Posts Tagged ‘Love

16
Aug
18

Are We Gentle?

Christians in America don’t have the best reputation. We’re known as many different things. We’re accused of being closed-minded, bigoted, homophobic, angry, judgmental and racist. We’re not known for the things for which we should be known. We’re not known as loving, kind, peaceful and gentle. The apostle Paul talked about that last one to the Philippians. He wrote:

Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. – Philippians 4:5 (NIV)

What if we could be known as gentle? What if we dealt gently with people who don’t know the Lord yet? Instead of being defensive, judgmental and angry, we need to be gentle and humble. Why? Paul said that the Lord is near. As time is winding down, we should be gently urging people to turn to Jesus for forgiveness and salvation. The more we yell, get defensive or judge, the less success we’ll have in convincing people that our gentle Savior is the Way, the Truth and the Life. So be gentle in your dealings with people today and may the Lord use our gentleness to open doors of opportunity to tell people about Jesus.
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23
Jul
18

Showing Our Concern

The apostle Paul was sending one of the Philippians’ own back to them. His name was Epaphroditus. Apparently, this man became sick and nearly died while he was visiting Paul. Paul wrote:

For he longs for all of you and is distressed because you heard he was ill. 27 Indeed he was ill, and almost died. But God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, to spare me sorrow upon sorrow. 28 Therefore I am all the more eager to send him, so that when you see him again you may be glad and I may have less anxiety. – Philippians 2:26-28 (NIV)

Epaphroditus was a beloved member of the Philippian church. His illness was a great concern to his church family. We need to be concerned about one another in the church. When people are sick or hurting, we need to pray for them and tend to their needs. Pick out someone in your church who is hurting and sick and find out how you can ease their burden or lighten their load. It’s one thing to say you’re concerned and another thing to show the love of Jesus to our brothers and sisters.
16
Jul
18

Shining Like Stars

In Philippians 2, Paul told the church to be like Jesus in humility and selflessness. He then said:

Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. – Philippians 2:14-16 (NIV)

When we humbly serve one another without grumbling against one another or complaining about one another, we stand out. The world around us is a dark place. There is very little humility, service or love. There is much division and discord, arguing and complaining. If we, as Christ’s church, can learn to love one another and get along despite our differences, the world will take notice of Jesus. It is only by His power and grace that we can truly be united in service and love. So let us shine like stars so that others will see the light of Jesus.
10
Jul
18

Loving Like Jesus

Jesus humbled Himself and left Heaven’s throne for a lowly manger in Bethlehem. He went from being adored by angels to serenaded by goats and sheep. Jesus humbled Himself to the point of being crucified. Paul described Jesus to the Philippians in this way:

And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross! – Philippians 2:8 (NIV)

Jesus died on a Roman cross for your sins and my sins. Crucifixion was a horrible and humiliating way to die. Why would Jesus allow this to happen to Himself? It was because of God’s unconditional, unlimited and unselfish love for the world. God loves us all so much that He would rather suffer and die than live without us for eternity. If Jesus loves us like this, then we should love each other like this. We need to learn to humble ourselves and put Jesus first and others second. Then, we will truly be the church that reflects the love of our Savior.
06
Jul
18

The Mind Of Christ

Paul told the Philippians that they should not look to their own interests, but to the interests of others. They needed to be humble in their dealings with one another. He then holds up Jesus as the model for how to have a relationship with someone. He wrote:

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus… – Philippians 2:5 (NIV)

In the next several verses after this, Paul elaborates on what he means by having the mind of Christ. We need to be more like Jesus in our relationships inside and outside of the church. In our homes, we need to have the mind of Christ as we deal with our spouses, our children and our parents. In our workplaces, we need to have the mind of Christ as we deal with our bosses, employees and co-workers. In our churches, we need to have the mind of Christ as we deal with people who may be much different than us. In every relationship we have, we need to consider how Jesus would love, serve and forgive the other person.
03
Jul
18

Like-Minded

The apostle Paul’s greatest desire for the Philippians was that they would be one in heart, spirit and mind. It would bring great joy to him. He wrote:

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. – Philippians 2:1-2 (NIV)

Imagine what would be possible if a church family could come together as one to work together in unity. What would happen if a group of God’s people could be one in love and purpose? What would happen if your church was one in spirit and mind? Instead of fighting with one another, they would be contending for the souls of people. Instead of complaining about not getting their way, they would be focused on more important things. The apostles of the book of Acts were united and God used them to change the world. Imagine what would happen if your church was united behind loving God, loving people and sharing the good news about Jesus and His love. Just imagine that…
21
Jun
18

A Prayer For Love

Paul told the Philippians that he was thankful to God for them and their generosity toward his ministry. Then, he told them about a specific prayer he was praying for them. He wrote:

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God. – Philippians 1:9-11 (NIV)

This is the kind of prayer we should be praying in the church today. Jesus said that the world would know that we belong to Him by the love we have for one another. We need an abundance of love for each other. We need our love to grow because love changes lives. Jesus works through the love of His people for one another to change the world. Pray today for your church that God would increase the love so that people will know that Jesus is real and we belong to Him.



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