by the Rev. Andrew Kuyvenhoven
Philippians is Paul's love letter. The epistle is also a good instrument for learning the secret of this great man. Paul considered living Christ and dying gain. And, although he wrote from a prison cell, his refrain was "Rejoice in the Lord always."
God can testify [or : "God is my witness"] how I long for all of you with the affection [or: "compassion" ] of Christ Jesus (Phil. 1:8).
Paul loves these Christians in Philippi. They are his partners in the gospel, and with them he shares "in God's grace."
The apostle carries these fellow Christians in his heart, much as parents care for their children. God knows, says Paul, that I long for you with the love of Jesus Christ himself.
It is not impossible that we feel for others as Jesus feels for them. When the Spirit of Christ rules us, we learn to look at people the way he looks at them. Instead of viewing them as a threat, we wish for them all the good that only God can give.
Perhaps you pray every day for your children, parents, spouses, or other relatives. For these people we have a natural affection. Our "natural" prayer for them is that we may keep them and that God will guard them. When we become more Christlike, also in our emotional lives, we love these people differently. We view all of them—spouses, children, parents—as our brothers and sisters in the Lord. And we pray differently for them than we did before.
Paul permits us to see something of his relationship with his Lord through his care for the people of Philippi. The heart of Jesus beats in the apostle. The Master and the servant have the same loving desire for the well-being of that group of Christians.
Andrew Kuyvenhoven's Daylight, a modern devotional classic, was originally published in 1994. This edition is copyright by Faith Alive Christian Resources, from whom may be ordered Daylight, the predecessor of Twilight.
A man of many accomplishments, Andrew Kuyvenhoven is probably best known for his contributions to Today (formerly The Family Altar), a widely-used monthly devotional booklet associated with the Back to God Hour. Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations for this edition of Twilight are from the New International Version