Philippians 1:1-11 New Living Translation (NLT) This letter is from Paul and Timothy, slaves of Christ Jesus. I am writing to all of God’s holy people in Philippi who belong to Christ Jesus, including the elders and deacons. 2 May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace. 3 Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. 4 Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, 5 for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now. 6 And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. 7 So it is right that I should feel as I do about all of you, for you have a special place in my heart. You share with me the special favor of God, both in my imprisonment and in defending and confirming the truth of the Good News. 8 God knows how much I love you and long for you with the tender compassion of Christ Jesus. 9 I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. 10 For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. 11 May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God.
Today is September 17th and my heart is full with God’s love! I am full to overflowing and I must share the about the love missive that I received yesterday after a day of work in the corporate world and the regular schedule of life. This week my beloved is on a unit lockdown while I, his Warrior Bride, am on the home front fighting this spiritual battle for the souls of men and women. However, God sent a missive of His love toward us. Let me attempt to share…
Last evening was a typical one – no fireworks, no rainbows in the sky, just hot Houston traffic. My schedule seemed normal; I drove home from work, checked the All For HIM Ministries mailbox, read the mail, got settled in comfy clothes and then went over to a friend’s home for dinner. Upon entering I was told about a teaching that was watched earlier in the day on TV about the Apostle Paul and how it reminded our friends of Donnie and I and the call of God on our lives.
Of course I was like – well let’s watch the teaching/preaching! I do so love to be encouraged by my brothers and sisters in Christ, especially when it involves this wonderful ministry that we have been called to. Now mind you I am no Kenneth Copeland, I don’t have even ½ of his years of experience – but what I do have is the same love of God poured out over me!
What touched my heart was not the message as much as the scriptures that he (Kenneth Copeland) was preaching from. When He began to read from Philippians 1:5-7 my ears perked up! You see while my beloved and I were still dating the Lord gave us a few specific scriptures on March 19, 2012 – a day that I will not soon forget. This was the scripture:
Philippians 1:6 (AMP) And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.
Now at the time – this scripture spoke to both of our hearts, because we felt that God was letting us know that He had already begun to work in our lives and an assurance that He was not done with us yet. We rejoiced upon receiving this scripture and have held it close to our hearts from that day til now.
However yesterday evening as Kenneth Copeland reviewed the fact that Paul was writing to his brothers at Philippi, he reminded us that these are the same men that were imprisoned with him, back in Acts when Paul and Silas travelled to Philippi!
Acts 16:12 New Living Translation (NLT) From there we reached Philippi, a major city of that district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. And we stayed there several days.
Acts 16:22-40 New Living Translation (NLT) 22 A mob quickly formed against Paul and Silas, and the city officials ordered them stripped and beaten with wooden rods. 23 They were severely beaten, and then they were thrown into prison. The jailer was ordered to make sure they didn’t escape. 24 So the jailer put them into the inner dungeon and clamped their feet in the stocks.
25 Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. 26 Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off!
27 The jailer woke up to see the prison doors wide open. He assumed the prisoners had escaped, so he drew his sword to kill himself. 28 But Paul shouted to him, “Stop! Don’t kill yourself! We are all here!” 29 The jailer called for lights and ran to the dungeon and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 Then he brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.” 32 And they shared the word of the Lord with him and with all who lived in his household. 33 Even at that hour of the night, the jailer cared for them and washed their wounds. Then he and everyone in his household were immediately baptized. 34 He brought them into his house and set a meal before them, and he and his entire household rejoiced because they all believed in God.
35 The next morning the city officials sent the police to tell the jailer, “Let those men go!” 36 So the jailer told Paul, “The city officials have said you and Silas are free to leave. Go in peace.” 37 But Paul replied, “They have publicly beaten us without a trial and put us in prison—and we are Roman citizens. So now they want us to leave secretly? Certainly not! Let them come themselves to release us!” 38 When the police reported this, the city officials were alarmed to learn that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens. 39 So they came to the jail and apologized to them. Then they brought them out and begged them to leave the city.
