Monday, August 28, 2006
Philippians 1 - It's all about LOVE!
Remember the silly game with a daisy - he loves me, he loves me not? Our study this past few weeks of the book of John told us unequivocally that HE LOVES ME!
In the book of Philippians, Paul and Timothy begin their letter to the church in verses 9-11 So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately. You need to use your head and test your feelings so that your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush. Live a lover's life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of: bountiful in fruits from the soul, making Jesus Christ attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God.
In verses 27-30 Paul exhorts the church "Meanwhile, live in such a way that you are a credit to the Message of Christ. Let nothing in your conduct hang on whether I come or not. Your conduct must be the same whether I show up to see things for myself or hear of it from a distance. Stand united, singular in vision, contending for people's trust in the Message, the good news, not flinching or dodging in the slightest before the opposition. Your courage and unity will show them what they're up against: defeat for them, victory for you—and both because of God. There's far more to this life than trusting in Christ. There's also suffering for him. And the suffering is as much a gift as the trusting. You're involved in the same kind of struggle you saw me go through, on which you are now getting an updated report in this letter."
As Paul writes, he is actually in prison and he speaks of the power that he has been given to witness about the love of Jesus. He isn't speaking theoretically about suffering. He is suffering daily, but still using that to give glory to God and to speak of the power of Jesus in his life.
Today, may I share the good news in all that I say and do. Not flinching or dodging in the slightest if I am up against opposition. The good news is love and acceptance and as we learned about in John 21 yesterday - abundance. Bring it on!