Summary: The Bible gives us insight that will help us rekindle the love in each of our relationships. God's love will help you love your spouse, your kids, other family, friends, the unreached, and those difficult to love. With God's help we can do Philippians 2:1

Feel the Love

Philippians 2:1-2

-Valentine’s Day is a couple of days away, and with love in the air, many couples all over the world will be saying “I do” to each other on Feb. 14.

-But unlike years past, not many will leave their reception with a shower of rice.

By the mid-1990s, it was common knowledge that the uncooked rice would kill unsuspecting birds. The rice would swell in their stomachs, cause them to burst, and cause a tragic death.

-So the tradition of rice, superstitiously believed to foster fertility, was abandoned and alternatives like birdseed, confetti, and bubbles were established.

-Ironically, there is no truth to the idea that rice is a threat to birds. Miyoko Chu, a Cornell University ornithologist (bird expert), has stated there are no documented cases of birds dying as a result of eating rice. She says, "In fact, house sparrows, red-winged blackbirds and bobolinks eat it all the time in the wild."

-Weddings and marriage are surrounded by so many myths. If a whole country can be duped by misinformation about rice, how many more people are being misled by the idea that when they get marry, they will live happily ever after; no arguing or fighting, because, if they are madly in love, they will have the perfect marriage. Right?

-Alicia thought she had the perfect fiancé. As she was getting to know Michael and his family, she was very impressed by how much his parents loved each other.

"They’re so thoughtful," Alicia said. "Why, your dad even brings your mom a cup of hot coffee in bed every morning."

After a time, Alicia and Michael were engaged, and then married.

On the way from the wedding to the reception, Alicia again remarked on Michael’s loving parents and his mom’s morning coffee in bed.

"Tell me," she said, "does it run in the family?"

"It sure does," replied Michael. "But you should know -- I take after my mom."

-When the honeymoon is over, and weeks give way to months which give way to years, the love that once burned with passion often becomes a weak flame.

Question: What has happened? Where has the love gone?

Many wish they could rekindle the fire, to make it like it first was.

-A woman woke up and told her husband, "I just dreamed that you gave me a pearl necklace for Valentine’s day. What do you think it means?"

"You’ll know tonight." he said.

That evening, the man came home with a small package and gave it to his wife. Delighted, she opened it - to find a book entitled "The Meaning of Dreams"

Sadly today, Valentine dreams are turning into nightmares at an alarming rate.

George Barna, statistician, reports, "Boomers are virtually certain to become the first generation for which a majority experience divorce."

But in spite of all the failed relationship attempts, each of us still has a strong need and desire to love and be loved.

Question: What can be done to make our Valentine dreams come true? How can we rekindle the flame in our marriages, or feel the love? What about as a church? How can we as a church family begin to feel the love that should exist among us?

I believe the Bible provides the answer. Scripture is full of rich insights of rekindling the love. One place in the Bible you might not have thought much about is found in Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi.

Paul wrote this “love letter” to people who were struggling in the area of unity. Apparently there were some problems between some of the members, two of which he named: Euodia and Syntyche.

In the 2nd chapter, we discover sound advice from Paul for unity in the body.

These principles can help us become the loving family God wants us to be, but will also work for married couples, to strengthen their relationship with one another.

So to rekindle the dream, and feel the love,

1. Encourage one another.

Philippians 2:1a If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ,

Question: When was the last time you praised someone with encouraging words?

Someone noted, "Man doesn’t live by bread alone. He also needs buttering up."

And there’s some truth to that! Life is difficult enough. We all need encouragement, a pat on the back, a boost in our daily lives.

George M. Adams comments, There are high spots in all of our lives and most of them have come through encouragement from someone else. I don’t care how great, how famous or how successful a man or woman may be, each hungers for applause. —

-One man tells about seeing love in action when he watched his grandson’s Tee-ball game. A little boy came up to the plate. He swatted the ball off the tee and ran as fast as he could to third base.

The coach went up to the little boy and said "Boy, you sure hit that ball a long way."

The little boy responded, "I did?"

"Yeah, and you ran really fast to third base and surprised the heck out of everybody!"

