Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Philippians 2:12-13 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
Is there anything more fulfilling in this life than to know that we are loved? When God created Adam He said, “It is not good for man to be alone,” so He created Eve, and they experienced love. Love has been the objective of human existence since the beginning. It has been the subject of countless books and countless more musical lyrics. “Love makes the world go ‘round” was the theme of the 60’s, from Motown records to the Bell Telephone Hour television specials. We’ve been told to not sit under the apple tree unless it’s with the one you love. Everyone is looking for love, and most are looking in all the wrong places.
Paul addresses the people in the church at Philippi as his dear friends. Paul said, “My beloved.” They were more than his friends – they were dearly loved. They had reached a point of intimacy that involved the sharing of their lives. Here’s how Paul described the relationship he had with the people in the church when he wrote a letter to his dearly loved friends in Thessalonica:
We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us. 1 Thessalonians 2:8
That’s the kind of love we are all looking for – someone who is delighted to share their life with us. We want to be pampered and romanced. We want to feel special and valued. We desire to be the delight of someone. But we must be careful not to let the pursuit of love become self-centered. Notice what Paul tells the people at Ephesus about how to experience true love:
1Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children 2and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:1-2
Paul makes it incredibly clear that true love can only be experienced in this sequence: first, God loves us by giving us Jesus. Second, we love God for giving us Jesus. Third, we love others as Jesus loved us. If we get any of that out of order, we will mess up the pursuit of love.
Are you looking for love? Become a person who loves. Not sure you can? Then let God love you. When you begin to experience the sacrificial love of Jesus for undeserving people, then you will be able to do the same.