And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ. - Philippians 1:9-10 (NIV)
Philippians is one of the four letters that the Apostle Paul wrote while he was in prison in Rome. In today’s verse, it is evident that this church is a church that Paul was thankful for and these words are apart of his prayer for them. He is praying that their love will grow in wisdom and insight so they will be able to know everything they need to know as they prepare to be pure and blameless upon Christ’s return. We see here that love isn’t stagnant, love has the ability to grow, and because of Jesus, love is alive and their is room to grow in love. Love is not limited to the days where we are in a good mood or the times where are heart doesn’t feel broken and we feel like we can love again. Love abounds. Love is all the time. Because of Jesus, it doesn’t matter how broken or how unready we feel to love, we must love one another as Christ loved us (1 John 4:19). Remember this in those moments where:
1. You’ve been burned by someone and you’re not sure how you could ever love again
2. You find yourself craving a romantic kind of love that just isn’t present in your life right now
3. You see your friends and peers finding romantic love and it seems like you’re the only one who doesn’t have anything like that
4. You’re not very outspoken or you don’t feel comfortable showing love to people you don’t know all that well
5. You don’t like opening up to people and it’s hard for you to let others love you, even when it’s brotherly or sisterly love
If you’ve ever dealt with this, remember that in Christ there is room to grow! There is room for the plot to thicken. There is room at the cross for every reservation you have ever had about love and there is room for Him to restore you. Don’t let your love story be marked with holding back because you’re uncertain. Let Jesus guide your love story in the direction you need to be!
God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them…
We love because he first loved us. Those who say, ‘I love God’, and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.
1 John 4:16b, 19-21
I feel as though I’ve encountered far too many Christians who take this first sentence in isolation, and twist it in order to justify themselves. “I abide in God, therefore I abide in love” is the logic they use. To put it more in language that they actually use, “because I’m a Christian, my actions must be loving, because God is love and I believe in God.”
The second set of verses reveals the lie in this stance. Claiming to love God while behaving in hateful ways does not mean that your hate is now somehow love; it means that your claim of loving God has been revealed to be false.
Love is always a response to love. The Bible says, “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19 NIV). When you say, “I don’t love God,” it’s because you don’t understand just how much he really loves you.
How do I love Jesus more than anything else? How do I grow in love? I literally want my heart to burn for Jesus.
You can’t force love. God gave us free will. But if you spend time with Jesus, you’ll find yourself falling in love.
Spend time talking to Him. Spend time reading His Word. Spend time in worship.
Jesus, the greatest gift that we have is You. I pray that you would soften Your child’s heart. Remove their heart of stone and replace it with a heart of flesh. Jesus, would you allow anon to see you more clearly, that every waking moment would be saturated in awe of You. I ask that anon would see Your beauty everywhere. I ask that anon would learn to cling to You in all circumstances. I ask that anon would feel a pining for You in their soul. A pining so strong that they would desire nothing more than to spend time in Your presence. In the name of King Jesus, Amen.
I am sure that God wants to show you things and spend time with you. If you would be open and susceptible to Him, you’ll find you can’t help but feel in awe of Him. Let Him touch your heart, anon. Allow Him to love you. You’ll find a love so great, you’ll be amazed that you never let yourself sink so deep into it before.
this has probably been asked before, but how do you reconcile being gay and being Christian?
easy! by realizing that there’s nothing to reconcile.
look, as christians we can sit here all day debating the basic questions– do popular beliefs hold as much weight as the source text? does later translations’ use of the word homosexuality count for anything if the word wasn’t coined until 1800 years after the bible was beginning to be written down? is being gay still a sin if you believe in the lord and worship him every day to the best of your flawed human abilities? is being gay really a sin like all these spitting raging bigots say?
but i think that, at the end of the day, whether being gay is a sin or not (and i’m apt to believe it’s not, because who in their right mind could even think that this god who made gender dimorphic fish and planets where it rains glass would cast aside a believer for something as simple as craving a healthy, happy relationship with another person), what’s most important is the word of the lord. so let’s take a look at that, shall we?
1 john 4:19-21 – we love because he first loved us. if anyone says, “i love god,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love hod whom he has not seen. and this commandment we have from him: whoever loves god must also love his brother.
proverbs 10:12 – hatred stirs up strife, / but love covers all offenses.
romans 8:35,37 – who shall separate us from the love of christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?… no, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
what i want most for these passages to illustrate to you is that even though others will appropriate the bible for their own prejudiced rhetoric, being gay will never decrease your value in the eyes of our god. and you, with your kindness and strong heart and unending love for others, you are worth so much more more than any person who tries to make you feel less than for just being who you are. god loves you because you are gay and because, in spite of all the fears others may try to instill in you, you continue to follow him anyway. that is something of which you should be proud. xxx