"I did?" he asked.

"Yes, you did. I have one question to ask you before you come to the dugout to watch the rest of the inning," the coach said to the boy. "When you made the decision to run to third base instead of first, what was in your mind? What were you thinking about?"

The boy replied, "Well, everybody that was running to first was getting put out."

The coach took the boy to the dugout to talk to him. "Last time you made the choice of running to third base instead of first, surprised everybody, and made it, but you didn’t get a chance to score. Now you’ve got the same choice again. You can choose to run to third and probably make it okay but you won’t get to score, or you can take the risk of running to first base. You may get put out, but if you make it you get a chance to score. But, whatever you decide, I want you to know we’re right there behind you."

Don’t we all need to be encourage like that, to know there’s somebody behind us praising us!

I have never met anyone who has told me I praised them too much!

We all need it – and the more, the better!

Encourage one another in the Lord! It makes all the difference in the world!

And watch as your Valentine Dream flickers more brightly.

2. Comfort One Another.

Philippians 2:1 If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any

comfort from his love,

-Because of the “comfort from Jesus’ love” Paul had affection for Philippian believers.

-The same applies to any relationship. Any comfort you or I give in Christ will grow affection in our relationships, including your spouse. Loving comfort brings affections to the forefront!

-Mary Anne Evans, British novelist in the 1800’s who is better known from her pen name, George Eliot, discovered that comfort and affection go together in a deeply meaningful way. At the age of 17, after the death of her mother and the marriage of her elder sister, she was called home to care for her father.

In those long days of constant care, she discovered that comfort really does draw two souls together. Listen to her words: “Oh, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person; having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but to pour them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then, with the breath of kindness, blow the rest away.”

-Dreams do come true, if we learn the art of comforting one another. Giving and receiving comfort will help us feel the love that comes from the heart of God.

3. Spend time with one another.

Philippians 2:1 If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any

comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit,

-The “fellowship with the Spirit” was the fellowship Paul and the Philippians experienced together, with the understanding that the Holy Spirit helps believers cope with one another in their weakness. This can also speak of the fellowship we have with the Holy Spirit Himself. God’s Holy Spirit has personality and emotions. He can be grieved. When we have fellowship with the Holy Spirit, things like love, joy, and peace begin to show up in our lives (Galatians 5:22-23).

-Romans 8:26 says “the Spirit helps us in our weakness.” Do you struggle in your relationships? Is it hard for you to relate with others on a deep level? The Spirit helps us in our weakness. He prays for us. He prays through us. He strengthens us and teaches us love the way God loves.

Now, fellowship is very important. It is one of the 5 purposes of the church. And I’m confident everybody here knows how to fellowship. I’ve seen most of you in action. We know how to enjoy each other’s company.

-But there’s one thing you and I can need for fellowship to be the best – time.

Fellowship involves time!

-And Spending time together is so important for any growing relationship, for those who are married, considering marriage, or just wanting to be friends.

-A tornado hit a Kansas farmhouse just before dawn one morning. It tore off the roof and picked up the beds on which the farmer and his wife were sleeping.

By some miracle, the tornado set them down, unharmed, the next county over.

The wife was sobbing uncontrollably.

"Don’t be scared, Martha," her husband consoled, "We’re not hurt."

Martha continued to cry. "I’m not scared," she said between sobs. "I’m happy... this is the first time we’ve been out together in 14 years."

- David Jeremiah gives some wise words on time spent together: “You’ve heard the saying, “It’s not the quantity, but the quality of time that really counts.” Simply defined, the statement means that one can make up for having minimal moments with his family by making certain that the time he does have is quality time.

On the surface, this concept seems to make a lot of sense. It is possible to spend much time with one’s family that is seemingly meaningless. All of us experience times when we are at home physically but our minds are wandering miles away. I can remember days with the family that could have been “scratched” in terms of “quality.”

So what is the “quality time” myth? It’s as phony as the fake diamond in a one-dollar ring. The fact is, there is no quality without quantity.

