by Jerry Branch

The Ingredient that Pleases
Jerry Branch
Philippians 1:9-11

Theme: Love in the Body Purpose: To motivate us to understand that agape Love exists within and is to grow in the church body for the purpose of bringing Glorify to God.

Does anyone know where Paul was when he wrote this letter? He was in JAIL. I would imagine that a lot of people do indeed pray while they're in Jail. And probably, you and I would also, if we found ourselves locked up. But would we be praying for someone else? Or would we be more concerned about our own hides? Paul shows us something here that ought to both inspire us, and encourage us at the same time.

To start with, take a Look at what Paul is NOT praying. Remember now, Paul is just like us. He is a man. But Paul is not praying to God saying: GET ME OUT OF HERE! He is not throwing a pity party - that "woe is me, what did I do to deserve this?" He's not shaking his fist at God, and hollering, "This isn't fair!" Instead, Paul is praying for the Philippian church people.

Now, I don't know about you, but that makes me stop and ask a question: WHAT IS MOTIVATING Paul to do this? Personally, I want to know, because I would like to be more like this great Christian because I see Jesus working in him. I want to find out "what" the "WHAT" is, that is doing all this motivating. So, when we all leave here this morning, I hope that all of us understand that: WE ARE CALLED to Love. But more importantly, we are to called to grow in our Love. Now, with the help of the Holy Spirit, here's one of those self-examination questions, that we all need to be asking ourselves today - is my Christian love growing?

In verse 9 - Look what Paul prays for - he prays, that YOUR agape, your love may abound.

I saw a short story that really tells us about what agape is all about. It's entitled, "How Great Love Is"

It goes like this: "Once upon a time, there was an island where all the feelings lived: Happiness, Sadness, Knowledge ...

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