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The Upper Room Devotion for Wednesday, May 31, 2023, was written by Awlwyn Balnave of British Columbia, Canada.



3 I thank my God every time I remember you, 4 constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, 5 because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. 6 I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.

Philippians 1:3-6 NIV



Reflecting on my spiritual journey, I realize certain people have helped to shape the direction of my life. I remember the pastor who shared the gospel with me when I was a young agnostic. I remember the young adult group at church who welcomed me, and I remember the vice principal of a seminary who stepped in to help a new student whose family was going through a time of fragile finances. Some of those memories go back fifty years! God brings people into our lives who encourage us and guide us in life-changing ways. When I remember these people and the blessing they have been, I feel gratitude for them and to God.

The apostle Paul felt this kind of gratitude. Today’s quoted scripture is the beginning of Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi. The church supported him in his ministry and sent one of their own with a gift for him when he was under house arrest in Rome. In the book of Philippians, Paul remembers the many blessings he received from the church. Even in prison, he thanks God in his prayers. Like Paul, may we remember how much God has blessed us through others, and may our prayers come from grateful hearts.




Who have been the people that have had the biggest impact on your life? Who are the people whose imprint appears on your heart and mind, shaping the way you view the world? For many of us, the names and faces of these influential people spring to mind instantly. We remember them with fondness, celebrating the time we spent with them and the lessons we’ve learned. May we all take time today to pour into the lives of others the gifts of hope and grace that were poured into us.

-Pastor Anthony



Dear God, thank you for the people you have brought into our lives at just the right time. Help us to remember them with a grateful heart. Amen.

- Awlwyn Balnave

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