Philippians 2:1-4, 14-18 - So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. ... Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the Word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.
My husband got a phone call last month from a man in another state. He said, "Do you remember many years ago when you were visiting the Vietnamese people in prison? I heard about Jesus from you. Now I am a pastor serving a church here."
My husband was walking on air for a week. Somewhere there is a church full of people we've never met who trace their spiritual ancestry through us. That's amazing and humbling all at once.
There is something wonderful in looking at other human beings—whether they are church members, students, or even your children and grandchildren—and knowing that God has used you in some way to bring them to faith in Jesus. Whoever they may be, they are dear to you—just as the Philippians were to Paul. And you wish with all your heart to see them growing strong in Jesus—living for Him, trusting Him through hard times, and passing on their faith to others. Like Paul, you will even lay down your life if necessary, to see them safely in Jesus' kingdom.
Where does this love come from? From Jesus, of course, the great Shepherd of the sheep, who lay down His life for us all. It is His love that binds us together as one flock, one people, learning to live in grace and forgiveness with each other. As we grow up into the fullness of maturity in Jesus, we will learn to love one another better—and to extend that love to others who don't know Jesus yet. All of this comes from the Holy Spirit, who brought us into the faith and who continues to work through each one of us, making us more and more like our Heavenly Father. Children of God, we begin to look more and more like the Son of God who died and rose for us all, because He loves us.
WE PRAY: Lord Holy Spirit, please help me to love the people of God You have placed around me, and to show it through my life. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
1. Who was instrumental in bringing you to Jesus? Tell the story, if you like.
2. Name a group of Christians you love and have close ties with.
3. When they annoy or hurt you, how does that relationship get healed?
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