Monday, April 20, 2009

More from Philippians

As I said in my previous post, I've been in the book of Philippians and there are a lot of nuggets...in fact, have you noticed the Scripture is packed with nuggets?  Not just nuggets, but life itself?  (yes, that is said with a bit of "no duh" in it).

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. (Philippians 1:9-11, Message)

Question - is there a difference between loving much and loving well?  We have to conclude, "yes."  Reading this passage Paul seems to be talking about the difference between an "emotional" type of love, "sentimental gush," and contrasting that with an "educated" type of love, something that requires knowledge and your brain.  Look at it this way; what means more to you...going on 1 date and having that person tell "I love you," or hearing that same thing from someone who knows you inside and out, who actually has knowledge of you?  The difference is the former would be uttered out of emotion and "sentimental gush" while the latter would be an educated proclomation.  Paul here is praying that the love the believer's show is the latter - a knowledgeable love of God and depth of insight into His ways.

So how does this apply to us?  The idea is quite simple, really...don't coast!  What I mean is this - it's easy to worship God, sing songs to Him, tell Him you love Him, but never really seek to KNOW Him.  It is much harder to invest in the relationship, to know God, to seek Him, to study Him and learn Him...but how much more powerful the love we show Him would be if it came from a depth of knowledge?  This is Pauls prayer for the Philippian believers, and I believe, his prayer for us as well.  That our love and worship of Christ would be one that comes from a deep relationship with Him; an understanding of who He is, His ways, His desires, His priorities.

So my encouragment for you, is "don't coast" - put in the time to learn God...to know Him.  If you don't know where to start, try studying the names of God (click here).  Go deep!  Run hard!  Run to win...

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