Like Jesus: Relationship Fallout

“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, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.” (Philippians 2:1-2)

I’m told that in the original language, Paul’s sentence in these two verses assumes that the answer to all these “if” statements is a “yes.” He is saying, “Look at everything you have in Christ: encouragement from being ‘with’ Him; comfort from being loved by Him; a sense of togetherness with the Holy Spirit; and a new tenderness and compassion!”

steps_350Here’s my question: Would those things describe your life in Christ? Have you experienced that encouragement, comfort, fellowship, and compassion? If not, we should ask ourselves, “What’s the deal?” Are we really walking with Christ — or are we just satisfied with being in the Christian club without being radically engulfed in relationship with Him?

Paul’s friends were genuine Jesus-followers, and they experienced all of these things as a result. They still had sad times. They still had frustrating days. They still suffered. But being in Christ brought meaning in all of the ways Paul described.

Think: How has being in relationship with Jesus changed your life? Has it brought you comfort, compassion, encouragement, and fellowship with God?

Pray: Ask God to help you walk in close relationship with Him? Thank Him that He loves you and provides for you in every possible way.

Do: Read the rest of today’s passage to discover what Paul wanted his encouraged, comforted, compassionate friends to do to make him fully joyful.