“It is my prayer that your love may abound more and more with knowledge and all discernment so that you may approve what is excellent and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1:9-11
There are certain prayers we can be confident that God will answer, and we know this because they are recorded for us in Scripture as examples of how God wants us to pray. God wants us to ask Him for the things we find in bible prayers, and they are the things He is most eager to give us. Paul’s prayer in Philippians 1:1-9 has a number of them.
Of what can we be confident of receiving if we pray this prayer? Let’s list the blessings: increased love; deeper knowledge of God; the ability to discern good, better, and best; purity; blamelessness; the fruit of righteousness that comes to us through Christ Jesus; and the opportunity to glorify God.
That sounds good and right, we say, but what does it all really mean? We know these are good things to pray for, but because we don’t really understand the particular ways these blessings work out in our live, we are less inclined to pray for them.We are much more driven to pray for our earthly needs and desires because we have a clear handle on the benefits they provide. But, in actuality, the blessings in Paul’s prayer are richer and more fulfilling than any earthly blessing could ever be.
Paul prays first for abounding love. Love for whom? Is he talking about love for God or love for one another? We get our answer if we consider Jesus’ words about the greatest of all commandments: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. and second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:36-39). Based on that commandment, we can take Paul’s meaning to be both love for God and love for one another. Paul is praying that we would grow in our love for God, which, in turn, will result in an outpouring of love for others.
The apostle John wrote, “We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19), so we see that our love for God and others grows as it parallels our growth in understanding of how much we are loved by Him. Isn’t that the greatest blessing we can conceive of – knowing we are loved so much that there is nothing we can do to destroy it? As we come to comprehend the depth of God’s love for us, we will overflow with joy and love for God and these people He places in our lives.
This, then, is our greatest source of joy – to comprehend God’s love for us. It is also the primary need for everyone around us, no matter how pressing their earthly trials and troubles. God wants us to be gripped with the depth of His love – love most clearly seen in the fact that He sent His only Son to die in order to bring us near to Him – and when we do, others will see it and come to know their real need also.
(Joy a godly woman’s adornment., by Lydia Brownback)
I hope you like todays devotion. I decided that because it is February that the devotion are going to be about love and loving who God has made you to be.