22 February 2008

Motivation for Unity

Philippians 2:1-2 --

If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose
I spent my evening reading some commentary on Philippians. I just wanted to share some of what I found, particularly on verses 1 and 2 of the second chapter.

Background: Paul is writing a letter to the Philippians. He's under house arrest right now but hopes to visit them soon. In these verses, Paul is emphasizing fellowship and speaks about the motivation for unity. There are four motivations: consolation in Christ, comfort in love, fellowship in the Spirit, and tenderness and compassion (affection/mercy). Then, he gives a challenge for the harmony of believers. I'll try to put notes on that section (v. 2) tomorrow.

Consolation in Christ - unity is not the same as union. Marriage is a union. I think we know that unions don't always result in unity. Unity deals with healthy relationships. Union is a structure. We should have encouragement from our union with Christ because unity is a by-product of our oneness with Christ; when God looks at us, he sees Christ. There is comfort and motivation in this truth.

Comfort in Love - there is comfort in love. It is a great comfort in knowing you are wanted (loved) by God. God's love is stable. When we know we are loved, we are not constantly trying to prove ourselves. We are relaxed. We have confidence and trust in his infinite, unchanging, and undying love. Human love is finite and changing. There is great comfort and security in knowing we are loved by someone who will not be daunted by anything in us. God loves us with an unconditional love; therefore, we can count on his commitment to us. We shoudl employ God's unconditional love as a motivation for our fellowship with fellow believers.

Fellowship in the Spirit - "fellowship" means a common participation in the same things. The Holy Spirit is to us what Jesus on earth was to the twelve disciples. He had great fellowship with them. The Holy Spirit is actually even closer to us than Jesus was with the twelve because the Holy Spirit indwells in each believer.

Affection and Mercy (Tenderness and Compassion) - affection is to express love, mercy, or compassion. "Mercy" is subjective compassion. A person who has come to know Christ has a capacity to extend affection and mercy and, in fact, extends mercy.
I spent my evening in the Word, so it was good. I have a ton of homework tomorrow. I had my Geography 500 test today. I thought I did well, but apparently your grade is directly correlated with the amount of time spent studying. I got a 70%. Ick. That means I missed 15 of the 50 questions. That's crazy. I think I'm grounding myself until I can get things together a bit better than 70%.

I was a kitchen runner at work tonight. It was surprisingly fun. I really enjoyed it.

Time for bed. Jess is having a sleepover with her Bible study tonight, so no Secret Garden. We're at least two days behind now. That's okay; we have two and a half months left of school. It'll go too fast, though. I'm kind of lonely but I don't really want to hang out with anyone right now. I'll just go to bed. Sleep is wonderful. I told my parents I'd be home next weekend, but I'm not really sure about that now. I don't really feel like driving two hours each way. I miss Lu. It'd be great to just jump in my car and spend a couple days in KC again. Soon again, I hope.


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