40 When Paul and Silas left the prison, they returned to the home of Lydia. There they met with the believers and encouraged them once more. Then they left town.
Now in the Book of Philippians, the Apostle Paul is writing back to encourage his brothers in Christ that he was once in prison with. God had allowed him to become imprisoned, not because He was angry at Paul or disappointed in him. But so that many could come to know the Good News of Jesus Christ! Not just the fellow prisoners but also the very man who was ordered to keep them locked up – the jailer!
He experienced the Power, Love and Mercy of God first hand! When the power of the Lord caused the earthquake that opened the prison doors upon Paul & Silas worshipping with abandon – not one prisoner escaped! They (Paul & Silas) kept the jailer from killing himself from the fear of failing the government authorities. Not only did he have his life saved – but he and his whole family were made new as they learned about the Good News of Jesus Christ and turned their lives over to our Father God.
Many lives were impacted that night – not from sit ins, not from petitions being made for wrongful imprisonment – but by the power of worship and praise to our Father God in the most horrific of circumstances. Paul and Silas’ hope was in Jesus Christ and His Abundant Life! Though stripped, beaten, put into the dungeon and their feet clamped in chains – they prayed and sang praises to God! Their bodies were in prison yet their souls were free!
Their sacrifice, their pain, their suffering did not detour them from worshipping God who created the universe. Their lives were a witness to prisoner and jailer alike about the love of Christ and His Good News of Salvation for all! Those in chains and those free!
As the Word of God flowed over me like a waterfall of love, the tears flowed out of me. That our God loves us enough to finish the work He has started within us. That the same God who gave His son to save us from our sins has gifted us to be His Ambassadors of Love– He gave us a glimpse back in March of 2012 of His plan for our lives. But last night/today my eyes were opened to a bigger picture of what He already had planned for us. A life of ministry where we can share the love of Christ to those in prison and others who have been impacted by incarceration – it doesn’t matter if they work at the jails or prisons, are family members of those behind the walls, or are volunteers. God has given us a special mission of love to reach out and touch hurting people and share about His Abundant Life.
Not only are my husband and I Partners – but God has given us inmates, chaplains, men and women in the body of Christ, ministers, prayer warriors and those who worship Him in Spirit and Truth to be our Partners in His Grace! What a wonderful gift that God has given to us.
Oh how He loves us and each one of you that He has brought across our path! Our Lord and Savior wishes that none should perish; as long as there is breath in your body you are not out of our God’s reach! He is shaking the ground today as we lift up His name in prayer and praise – He is forming an earthquake in our lives so that you can have a personal intimate relationship with Him. Won’t you cross over His Bridge of Love? God loves you more than you can imagine. Won’t you join us and become a Partner in His Grace?
No sin is too great to be forgiven by our God. Nothing you have done shocks our God! Yes you may have to pay restitution for your sins here on earth – but God desires to forgive you and call you His child. He wants to adopt you – so that you will be part of His family.
He wants you to be Free in Him and enjoy His Abundant Life – yes even behind bars! The love of God transcends time and space – nothing can separate you from the love of God!
We learned in “All Things” written by our founder that God uses everything for His glory for those that He has called to Himself. God is calling you – won’t you answer Him today?
Nothing Can Separate Us from God’s Love
Romans 8:28-39 New Living Translation (NLT) 28 And we know that God causes everything to work togetherfor the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. 29 For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory. 31 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? 32 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? 33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. 34 Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us. 35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. 38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Today I speak to your heart – Take the Leap of Faith and Jump into God’s Arms of Love! He is waiting for you to join Him, to become His child today. He doesn’t want just part of you – He wants all of you! Say, “Here I am Lord, take me!”
Oh to be completely His – is the best! To have our Father God to take care of you, provide for you, love you and comfort you – nothing can compare!
Our hope and prayer is that you join God today and become Partners in His Grace, wrapped in His Love!
Sincerely Warrior Bride of Christ,
Mrs. Donnie W. Ojemann
All we are, All For HIM!