Monday, April 18, 2011
The Church In My Heart
Even in our darkest days of ministry adversity, we must never lose our love for the local church. Paul didn't. Even chained to Roman soldiers while sitting in a dungeon, his love for the church was still clear, We saw in our last posting that Paul had the church in his MIND. Today, continuing from Philippians chapter one, we see that Paul also had the church in his HEART. If having the church in his mind involved loving the church through Paul's INTELLECT (how he thought about them) then having the church in his heart was loving the church through his INTIMACY (how he felt about them).
Having the church in your heart, even when being a pastor leaves you battered and bruised, means that you still care for the church - even if it sometimes might appear that the church doesn't care for you. Make no mistake about it, some of Paul's adversity came from inside the church (see Philippians 1:17). Yet, Paul didn't give up on the church. He continued to have a sympathetic and genuine interest and concern for the church. He says it point blank in verse 7, "I have you in my heart!"
Having the church in his heart also meant spending time with them. In verse 8 we read that he "longed for them with the affection of Christ Jesus!" When we go through the painful times of ministry, the temptation is to pull away from other people in the church. Don't do that! Even when it hurts - continue to keep the church in your heart!