Today’s devotion is an excerpt from a Bible Study Series taught at Fellowship Baptist Church, titled “Biblical Building Blocks for Strengthening Relationships.”
Biblical Building Block #6 “Love One Another” (John 13:34-35) – PART 2
In Part 1 of this current Biblical Building Block, we saw the importance of listening to people and offering our assistance to them. Everyone needs practical help. Love is something you do, not just something you say.
John 13:34-35, A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
3. Value People
We show that we value people by expressing appreciation for them. Appreciation is shown in the form of praise, which is one of the most powerful forces in any relationship.
There are at least two things we should value in people:
1) Value their Dependency.
We see their steadfastness. Some people have stuck with you through thick and thin and you can always count on them.
Paul writes that he thanked God every time he thought of the Philippian believers Philippians 1:3. The book of Philippians begins on a note of praise. Paul, a prisoner, begins the letter with rejoicing in his soul. Paul had a common bond with these believers, just as all Christians do. The Bible calls that common bond a "fellowship." This word was used to describe the bond of marriage. Paul used it at least five times in Philippians. This word is one of the keys to a better understanding of the book of Philippians. In this section, Paul expressed a great love for these people. Paul thanked and praised God for the precious memories of his days at Philippi. What a heart for people! Even in prison Paul's heart was consumed with a passion and love for God's people. This world can rob you of your freedom, but no matter what the circumstances are, you still have your heart. No wonder the Bible commands us in Proverbs 4:23, Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
In Philippians 1:3-5, we see a continual praise for the Philippians.
The fellowship we have is "in the Gospel." It's a fellowship of the Holy Spirit. According to I Corinthians 12:13, the Bible says “by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body...” This body is one. When the Spirit of God is in control of the body, there is fellowship among the members of the body. It is a fellowship that is unequaled on earth for there is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. Because of the Holy Spirit's control of this fellowship, Paul could write I thank my God upon every remembrance of you. Paul thanked God for his remembrance of them. It was not because of their possessions, their position in this world, or their power, he was thankful just because of who they were. Paul had joy because of these believers. In fact, this whole book is about joy. Paul painted quite a picture of joy. Paul was very thankful for the believers at Philippi. Paul treasured their fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now (Philippians 1:5). What a picture of the family of God! Paul's partnership with the Philippians was not broken even though he was imprisoned and unable to be with them. They were still family. The word fellowship means to have in common. companionship, a relation in which parties hold something in common, familiar interaction.
In Philippians 1:4-5, we see a continual prayer for the Philippians.
What was the secret of consistent prayer and fellowship? The answers are here in thanksgiving (praise) and prayer. It is an indication of a Spirit-controlled heart when we praise and pray for the saints. The early church was consistent in prayer. Acts 2:42, And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. There was little or no conflict, no confusion, but continuance. A continuing fellowship is a prayer fellowship. Among Christians, there may be difficulties and disappointments along the way, but never a disruption where there is a prayer fellowship.
2) Value their Determination.
We see their strength. Don't take people's efforts for granted, regardless of the results. Don't forget to show appreciation for their efforts. Too often we think things must be perfect or successful to be appreciated. Loving one another also means that we practice Proverbs 25:11, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” The point of Proverbs 25:11 is to show the immense value of skillfully spoken words. We should be skilled at giving compliments for efforts made. This practice will pay valuable dividends in all our relationships.
We believers should respond in love to all with:
1) Peace (Romans 12:18; Hebrews 12:14).
2) Goodness (I Thessalonians 5:15; Galatians 6:10).
3) Patience (I Thessalonians 5:14; Philippians 4:5).
4) Prayer (I Timothy 2:1).
5) Consideration (Titus 3:2).
6) Honor (I Peter 2:17).
PRAYER: Lord, help me to grow in my love for You and for others You have given me. I know the power of Your love can impact someone today so, help me take the time to show it to someone today.
Thank you for reading PART 2 of Biblical Building Block #6 of this series. Please visit this website tomorrow for PART 3 of Biblical Building Block #6 of this series.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.