The Affection of Jesus Christ
Paul visited Philippi on his second missionary journey (around A.D. 49-51). He wrote to them while he was in prison (at Caesarea Maritima, Ephesus, or Rome) between A.D. 55 and 62. Had he gone east, instead of west, things might have been very different for Christianity. Paul was a major player in the spread of our faith.
We’ll read from Acts 16 this week. Three socio-economic classes of people in this chapter display the diversity of the gospel. Lydia was a wealthy woman. There was a slave girl possessed by evil. The Philippian jailor was a middle-class worker. Like Paul and all of us, these three had unique encounters with Christ.
Paul was competent but humble. Humility leads to grace, gratitude, peace and prayer. It recognizes the gifts of others (partnerships). Humility touches our emotions (affections). Paul had a message to share about Jesus. Paul was on a mission to help others follow Jesus.
Affection is a tender attachment that comes through experience. Often, that bond is developed during suffering and hardship. Paul was physically wounded when he was in Philippi. That trauma probably had something to do with why he developed such deep affection for them.
Paul also described the affection of Jesus. We constantly see His affection for others in the Gospels. He had compassion for the crowds who were lost and without a shepherd. He cared deeply about children, women, the sick, outcasts, and the rejects of His society. Our two favorite parables (The Good Samaritan and The Prodigal Son) each connected the word “compassion” to the “good guys” in the stories. When we know that people really care about us, we give them the benefit of the doubt. When we think they are just using us for their own objectives, we do not trust them and will not align with them. A heart of affection is a game changer. As John Wesley put it, “If your heart is as my heart, lend me your hand.”
Speaker: Tom Harrison
June 5, 2022
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