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, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Phil. 2:1-4
Dear Lord Jesus, I thank you for a good night’s rest last evening. Even as you gave me sleep, you gave to me in my sleep. For you never sleep or slumber; you ever live to advocate and pray for us—your beloved bride.
While we were “catching z’s,” you were making us like yourself; while we we’re turning over in bed, you were making all things new; while we were dreaming, you were fulfilling God’s promises on our behalf. There is no one like you, O Lord, no one.
How I long for the day when my heart will not even be tempted to share its adoration and affection, with any other unworthy suitor or wannabe savior. Hasten that Day; but until that Day, keep changing me in ways which empower me to love well.
Since the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself in love, I boldly ask for your measureless grace, multiplied mercies and steadfast love to more powerfully be at work in my life. It’s the only way, according to this Scripture, that I’ll be able to consider others better than myself; love my wife, my children, my friends, and strangers as you’re calling me to love them; find more joy in serving than being appreciated.
Indeed, what encouragement do I have from being united to you, and what comfort do I find in your love, Lord Jesus? More than can be measured! It means the Father loves me as much as he loves you, and there’s nothing I can do about it—I can’t add to it or take away from it. It means that all of my sins—past, present, and future—are forgiven. It means that I’m enveloped in your righteousness, already declared to have passed from judgment to life. It means I’m guaranteed, one day, to be as lovely and as loving as you are. It means all these things and many more.
It means I can love people and not expect them to give me what you alone can supply. It means I can serve people and not hold them hostage to my selfish ambition and vain conceit; unforgiveness and resentment; dreams and schemes.
It means I can become more intrigued than irritated with others; more restful than rigid in their presence; more caring than criticizing of their ways. Indeed, Lord Jesus, I want greater freedom to love to your glory, by your grace, even this very day. So very Amen I pray, in your merciful and magnificent name.