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People need hope more than ever. As followers of Jesus, we have this promise in Colossians 1:27.....Listen to Radio Podcast featured on Moody Radio April 17 2024 

Wednesday-Five

 

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.

 

Philippians 2:1,2[1]

 

Five isn’t a magic number. But having five of anything is a good thing. We have five fingers on each hand, and five toes on each foot. There was the Jackson 5. Then there was 5ive. There’s also restaurants named Five Guys and Five Below. There was a made-for TV film, Five, that explored the impact of breast cancer on people’s lives. You get five fouls per game in high school and college basketball. There are even a Five.com and FiveThirtyEight.com websites.

 

Here at the start of Philippians 2, Paul’s not talking about five things you will have in the future, or five things you might enjoy now. No, these are five things that you absolutely have now. The list is impressive.

 

  1. Encouragement – Because of what God’s done for us in Jesus, we are to support one another. We are to stand together. We are to stand up for each other. When we do this, we can’t help but to be in agreement with one another.

  2. Comfort – Because of God’s love for us as individuals and as a community of his people, we receive his tenderness. But we’re not to just keep his tenderness inside. Oh no, we’ve got to share it within the Christian community and everyone we meet.

  3. Common sharing – Because God shared himself with us, we’re to actively be giving to others. Not to get an attaboy from God, or a pat on the back from people, but just from the sheer joy of being loved by God. This energizes us beyond any human understanding.

  4. Tenderness – Because God’s level of love shows his fatherly tenderness to us, we will also have a gut-level kind of kindness towards others. If he was willing to leave his eternal throne for us, we will be willing to get up and be sympathetic to others too,

  5. ·       Compassion – Because God showed his mercy on us, we need to act with mercy towards others. How much mercy has God shown you? That’s the amount of mercy that we’re to actively display and share with all the people in our life.

 

Because you’re smart, I know that you noticed something about each of the five things. It smacked you right in the face. You couldn’t ignore it. It was as plain as the nose on your face. It was a red flag in front of a bull. It was obvious to you that each and every one of them began with God.

 

This is one of the great truths about this universe and life. When it came to creating the universe, it was God who started it all[2]. It wasn’t some unknown, nameless force that just appeared out of nowhere. It was a person. And that person was God.

 

But more than just creation, God’s the one who started a love affair with us. He’s the one who made us. He’s the one that reached out to us. He’s the one who saw us lost and broken.

 

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

 

Romans 5:8

 

If I had been God and people did to me what we’ve done to him, I would have said, “OK, have it your way” and showed them the door. It would have been easy for God to just turn away from us, leaving us to wallow in our selfishness, pain, and bitterness. But he didn’t. He put more than just action into his love, he wrapped it in the person of Jesus. Fully God. Fully man.

 

If God was willing to go to these lengths for us, how could we do anything less than to do the same to the people around us? If he’s been this kind to us, don’t we have the responsibility to do the same to everyone else? Since we’ve been shown nothing but compassion by God, how can we treat people poorly?

 

But it’s more than a dead, lifeless responsibility that’s on some checklist. No, his love motivates and energizes us. It excites us to want to share a little bit of what we’ve received.

 

And when we allow God to move like this in our lives, then we’ll live at peace with one another. We’ll be more than willing to forgive. When the pain of a broken relationship hits, the pain is real. But the simple truth is that God’s forgiven us way more than we’ll ever need to forgive anyone else. Isn’t that the kind of life you want? The kind of world you want to live in.

 

Noodling Questions

 

  • Which of the five things looks most attractive to you? Least attractive? Why?

  • Why are the words “while we were yet sinners” so important?

  • How would life be different when people follow these five things?


[1] Unless otherwise noted, all Bible references are from the New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

[2] Genesis 1:1

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