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Abounding love and unity

Although the Apostle Paul was incarcerated many miles away, his heart was solidly with the Philippians. Christian bonds are immune to distance.

Most have had to move and leave brethren, but the unity we enjoy in Christ extends beyond time and space. In Christ, we remain tethered together in the same household (Ephesians 2:19; Galatians 3:27).

The bond of love is powerful when we’re “filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19, NKJV). Love, inspired by Christ, is the rule of fellowship in his household (Acts 2:47; Ephesians 1:22-23; 1 John 4).

Unity comes not from human agreement but by being bonded with Jesus. Harmony with the Lord and his Word constitutes unanimity (Ephesians 3:14-18). With human consensus we decide the boundaries, when Christ is the rule (2 Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 11:6).

Paul called to God as his witness for the depth of his love for the brethren at Philippi (Philippians 1:8). He yearned for them over the miles with great affection and tenderness.

We simply can’t have a love for God without a love for the brethren. God won’t allow us that option. An unselfish love must dominate our lives (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God” (1 John 4:7).

God brought us together and it’s our job to get along in love and humility. We put the Lord first in everything and glorify him completely (Ephesians 3:20-21; 4:11-16).

Paul continues by praying that they abound in knowledge and discernment (Philippians 1:9). Ralph Martin wrote in his commentary on Philippians, “A better knowledge of God and his ways will promote greater harmony within the fellowship.”

We must learn as much as we can about God in order to live the life he dictates for his children (2 Timothy 2:15). Taking that knowledge and converting it to righteous living requires humble discernment and the courage to say no to the flesh.

Abide in Christ and abound in him daily and extraordinary blessings will happen (Malachi 3:10).

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Richard lives in Florence, Alabama and is married to Deirdre. They have three daughters. He is an avid reader, devoted writer and lover of history and research. He is the author of "The Most Important Question" and is working on more books.

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