Yesterday passage (Philippians 1:9-11) was really convicting to me personally, more than usual. God’s Holy Spirit has shown me how many of my decisions are really not the best(excellent) because they are motivated by self-love rather than the agape love that Paul prayed would abound in their hearts.
I really want to be caught by my Lord on the day of His return, doing something that reflects the sacrificial love that He displays for His church. I desire that all my decisions will be filtered by my love for Him and His children. This does not have to be witnessing to 10,000. It could be something as small as choosing to kick the soccer ball with my son, rather than selfishly reading a blog by some well know Christian.
I not only desire this for myself and my family, but our church. I want the love of Christ to constrain us (2 Corinthians 5:13-15). The idea there is that Christ’s love so surrounds us from every side that it pressures us into living the only life that pleases Him. Think toothpaste. Everything about a toothpaste tube is structured to make the toothpaste come out at the end for its intended purpose.
And the purpose for which Christ has love us is not that we live for ourselves, but to propel us to live for Christ who for our sake died and was raised.
That was Paul’s prayer for the Philippian church -that they would know not only the source and nature of that love, but that the love of Christ would flow so freely among them that all their decisions would validate the superiority of that sacrificial love over a self-serving love.
The implications of this truth are staggering. In fact, in 2 Corinthians, it appears that some thought Paul’s commitment to living out this love was crazy. He was nuts.
No, he wasn’t nuts, just fully devoted to God and His purposes. It just looks nuts to a self-absorbed world.
It looks radical.
That was the nature of the early church. They sold everything, so that no one in that church would have a physical need. The Philippians gave to Paul out of their extreme poverty and sent one of their very own to assist him in prison.
Abounding love has astounding consequences.
To the glory and praise of God!