September 19, 2022
I LOVE YOU
So, it is right that I should feel as I do about all of you, for you have a special place in my heart. You share with me the special favor of God, both in my imprisonment and in defending and confirming the truth of the Good News. God knows how much I love you and long for you with the tender compassion of Christ Jesus.
Philippians 1:7-8 NLT
I grew up in a home where we learned very early in life not to use profanity or use the Lord’s name in vain. I have a vivid memory of getting upset at my brother one day and I said to him, “I swear to God” because that was what I had heard other kids use at school. The moment mom heard that come out of my mouth she took me straight to the bathroom where she took my toothbrush, put soap on the brush, and proceeded to brush my mouth out with soap. It was an illustrated message that we didn’t use those kinds of words.
In Paul’s remarks to the believers in Philippi he uses a similar statement that is translated in the New Living Translation as “God knows.” Paul is saying, “I swear to God that I love you and long for you.”
Paul was using the phrase for impact and not without thought. He was wanting to drive home to his readers how much he cared for them. I believe he was also making a statement that this is how much we should care for believers in our lives.
I remember the adage that I believe is attributed to the great philosopher Charlie Brown, “To live above with saints of old, oh that will be glory. To live below with saints I know, now that’s a different story.”
It is unfortunate that many believers find it difficult to get along with other believers. They can love God but struggle to love one other.
I suggest that our ability to love one another comes from two things. First, we need to remember how much God has loved us in our imperfection and weaknesses. Second, we need to invite the Holy Spirit to transform our hearts and minds so we can love others the way God loves them.
Following Christ is not a solo act. We are called to follow by being part of the family of God. In a family we learn how to get along with each other. We learn how to love and care for each other. We learn how to forgive, to help, and to serve each other.
We need the family of God. The family of God needs us. Let’s learn to love one other.
Holy Spirit help me today to see people the way You see them. Help me to love the way You love.
“Scroll down to share what you feel God is saying based on today’s reading.”