Scripture For Today: Philippians 1:3-8

“For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.”
Philippians 1:8

n 1765 John Fawcett was called to pastor a very small congregation at Wainsgate, England. He labored there diligently for 7 years, but his salary was so meager that he and his wife could scarcely obtain the necessities of life. Though the people were poor, they compensated for this lack by their faithfulness and warm fellowship.
Then Dr. Fawcett received a call from a much larger church in London, and after lengthy consideration decided to accept the invitation. As his few possessions were being placed in a wagon for moving, many of his parishioners came to say good-bye. Once again they pleaded with him to reconsider.
Touched by this great outpouring of love, he and his wife began to weep. Finally Mrs. Fawcett exclaimed, “O John, I just can’t bear this. They need us so badly here.” “God has spoken to my heart, too!” he said. “Tell them to unload the wagon! We cannot break these wonderful ties of fellowship.”
This experience inspired Fawcett to write a hymn. “Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love! The fellowship of kindred mind is like to that above.”

“Christian Love Is Constantly On Display”

Paul tells us of the deep love that is shared between himself and the believers at Philippi. As he sat in a Roman prison facing a possible death sentence he displayed his love for them in joyful thanksgiving (verse 3), consistent prayers on their behalf (verse 4), and glorifying Jesus Christ because of His ongoing work in their lives, (verse 6). Paul while in bonds was still displaying his love for these believers at every opportunity in every way available to him. Christian love does not cease to be displayed because of hardship or inconvenience. This love was forged in their lives as they labored together for the sake of the gospel from the very beginning of their relationship. When he was in bonds they continued to meet his needs and strive along side of him in their common desire to see the gospel preached to all. As the labored and suffered together they partook of the same grace from God that was sufficient for them all. In this labor and battle a love was forged that is on display in both of their lives. A love that caused longing for one another, and passion for one another in Jesus Christ. Christian love is constantly on display.

Jesus Christ displayed this love while on the cross. The Bible says that Jesus on the cross endured as He looked forward to the joy of being with us in heaven one day – He longed for us in love. “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2. Just before He went to the cross He commanded His disciples that they were to love one another as He had loved them. “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” John 13:34. And that it was the display of this love that would make them stand out as Christians. “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” John 13:35. Love that is not displayed is not love, Christian love is constantly on display. brethren, love one another and do it for all to see and notice.