Too many parents live with the regrets of abandoned moments. It takes time to be silly, to share a secret, to heal a hurt, to kiss away a tear. Moments of uninhibited communication between child and parent cannot be planned; they just happen. The only ingredient we bring to that dynamic of family life is our availability … and that is spelled T-I-M-E.”

-Spending time together is so necessary! Couples must find time in their busy schedules to be together and enjoy each other’s company. Family of God, we must make time in our busy lives for each other. If we don’t, then we are missing out on something God wants to do in us through another believer. And other family members are missing out on something God wants to do in them through you!

Without time together, fellowship is decreased, and it makes it pretty hard to feel the love.

4. Be Tender and compassionate to one another.

Philippians 2:1 If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any

comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and


-What is tenderness and compassion?

The words literally refers to our insides. The Jews saw our inner parts as the source of the more tender affections—the feelings.

In Paul’s case, it was the affectionate feelings Paul had for the Philippian congregation which they returned to him.

Interesting enough, tenderness and compassion inwardly will always show itself up outwardly in such qualities as acts of kindness and caring for the other.

Being kind is so important in strengthening our relationships.

-So now there is now a "Husband Shopping Center" where a woman can choose from among many men, for her husband.

It is laid out in five floors, with the men increasing in positive attributes as you ascend up the floors.

The only rule is, once you open the door to any floor, you must choose a man from that floor, and if you go up a floor, you can’t go back down except to leave the place.

So, a couple of girlfriends went to the place to find men.

First floor, the door had a sign saying "These men have jobs and love kids."

The women read the sign and say "Well that’s better than not having jobs, or not loving kids, but I wonder what’s further up?" So up they go.

Second floor says "These men have high paying jobs, love kids, and are extremely good looking"

“Hmmm,” say the girls. “But, I wonder what’s further up?”

Third floor: "These men have high paying jobs, are extremely good looking, love kids and help with the housework."

“Wow!” say the women. Very tempting, BUT, there’s more further up! And up they go.

Fourth floor: "These men have high paying jobs, love kids, are extremely good looking, help with the housework, and have a strong romantic streak."

Oh, mercy me. But just think! What must be awaiting us further on!

So up to the fifth floor they go. The sign on that door reads, "This floor is just to prove that women are impossible to please."

No marriage or any relationship has ever been perfect except one.

-Adam and Eve had the world’s only perfect marriage. She couldn’t talk about the man she might have married and he couldn’t complain that his mother was a better cook.

But most marriages and relationships would be a lot better if both spouses would flavor acts of kindness and tlc (tender loving care) into the mix of everyday life.

5. Have a Good Attitude

Philippians 2:2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love,

being one in spirit and purpose.

-Paul urges the Philippian congregation to complete his joy by being like-minded, cultivating a single mind, have the same love ( a love not just for one another, but also for the Lord Jesus Himself)

I have found when I love Jesus first, it makes it easier for me to love those around me.

“Being one in spirit in purpose.” Having the right attitude! That’s so important – maybe the most important.

Want to improve your relationships so you and those around you can feel the love? Encourage, Comfort, Spend time together, Be kind, and lastly, Have a right attitude.

Two Businessmen

Two businessmen had a significant encounter in an airport baggage claim area.

One was a family man and the other was unmarried.

The single traveler watched with great curiosity as the family man was engulfed with hugs and kisses from his wife and children. They embraced and smiled as though the man had been gone for weeks.

The skilled salesman was taken aback by their abundance of affection so he asked the family if they had been separated for a long time.

The man affirmed he had indeed been away on business for two whole days.

In amazement at such a strong knit family, the fast-track single businessman stated, “I sure hope I can have a family like that some day.”

The other man turned from his family and replied, “Don’t hope, my friend. Decide!”

Every day you and I live, we decide on whether to enrich our marriage, our relationships, our friendships, or neglect them and watch them deteriorate.

We can feel the love! We are able to love because God loved us first and gave His Son for us. It’s up to us to love the way we have been loved! Have you received His love? If not, He has a great Valentine’s gift for you! He wants you to feel the love He has for you! It is received by faith. He is waiting to embrace you when you put your trust in Him.

[Sermon adapted from Billy Blackmon on]