Summary: Our love for Christ, and for each other, is the mark that makes us Christians and this a Church. Love ye one another!
An Active Love
Philippians 1:8-11 Monte T. Brown
April 1, 2009 Wednesday Night
Heart O’ the Hills
Philippians 1:8-11 For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.
 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;
 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ;
 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.
What is Love?
What is Love?
Such a funny little word, but if you ask ten different people to define it, you’d probably get ten different answers.
To most people love is only a base emotion, a sense of fulfillment you get when another person meets your needs.
But the Bible tells us that love is much more than a sense, a feeling.
Love is the greatest characteristic that God can give to man, and true love never stems from our own hearts, but from the heart of God.
Paul was imprisoned in Rome and, while in prison, the Church of Philippi sent an emissary to him (Epaphroditus) (ep-af-rod’-ee-tos) to tend to his needs.
Paul was so moved by the love in action of the Philippians that he, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, penned the Epistle of Philippians, and Epaphroditus carried that letter with him when he returned home.
Love Is The Mark of The Christian
Paul wrote a very interesting statement in Philippians 1.9.
Please follow along with me as I read Philippians 1:8-11 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment
This statement reveals a volume of truth to the Church. Paul says: And this I pray.
The world looks for love in sensuality, in power, in money. Yet God is the source of all true love.
We must pray to Him to release this love to us, to strengthen us so that we can love one another and the lost with His love, not with the pseudo-love of the world.
Do you remember these verses?
1 John 4:7-8 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.  He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
Love, AGAPE, Divine Love, is the mark of the Christian, and the mark of the Christ controlled Church.
If we do not have an active love for one another we become no more than a fancy clubhouse, a place where we come to relax while a speaker entertains us.
Love is an action, not just an emotion. God did not say to us, "I love you", and leave us dead in our sins.
He said, I love you then expressed that Love through the terror of the Cross.
When we are saved God plants this seed of Love in us and, as we pray and actively seek his face, we must grow in our love one toward another.
Concern for one another must start in prayer for one another, and one of the prayers that should be foremost in our hearts is Lord, show me how to Love.
Lord, teach us all how to Love.
Again, regard Philippians 1.9: I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more.
The Apostle prayed that the Philippians love may abound yet more and more.
Love is the foremost Gift of the Spirit.
Notice how Love is listed in the following verse: Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
The Closer I Move To God, The Stronger Will Be My Love
If Love is, indeed, a first fruit of the Spirit, and the basis of all Christian virtue, and God is the Author of true Love, then it stands to reason that the closer I move to God in my life, the stronger my Love will be.
In Churches all around our country believers mouth the words I love you, yet no action follows the declaration. In many Churches a visitor may come in, sit down, hear the message, and leave, all without encountering or talking to any of the Christians there.
Why is this?
Because, believers, often we allow the world’s definition of love into our lives while ignoring God’s truths.
Romans 12:9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.  Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another
Love must be without prejudice (dissimulation).
I must love you, and you, and you with the same Divine Love, without favoritism.