Heading Home: Walking with Jesus to the Cross — Day Thirty-Seven

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Philippians 1:1-11

Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,

To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to think this way about all of you, because you hold me in your heart, for all of you share in God’s grace with me, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the compassion of Christ Jesus. And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.

And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.”

Oh, to have such a prayer prayed over me every day of my life. And you know what? I think this is pretty much what Jesus says for each one of us, continually. That we would be full-up with LOVE. Love that is knowledgeable, filled with insight, love that helps us determine which way is right. Love that produces righteousness, NOT the other way around. Do you catch the big difference that makes?? We get so hung up on doing and being right, when we should put the horse before the cart and learn more and more about love. There is a reason that Jesus tells us the world will recognize us as true followers by how well we love one another.

And so often, we do such a rotten job of it. We are operating out of fear and feelings of inadequacy far too often, afraid someone else is going to be better liked than we are, that their voice will carry more weight with the larger body. We are quick to judge, to exclude, to label. What if we chose to love first, every time we were with one another?? Love.First.

Wow, I think the church might actually be the church if we could ask for the power and grace to do that!

Lord, teach us to love. To love honestly and well. To love first, last and always. Not that loving well doesn’t sometimes involve ‘speaking the truth in love,’ but that we would always, always, ALWAYS remember that there is no truth without love. It cannot be heard unless it is conveyed to us through the eyes, voice and words and of love. Help us to look to Jesus as our model, our example, our true-blue lover, par excellence. Thank you.

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Comments

  1. Margie Bicknell says:

    Beginning and ending with love is Jesus in the flesh and in heaven. If we do anything without it, we set ourselves up for all sorts of hurts, both incoming and outgoing. We have just finished Philippians in my bible study group, Women at the Well, and boy did Paul pack a lot of truth in 4 short chapter.
    Blessings and shalom as we head into Easter Week.

  2. Elaine Reed says:

    I’m reminded of a song from our youth–“The gospel in a word is Love”.

  3. May we all put the love of God first in our lives, and let it spill over, radiating His love to all we meet.
    Blessings, Diana!