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Someone has said that when old age causes our joints to fail, our skin to wrinkle, and our arteries to clog, what is left is what we were all along — our essence. One man spent his life getting rich. In old age, his essence was constantly drooling and babbling about the money he had made. But when relatives would ask an 84-year-old sainted woman to pray, her eyes would fill with tears as she looked up to heaven. She poured out her love for Jesus and her love for people. Her essence was her love of God and love for others. Paul’s essence comes through as he writes Philippians 1. He says, “God knows how much I love you and long for you with the tender compassion of Christ Jesus. I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. 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. 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.” Paul was not self-centered. He longed and prayed for others — to see them growing in their knowledge of God, glowing in their love for people, and productive in serving our Lord Jesus Christ.

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