Thanks and Remembrance – 1:15-16
When Paul writes, ‘I do not cease to give thanks’ he reveals his personal devotional life. Paul was the founding apostle of the Ephesian Church (Acts 18), now separated by time and distance, imprisoned in Rome, he still prays daily for their growth in Christ. By now the church membership will have changed, some will have died, others moved on and new people would have come to faith but Paul still holds them dearly in his heart. Paul had many personal worries with his case coming before Cesar, his life in the balance and so many churches in need of his counsel. He had arrived in Rome under guard and now he was daily concerned with revealing Christ to his jailors and all who came to visit him. There were many pressures and reasons for Paul to have moved on in his prayer life and not have time to constantly fit in the Ephesian church. So much of his ministry to the wider church was to correct errors in faith and practice that had crept in through sin and the evil one and yet his prayer was not dominated by requests and personal need. He had time to regularly remember the saints with a thankful heart. The Ephesians’ faith in the Lord Jesus and their love for each other caused him to praise God. Do we allow sufficient time before the Lord to give thanks for those Christians we have known? Are we so consumed with need that we forget to rejoice in the Lord? Are we openly, genuinely, glad for others even when our own circumstances are highly challenging? The Lord’s love is faithful and generous.