"... if you have any encouragement in Christ, if any comfort from His love…then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind."
It is the heart of Jesus that we give away to others what we have freely received from him...the same encouragement, 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.
"Therefore if you have any encouragement in Christ...if any affection and compassion..."
Paul describes the love of Jesus as a love of affection and compassion.
The affectionate love of Jesus is a tender love, filled with emotion from deep within his heart.
It is the love of a parent to a child.
It is the of love a parent that desires to hold a child close in the parent’s arms because the parent holds the child close in his/her heart.
It is the affection of a Father eager to love a son who is lost, who excitedly runs to his son when he returns and then embraces his son with a compassionate hug.
"Therefore, if you have any encouragement in Christ, if any COMFORT FROM HIS LOVE..."
Christ's love comforts us.
His love relaxes us, puts us at peace.
His comforting love sets us free.
It sets us free from fearing judgment.
It sets us free from wondering if our sins are forgiven.
It sets us free from worrying if we can lose our salvation.
It is comforting to know that we are loved unconditionally by Jesus.
It is comforting to know that in his great love for us, he laid down his life to pay the death penalty for our sins.
We walk in many places…
...our places of employment,
and many other places.
Wherever walk, we are encouraged to walk in love.
Ephesians 5:1-2 says,
“Be imitators of God, therefore, as beloved children, and WALK IN LOVE, just as Christ loved us and gaveHimself up for us as a fragrant sacrificial offering to God.”
To walk in love means to relate to people, wherever they are and whoever they are, in patience, kindness, gentleness, peace, forgiveness, compassion, sacrifice, serving, etc.
"And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving[Greek word for forgiving, Charis, meaning to have grace upon each other]each other, just as in Christ God forgave[Greek word for forgave, Charis, meaning God has graced us with love, compassion, forgiveness, and kindness]you."
Don't grieve the Holy Spirit.
1 One of the most beloved set of verses in the Bible is 1 Corinthians 13:1-8.
It is known and quoted by many people.
It is widely read in wedding ceremonies.
It is used in many sermons.
Yet most people do not know the context of this set of verses.
Let’s take a look at the context.
In 1 Corinthians 12-14, Paul writes to the Corinthian church concerning spiritual gifts, especially tongues.
The Corinthian church became consumed with the gift of tongues, which was the ability to speak in the earthly languages of other people for the purpose of sharing the good news about Jesus with unbelievers.
The Old Testament (Covenant) is understood by most to be a collection of books (Genesis - Malachi), and the New Testament is understood to be a collection of books (Matthew - Revelation).
However, this is an incorrect understanding.
The Old and New Testaments (Covenant) are not a collection of books but each testament reveals how God relates to people at different times in history.
The OT communicates how God related to Israel under the Law of Moses (Book of the Law, Book of Moses, or Written Code - Exodus 19-Leviticus, Deuteronomy) and the New Covenant is how God relates to everyone who receives his grace through faith in Jesus.
There are three relationship roads we can take:
The Low Road:This is treating people WORSE than how they treat us.
"Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice." Ephesians 4:31...
The Law Road:This is treating people EQUAL to how they treat us.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ "
"In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
We will live controlled by the labels we wear. The labels we wear will control our thoughts, emotions, desires, attitudes, and decisions.
We label ourselves according to our problems, addictions, sickness, race, hurts, past, social status, gender, political party, denomination, and the list goes on and on and on. How we label ourselves completely controls our lives.
How did Jesus label himself?
Jesus labled himself as loved one of the Father. The Father's Beloved.
Therefore, he lived a life of love.