God knows how much I love you and long for you with the tender compassion of Christ Jesus – Phil 1:8
The letter to the Philippians is unlike the other letters of Paul. The Apostle comes across as a genuinely warm and caring pastor. Paul speaks of his love for the church: “I hold you in my heart” (1:7) and “I long for you with the affection of Christ” (1:8).
The Greek word splágxnon literally means intestines or inner organs (which is why you will read the verse as “in the bowels of Jesus” in the King James Version).
In the Hebrew understanding, the inner organs (bowels) were the seat of tender affections such as compassion, kindness, etc.
Figuratively splágxnon means the capacity to feel deep emotions.
Figuratively, splágxnon means the capacity to feel deep emotions. You find Splágchnozomai in Jesus’ parable of the Lost Son. The father feels a deep emotion when the prodigal returns. Splágchnozomai goes beyond mere sympathy. It refers to the emotional response that you feel physically.
Paul shares a heartfelt admission with the church in Philippi. He claims to have “Jesus-like” love for them. What an excellent model of relational ministry! We must love one another. A Jesus-like love must characterise our love for each other.
A Jesus-like love must characterise our love for each other.
All of us should love Jesus. But it is equally important to have a genuine ‘Jesus-like’ love for each other. Such profound love is a spiritual fruit. You can’t feel the love of Christ unless the Holy Spirit pours such love into our hearts.
We are called to love one another as Christ loved and gave himself for us. Our families (Ephesians 5:25), churches (John 13:34), and the world at large (2 Corinthians 5:14) need to see this redemptive love in action.
We are not remote; we belong. Believers must have an intimate bond with one another. This love should make all the difference in the world. Tell me why it would not?
Ready to experience your Aha moment? 1) Do I feel I belong? Is there a genuine heart-to-heart connect? 2) Do I demonstrate Jesus-like love in concrete life situations? 3) Have I made a heartfelt admission of Jesus-like love? Why not?