In the Philippian church, the love of God was evident. Paul’s affirmation of this love must have been uplifting and encouraging for them. But Paul also challenged them to let this love grow so that it yeilds knowledge and insight. Like a good coach, Paul built them up with a positive and also gave them an area to work on.
Church is the place where we should find love. Jesus was all about loving all He met. As His hands and feet He calls us offer His love both to those within the church and to those outside our walls. His love calls us forth to alleviate suffering, to right injustices, and to share the good news of Jesus Christ. These efforts are the ‘fruits of righteousness’ that Paul writes of and they bring praise and glory to God.
This knowledge and insight gained through allowing our love to grow and abound also helps churches in their relationships within. As imperfect human beings there will be times when we are less than God intends us to be. This may cause hurt and even division within the body of Christ. Paul reminds the Philippians and us that the same guiding force must be used here as well: love. When we meet challenges with love, then the outcome and resolution will also bring glory and praise to God.
As we prepare ourselves to receive our King, may this love abound more and more within us. As we seek to love each other and our world in need, may His love within us be pure and blameless, seeking to bring praise and glory only to God and Jesus Christ.
Scripture reference: Philippians 1: 9-11