It was truly a joy to work with you through Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi over the past 11 weeks. This letter was incredibly applicable to our lives in 2020. I hope you will take the time to read the letter again on this side of our study.
You might remember our pausing in our Sermon on the Mount series in order to study Philippians together. Our plan is to resume this series through the fall. Jesus’ words on the hillside continue have wonderful meaning in our lives today. We will look at pertinent topics like prayer, worry, money through the fall.
This week, we come to a familiar, yet challenging passage. In Matthew 5:43-48, Jesus’ instruction to his followers is difficult. Yet, we have seen this posture play out in the lives of Christians for the last two thousand years, having a powerful impact on those around them. In our polarized world of 2020, these words continue to speak. Let me encourage you to read this passage as you prepare for worship on Sunday. I will include it below in the NTE version.
(Matthew 5:43-48 NTE) ‘You heard that it was said, “Love your neighbour and hate your enemy.” But I tell you: love your enemies! Pray for people who persecute you! That way, you’ll be children of your father in heaven! After all, he makes his sun rise on bad and good alike, and sends rain both on the upright and on the unjust. Look at it like this: if you love those who love you, do you expect a special reward? Even tax-collectors do that, don’t they? And if you only greet your own family, what’s so special about that? Even Gentiles do that, don’t they? Well then: you must be perfect, just as your heavenly father is perfect.’