Wednesday, August 18, 2010

"Gut love"

Paul writes in Phil.1:8, saying, "God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus." The word Paul uses for "affection" is the Greek word "σπλάγχνον" or "splagchnon" which means "bowls." Strongs says the bowels were regarded by the Greeks as "the seat of the more violent passions, such as anger and love" and by the Hebrews as "the seat of the tenderer affections, especially kindness, benevolence and compassion." You get the picture of a person madly in love, willing to do anything for their beloved. That is how Paul loved the Philippians but he said it was the "affection of Christ Jesus." In other words, that is the way Jesus loves us AND the way He loves the lost. In fact, Mt.9:36 tells us, "When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." The Greek word translated compassion there is "σπλαγχνίζομαι" or "splagchnizomai." It is the verb form of "splagchnon" and Strongs defines it this way, "to be moved as to one's bowels, hence to be moved with compassion, have compassion (for the bowels were thought to be the seat of love and pity)." Jesus loves the lost with a passionate "gut" love, willing to do anything, go anywhere and pay any cost for them (Lk.15:1-7, Lk.19:10).

So how do I get His heart for those around me and specifically for the lost? First, it comes out of loving Him (1 Jn.4:19-21). Second, love is a fruit of the Spirit; as I surrender daily to Him, He will develop this love in me. Third, it comes through praying for them (check out a recent post about this). Fourth, it comes by taking action! Serving others always develops a heart for them (read this post) and sharing the Good News always results in passion for sharing the Gospel (check out the short MP3 below on growing your faith). Bottom line, spend time with Jesus, be filled with His Spirit, pray for the lost and put all that into action by sharing your faith and the result will be a passionate "gut" love for those that need Jesus!

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