We all need to start our days by asking God to help us love others, especially within the family of faith, in such a way as to bring Him great glory.
So it is right that I should feel as I do about all of you, for you have a special place in my heart. You share with me the special favor of God, both in my imprisonment and in defending and confirming the truth of the Good News. God knows how much I love you and long for you with the tender compassion of Christ Jesus.
The Apostle Paul had been totally transformed by Christ. Prior to his conversion he was an arrogant, hate-filled persecutor of the church and enemy of the God he thought he was serving. After Christ…well, just look at these beautiful words of deep love and devotion from today’s text!
Sometimes I really struggle with being loving towards other people…even people in the Body of Christ. I tend to be very critical and quick to point out the speck of dust in everyone else’s eye. I’m quick witted, but sometimes my humor is a mask for the darkness that hides in my heart. We read in Matthew 12 that out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks. Today I am looking at what came out of Paul’s mouth in this passage vs. what has come out on mine in the past 24 hours…and I don’t like what I see.
Each of us has plenty of room for improvement when it comes to how we love others, especially when compared to the love that we have received from the Father. We all need to start our days by asking God to help us love others, especially within the family of faith, in such a way as to bring Him great glory while providing a magnificent example for the world of what God can do with wretches like us.
Paul was a cruel, unloving, prideful, murdering scumbag before his encounter with the living Christ. Truth be told, none of us were much better. If God can take a guy like that and transform him into the author of today’s beautiful passage, don’t you think He can do the same with us? Of course He can…if we are willing to go along with it.