Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. Philippians 2:1-4
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
We are in the third week of a series designed to help us tackle those areas of life that are ongoing, constant, and could stand some improvement in the new year that lies before us. There is a kind of tension we experience from these ongoing, constant areas of life that nag at us. This is particularly true of this week’s area of consideration: relationships.
Pastor Ben said in his message this week that the primary source of tension in relationships comes from the fact that people at their core are selfish. We want what we want and we want others to do what we want. Each day this week we will look at one of the many settings in which relationships take place. The problem of tensions in relationships because of selfishness, runs through all the settings we will be looking at this week. The setting for relationships we are looking at today is the church.
We would like to think that tension in relationships would be minimal for churches, but unfortunately more often than not selfishness in our churches runs rampant. You would think that churches would be uniquely suited to having healthy relationships filled with love and selflessness. While our church is low on tension filled relationship due to selfishness, most of us have experienced other churches where this is not the case. Today’s Scripture gives us insight into why this is and the transformation that is needed.
When tensions run high in relationships within the setting of the church, it is more than likely that God’s people are not experiencing “encouragement from belonging to Christ, “comfort from his love,” fellowship together in the Spirit,” and “hearts (that are) tender and compassionate. Vibrant connections with Christ produce vibrant connections between God’s people. In turn vibrant connections between God’s people foster vibrant connections with Christ.
When this spiritual cycle is alive and well, then God’s people will readily find themselves “agreeing wholeheartedly with each other,” “loving one another,” “working together with one mind and purpose,” “not being selfish and trying to impress others,” “being humble and thinking of others as better than themselves,” and “not looking out only for their own interests, but taking an interest in others.”
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, may I always be one who contributes to the health and welfare of the church by promoting peace and unity in all my relationships with other believers in Christ. Continue to produce in me a vibrant connection with you and grant me vibrant connections with a circle of other believers that supports and fosters in me an ongoing vibrant connection with you, Lord. Amen!
Posted on Mon, January 18, 2016
by Alan Porter