Read Philippians 1
After his magnum thesis, Paul continues the letter with an interesting defense of his affection for the church of Philippi: Read Philippians 1:7.
<> What are the two reasons Paul gives for why he feels the way he does about their church?
If you had to categorize the two reasons, “because I have you in my heart” ranks up their with some of the most emotional things my mom has ever said to me (We’ll talk about reason #2 in two days). It’s not exactly a logical statement. It sounds like a Hallmark greeting. It reminds me of trips to my mom’s house where she starts crying on day one because she’s going to miss me when I leave. I’m only teasing Paul because of my insecurity and jealousy of course. Check out Philippians 1:8 for his full explanation.
<> When’s the last time you told any of your friends that you “long for them”?
<> What amazingly powerful claim does Paul make in vs. 8 about his affection for the church at Philippi?
At the point when you claim God as your witness and then tell someone that you long for them with the affection of Jesus Christ, you’re ready to get married. That’s an INTENSE emotional affection Paul is referencing.
<> What is the affection of Jesus Christ?
<> How much does Jesus care about those He loves?
(Think about how He evidenced His love: Matthew 27:33-54, etc. Romans 5:8)
<> Have you cared about anyone in a way that rivals this kind of affection?
Choosing to Care:
Most of the time we think that we just “fall” for people. Our natural chemistry with certain personalities is the only thing that dictates who we will care about. This is an exceedingly shallow view of love.
Read Matthew 5:43-48.
> What does Jesus have to say about only loving people who are like us?
<> What is evidenced when you start to love people who aren’t like you?
I’m not talking about the pathetic, weak tolerance of humanism that says “EVERYBODY is awesome so you should like everybody and believe what they believe and fail them utterly at a soul level by refusing to speak the truth to them.” That’s not what I’m talking about. What I’m talking about is choosing to care about people because God chose to care about us: Despite our ridiculous failures. Despite the way we had cheated on Him. He loved us anyway.
<> When we consider the cross and the affection of Christ Jesus, what excuses do we have to withhold love from anyone?