How's Your Love Life?

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How's Your Love Life?
Text: Philippians 1:9-11
Occasion: General
Audience: Adults
Theological Tradition: Wesleyan
Topic: Worship
Author: George Lyons


True worship is offering our very existence to the God we love, growing in that love and having that love manifest itself in our daily lives.

How to Get There

  • Love is a lot more than just sex-appeal and romance. Perfect love is the supreme expression of holiness in action. Loving God with our everything, and loving out neighbor as ourselves casts out fear and leaves no room for sin in our lives.
  • Paul writes to a lot of churches about love and continuing to love, but Philippians is different. These people were not a problem to Paul, but were partners in ministry, mature believers who belonged to Christ.
  • If they had a fault, it would be that some of them thought that they had already arrived, or at least Paul makes a point of showing how he himself was still growing in chapter 3.
  • So this prayer is not for unbelievers, or even new Christians, but mature good believers. It was to remind people that no matter how far they have some, they have not yet reached their goal, and that their final salvation is contingent on continued faithfulness to Christ (Philippians 3:11.).
  • Paul's prayer here is a prayer for all of us, especially those who are mature, or even sanctified. The prayer has three parts:
    • That their love develop and grow, not that it is deficient now but that it needs to get stronger yet.
    • That their love be a discriminating love. He doesn't ask for more emotions, but for a more intelligent love. Our love should be able to choose between right and wrong, and between better and best. Paul cared what the Philippians loved, and how, not just if they did at all.
    • That their love be ethically sensitive. Asking them to grow in knowledge did not just mean intellectually, but that they will know the will of God better and be able to know what God wants of them and why.
    • That they know how to act on that love, and can discern what to do with it. “approve” means in this passage not just agree with something, but also putting it into action. Our love must act.
  • God is not after mindless zombies doing God's bidding. Paul is praying that we will grow so that we will do what is right regardless of the consequences or who is watching.
  • Christian character is who we are in the dark, with no one watching and us being off-guard. And it comes from the conviction that God loves us unreservedly and unconditionally. From that source comes our own love and our own character.
  • Christian love is not just a heart thing, not just fuzzy feelings. It is the will to do God's will above all else.
  • And all of this love is useless unless it is acted upon. Love acts in order to bear fruit. God works in us as we act, shaping us and bearing fruit within us. It is God's work in us, but we must give him permission to plant it and cultivate the crop he grows in our lives.
  • That action is worship, giving ourselves to God, demonstrating our love for God through what we do and say. Worship is what we do each day as we fulfill Paul's prayer, and live lives of love that bring glory and honor to Christ Jesus. Everything else is a part of this act of worship, this fulfillment of Paul's prayer for the Philippians and us.

This message was originally written by Dr. George Lyons, converted to this format by Brian M.

Things to Watch For

  • There are many other passages that also deals with love, and with love expressed through actions.
  • This is a very dense message. It deals with righteousness, character, love, and worship. A mature audience is a must, or most of this will fly right over people's heads.

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