Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved. Philippians 4:1 NKJV
Can you imagine receiving a letter from someone who calls you “my beloved, longed-for brethren, my joy and crown”? I can’t. Well maybe my mother might think I am her joy when I’m being good as a little girl.
In opening this chapter with those words, Paul is pouring out his love for the Philippians. He tells them he loves and longs for them. Wow! It is a wonderful, beautiful, exciting thing to have someone love and long for you. After all the world, tries to make us feel like we are not worth loving, that no one will ever really love us, that no one cares for us. All lies, the world conveys.
But Jesus really does love us and long for us! Paul continues telling the Philippians they are his joy and his crown. Like when you work hard on a project and put much effort into bringing something forth, there is joy and admiration in the finished work. Perhaps that’s what Paul is saying here. Like John said in 3 John 1:4 “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” So Paul, builds them up and encourages them “stand fast in the Lord, beloved”.
Don’t we each need to be built up and encouraged? Stand fast, my fellow believer, you are loved, you are longed-for, you are my joy and my crown.
Lord, how pleasing your words are to my soul. Thank you for your encouragement. Lead us to share your sweetness with others. In Jesus’ name Amen.