"...then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love,
being one in spirit and of one mind."
Paul, The Apostle of Grace
The Philippian church was established during Paul's second missionary journey (AD 51) when he shared the good news of God's grace with Lydia and her household by the riverside (Acts 16:13-15).
Now, about 10 years later, Paul writes to the church to encourage them to be united as one family as they shine the good news of God's grace into the darkness of Philippi.
It would bring Paul great joy to know they were united in heart and mind, having the same love of Jesus and sharing the good news of God's grace throughout the city of Philippi.
To inspire this unity among them, Paul reminded them of the encouragement they received from being in Christ, along with the love, tenderness, and compassion of Christ toward them.
He also reminded them of the love-relationship they enjoyed with the Spirit of Jesus in them as people under grace, rather than being under the list of rules, rituals, and requirements of the Mosaic Law.
It was Paul's heart that they would extend to one another the same encouragement, love, tenderness, and compassion which they had received from Christ.
Paul knew by giving to one another what they had freely received from Jesus that unity would come and they would be more effective in reaching those in the city of Philippi with the good news of God's grace.
It is the same for us today.
It is the heart of Jesus that we give away to others what we have freely received from him...the same love, the same tenderness, the same compassion.
Today, receive the encouragement that comes from knowing who you are in Christ.
Be encouraged by knowing you are not under law, but under grace.
Be encouraged by knowing you are forgiven, righteous and innocent before God, at peace with God, under no condemnation from God, and you are God's dearly loved child and he is your loving Father whom you relate to without any fear because it has been cast out by his perfect love for you.
Today, receive the love, tenderness, and compassion of Jesus.
Be encouraged by knowing he loves you unconditionally, tenderly, and compassionately.
He loves you in your struggles, failures, and flaws,
He is patient with you.
He is kind to you.
He is good to you
He has forgiven you.
He is gentle with you, doing nothing to harm you in any way.
He is compassionate with you, feeling your hurt and pain.
Experience his grace, then express it to others.
Receive his love, tenderness, and compassion, then give it away to others.
Give away his grace to those who have sinned.
Give away his love to those struggling, failing, and filled with flaws.
Share his patience with people in their imperfections.
Share his kindness, goodness, and forgiveness with others even when they don't deserve it, because that is the very grace he has shared with us.
Share his gentleness with people, doing nothing to harm them in any way.
Give away his compassion to those who are hurting and filled with pain.
As we do this, we will be a united grace-based family of God, having the love, heart, and mind of Jesus, experiencing his love and grace together, then, starting with the people closest to us, sharing his love and grace with people all over the world.
To read more of Brad's teachings on Philippians, click below.