaging he got to know the people well, and wished he could be back with them, just like I wanted to be with my future wife.  It was a longing from deep within the heart.

How do I feel about those that are in my local church?  Granted, we are only apart for a week at a time, sometimes longer if a vacation comes up or something.  But does my heart reach out to them daily to pray for them, wish them well, and hope that all is going good for them?  Am I eagerly anticipating hearing their voices once again, getting together with them and sharing what God has done since we last spoke?  Do I long after them?

Our hearts should be full of those we are close to – at all times.  The challenge is to keep that heartfelt love burning in our souls for those who touch our hearts, whether we see them daily, weekly, monthly or only once a year.  It is that deep longing that will keep them in our prayers and thoughts, and will build the church.

Too often I just go through the day without giving thought to those that are close to me.  I don’t take the time to pray, or call, or text, or email.  I go about my day as if there is no one else.  Lord, help me to take the time to pray for those who are close to me, pray for those in my church, pray for those who are afar off and have touched my life.  Help me have a longing for them that transcends my thought life, and causes me to interceded on their b

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