God as I rise and get in Your Word this morning help me to be humble. As a human we tend to be proud and hard to hear the places we need to change. As I open Your Word today help my heart be soft and humble, willing to hear what you are directing me to change. Give me a desire to conform to Your image.
7 It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. 8 God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus
9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
Verses 7 and 8 are the same point as yesterday: we should be praying for others and keeping unity as a team in that manner. We talked about how their spiritual needs are just as important as your physical needs. However, Paul pushes a bit deeper in verses 9-10.
Now Paul says that he is praying specifically for their LOVE to abound in “knowledge and depth of insight.” Philippi was already known for their loving character yet here we see Paul praying for that character to be ever increased. It’s odd how we only pray for the areas we are weak in. Perhaps it would be wise to take Paul’s pattern and also be praying for the areas we are gifted in. Perhaps we should be praying and giving thanks for the areas we are strong in and praying for God to help us to flourish in those areas too! We’ve all been gifted with something and USUALLY instead of having our prayer life supplement those areas and help us grow we focus on praying for other areas. We simply overlook the reality that God can take what we are already good at and make us great at it. Then He can take what we are great at and make us phenomenal at it! Let’s pray for the things we are already known for and gifted in so that God can receive even more glory as we display a supernatural ability in areas God has gifted us.
There’s a bit of insight here in regards to love. Paul shows us, by his prayer, that it is critical for true “agape” love to be coupled with knowledge and discernment. That means love isn’t based on naive, ignorant actions but based upon understanding. True love for a brother and sister comes from an intentional effort of understanding what they are going through and how you should react. Furthermore Paul points out that walking in this Love is what makes us fruitful. This shouldn’t be a shock… especially since we read in 1 Cor. 13 that love is above all other things. Nonetheless we are reminded here as well that walking in love is going to keep us pure and blameless when Christ returns! Love keeps us walking in righteousness! 🙂
Finally, the outworking of love is that not only are we consistently walking in righteousness but ultimately this all brings glory to God! The focus of God’s Gospel is His love for us and in turn should become our love for others. When we love people we are mirroring who God is. When we love people we display the Gospel in our lives and glorify God. If you get nothing else from these verses you must remember that above all other things is love. Love for another brother or sister, love for someone who hasn’t been saved yet, love demonstrates God’s character. Put love on no matter the situation.
God, though many things have been pointed to in these Scriptures remind me of the necessity of love. Remind me that loving people well consists of knowing them well. I must be intentional with fellowship so that I can love on people more and ultimately glorify You with my life. Amen.
Let’s love on people! Use these difficult times to change someone’s life with your love. A small light shines so much brighter in the dark of night. Right now people are feeling lonelier than they have ever felt. Your love will outshine the sun during this isolated, dark times. Use this virus isolation to glorify God in your love!