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About-Him.Com Devotional 06-22-2014
Thoughts in Philippians 1:9-11
Abounding Love and the Fruits of Righteousness
The apostle Paul prayed fervently and often for the congregation that he had established at Philippi which he had founded about 10 years earlier. He joyfully presented requests to God on their behalf. He reminded them that God had begun a good work in them, which wouldn’t be finished until the day of Jesus’ return when their whole being will be totally united with Him for all eternity.
Philippians 1:9 ¶ And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;
The Philippians were known for their fervent love to the apostle and for the household of faith. They had contributed to the well being of the apostle Paul and also for the saints in Jerusalem, even when they themselves were in need. This kind of love only comes about when we are born again of the Spirit of God. The apostle Peter stated in 1 Peter 1:22 that our souls were purified when we obeyed the truth. The Spirit led us unto unfeigned or genuine love of the brethren. Not something that we just put on when the time is convenient, but our love that springs forth is nothing more than the living Christ within, who loved us and gave Himself for us (Ga. 2:20).
Loving God and Our Neighbor as Ourselves
When I feel my love waning, I know that I need to refresh my spirit with the remembrance of how God extended His love to me personally and to the world as a whole. Do we understand the unfathomable depths of John 3:16 and 1 John 3:1? Yes we do to a limited extent, but there is so much more that we haven’t comprehended, but like the apostle, we keep pressing for the mark of the high calling in Christ Jesus. We strive to get a greater hold on Him who has gotten a hold of us (Php. 3:12-14).
Pressing Towards the Mark
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
1 John 3:1 ¶ Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
When I remember the love and forgiveness that the Lord showed to me, I’m less likely to find fault with my brother and my neighbors. This opens the channel for the Lord’s love to abound more and more in my heart and for His life to shine forth for the world to see (Mt. 5:14; Jn. 8:12; 2 Co. 4:4).
The apostle prayed that their love for God and for each other would abound in knowledge and judgment (discernment). The more we express our love to the Lord, the more His love is given back to us. When we concentrate on His love, the Spirit helps us to comprehend God’s attributes. Our knowledge increases when we are in tune with the One who has all wisdom and knowledge (Ex. 31:3; Pr. 9:10; Is. 11:2; Ro. 11:33).
When we are in tune with the Spirit of God, we will see things with the spiritual eye and have spiritual discernment (Jn. 7:24). When some new wind of doctrine blows by, we will not be shaken, if we are anchored by the Spirit in God’s word. When we see and hear things that are ungodly, we won’t dither in determining the source from whence they came.
We’ll never get it all in this life, but we keep abounding more and more in the love of Jesus as we look for the day that we will be with Him eternally.
Philippians 1:10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;
We approve the things that are excellent by sincerely allowing the Lord Jesus to live His life through us. If Jesus is living His life through me, I will not bring shame to the gospel through any inappropriate word or action. If I do so, I become an enemy of the cross of Christ (Php. 3:18). That’s pretty heavy, isn’t it?
Philippians 1:11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.
I desire to show forth the fruits of righteousness. Righteousness can simply be defined as doing the right thing at all times in relation to God and to my neighbor (De. 6:5; Lu. 10:27). This righteousness is never of ourselves (Php. 3:9), but simply Jesus living through us to the praise and glory of God.
Fruit of the Spirit defined:
Galations 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
Further exhortation to love one another:
Ephesians 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.
1 John 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son [to be] the propitiation for our sins.
11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
Song: The Love of God
God loves each of us as if there were only one of us. - Augustine
Genuine love is so contrary to human nature that its presence bears witness to an extraordinary power. - John Piper
Free Ebooks That You Can Download.
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