THE POWER OF JOY IN THE PRISON OF PAIN IN PHILIPPIANS (PART8)
PRAYERS PASSION V.8
A STABLE FACT
For God is my record,
Validation, commendation, there’s a natural urge to want the endorsement of others.
We’d like the highest approval rating. We beam at the thought of getting stellar recommendations. Why not, it feels neat to dream to have a bevy of star-studded admirers.
But wouldn’t it be enough to assert that God is our record?
The word “record” is the Greek term (martus mou) from which we derive the term martyr.
This is the picture of extreme backing and tremendous intense validation. Sounds a little weird that someone would back us so strong, but that’s the gist of the phrase,
“For God is my record”
Can it be any sturdier then to claim that our authenticity is based on the God of eternity?
But that is what is God authenticating about Paul?
A SINCERE FIXATION
how greatly I long after you all
Paul is making a bold claim of the genuine reality of his deep compassion.
He is saying the Lord knows how I feel for others.
“Epipotheo” is the Greek term for the phrase “greatly I long”
“Epi” is where we get the word epic or great.
“Potheo” is pathos, deep compassionate feeling for others.
A SENSITIVE FEELING
in the bowels of Jesus Christ
Bowels are a strange choice of words, other translations render this affections,
but this is not just any affection. This is the deep tender affection of Jesus Christ.
Paul was saying an amazing thing in claiming the very compassionate mercy of Jesus was flowing in his heart for others.
Do we yearn over others in the deep feelings of Jesus?
Do we crave their best;
Do we covet every blessing and gift possible from the courts of Heaven for them?
Do we desire, beg, implore and hanker for the hand of God in their very souls?
Do our hearts cry as God’s Spirit releases the feelings of Jesus in us for them?
Paul’s heart was in tempo and felt the pulse of Jesus’s heart.
This is what prayer persistence for the heart needs of others involves.
In the Memoirs of R.M. McCheyne he journals his cry:
“Oh, when will I plead, with my tears and inward yearnings, over others?
Oh, compassionate Lord; give me to know what manner of spirit I am of!
Give me Your gentle Spirit, that strives and cries for others.
I’m weary, of my prayerlessness, my want of cleaving to Christ.”
Catherin of Siena who wrote A Treatise of Prayer, in the 1300s, wrote:
“They made themselves infirm with those who were infirm,
so that all who are frail might not be overcome with despair,
and to give them more courage in exposing their infirmity,
they would lend countenance to their infirmity and say,
‘I, too, am infirm with you!’
“They wept with those who wept, and rejoiced with those who rejoiced;
and thus sweetly they knew to give every one his nourishment,
preserving the good and rejoicing in their virtues, not being gnawed by envy,
but expanded with the broadness of love for their neighbors.
“They drew the inadequate ones out of their inadequacy,
themselves becoming deficient and infirm with them.
This is compassion; this is enduring love, for through love,
we bare the pain of others.”
Jesus explains in Matthew 25:35-40 how He feels the hungers of others.
“I was hungry, and you gave me food;
I was thirsty, and you gave me drink;
I was a stranger, and you took me in;
naked, and you clothed me;
I was sick, and you visited me;
I was in prison, and you came unto me”
FIVE AREAS OF ENTERING THE FEELINGS OF OTHERS:
THE NEED OF HUNGER AND THIRST
Are we feeling others’ feelings of emptiness?
THE NEED OF HOSPITALITY
Are we feeling others’ feelings of rejection, rebuff, refusal and strangeness?
THE NEED OF HOUSING
Are we feeling others’ feelings of devastation, exposure, and public humiliation
(naked and unclothed)
THE NEED OF HEALTH
Are we feeling others’ feelings of sickness, and the sting of their overwhelming,
crushing endless pain?
THE NEED OF HARASSMENT
Are we feeling others’ feelings of slavery as they’re punched and punished
behind the prison bars of hopeless injustices?
In caring for others are we loving Christ and letting Jesus love others
through our feelings and prayers for them?
PRAYERS PETITIONS V.9-11
INCREASED LOVE V.9
And this I pray, that your Love may abound yet more and more
Give us an intimate relationship with You Lord
and in all judgment;
Give us an understanding in Your decisions in our life
INSIGHTFUL LIVING V.10
That ye may approve
Give us discernment to do things that are appropriate & approved by You
things that are excellent;
Guide us into excellence
that ye may be sincere
Keep us from phoniness
and without offense till the day of Christ
Deliver us from stumbling others
IMBUED LIGHT V.11
Being filled with the fruits of righteousness
Enable us in doing what’s right
which are by Jesus Christ,
Live Your life through us
unto the glory and praise of God.