Did you know that many of the books of the New Testament are actually letters? They're like long messages you might send to your friends. For example, the book of Philippians is actually a thank-you letter from the Apostle Paul to Christians in the city of Philippi. He was under house arrest and guarded by a Roman soldier, so he couldn't work, but he still needed to buy food to eat and pay for the house he lived in.
The Philippians (the people living in Philippi) heard how he didn’t have enough money, so they sent him a gift, and Paul was very grateful: "I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now." Phillippians 1:3-5.
The Apostle Paul also wrote to them about how glad he is to be a Christian, and how God has used his imprisonment to bring the Gospel to all of the guards and to encourage other Christians: "Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly." Philippians 1:12-14
Next time you read a book in the New Testament in Sunday school or with your family, ask if it's a letter to someone's friends. If it is, think about how the people receiving the letter were feeling and what they were thinking. It could help you understand the verses even better!
Photo credit: Pinterest.com, biblewalks.com
Sources: Water, Mark, "The Children's Bible Encyclopedia"; New International Version (NIV)
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