In this morning’s sermon we uncovered the gem from Philippians 1:1-8 that if we are to experience joy in following Christ, we must live for the mission of gospel advancement. Yet, what should be our main action point?
The Great CommandmentIf we could choose only one action point from this morning, we could do no better than to say we must love others. After all, this is the first prayer request Paul offers up in behalf of the Philippians—that their love grow more and more (Phil. 1:9). Love also would be the one word description for how we are to relate to one another according to Paul’s teaching (Phil. 2:1-4) and Christ’s example (2:5-11).
And can we forget Jesus’ answer to the query, “What is the great commandment?” It is to love God with all we have and others as we love ourselves (Mt. 22:37-40). We do not have to search for Jesus’ view on what our greatest responsibility is to others. It is to love them. So, as we interact with our spouse, raise our children, go to work, attend the game, buy groceries in the store, visit with our neighbor, take a break with our co-worker, or enjoy our favorite restaurant, our first mission is to love. Our quest should be to learn what it means to love others and how to trust Christ to help us.
The Great PromiseWhat we should take with us every day as we seek to carry out the great commandment to others is a great promise by God to us. In a context in which Jesus calls us to love one another, he promises: “Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son…. I chose you and appointed that you should go and bear fruit…so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you…. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full” (John 14:13; 15:16; 16:24).
I take this to mean in part that every day we should:1. Ask God to help us love others.
2. That we should look and pray for ways we can love others.
3. As we engage with others, we should realize the power of praying for them (especially that God’s grace would come to them) and the power of praying with them—as God gives opportunity.
4. We should share with others how Jesus has changed us and can change them.
This is the simple action point we should take away from today’s sermon: We should be a praying, caring, sharing people!