I Hold You in My Heart

I Hold You in My Heart

This article is part one of a three-part collection reflecting on your pastors’ favorite verses in the book of Philippians. Throughout most of 2019, we will continue our sermon series on this beloved epistle. Come join us Sunday as we continue to learn and worship together.

“It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel.” (Philippians 1:7)

The apostle Paul: older now, marked from his many travels for Christ, scarred by his sufferings for Christ, but still full of joy, and faith, and affection. He remains in captivity, likely in Rome, bound because of his boldness for his Savior.

And his heart is full.

Paul’s theological genius and leadership charisma were only equaled by his love for the people of God.

He holds them in his heart.

Pause for a moment and picture him thinking of his beloved ones in Philippi. They are not only an item on his to-do list or a mere duty of his pastoral responsibilities. They are not just a crucial sponsor of his ministry or a nostalgic memory of his past travels.

He holds them in his heart.

Here we have a picture of the reflection of Jesus Christ in His apostle. Here we have a picture of leadership, and truly, a model of Christian maturity. Jesus declared that all the world would know we were his disciples if we love one another. And the love of Christ must flow from the people of Christ to the people of Christ, and especially from the pastors of those people.

There is no true theology that does not issue forth in love, and no true love that is merely occasional or drudgery. Christianity is grounded in truth and revealed in love. Christian leadership is heart-full leadership— full of people that are held there through thick and thin, through joy and pain, in person and at a distance.

May we hold each other in our hearts, full of the love of Christ for one another, letting the people of God take up permanent residence in our affections, as they did for Paul, as we do in the heart of Christ.