Philippians 1:9-11 (NIV)
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.
This verse is a piece of Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi, so it would be okay if we were to take this book and this segment of the scripture and extrapolate what it meant to the Philippians at the time, what they were going through, etc. But if you believe that all the letters contained in the Bible were put there purposefully – not just as a historical reference but also for us to learn practical, Godly lessons from – then what do we learn from this passage?
For me, it helped to break down the individual words and their meanings. And here they are:
Love: an intense feeling of deep affection
Abound: exist in large amounts
Knowledge: facts, information, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education
Insight: the capacity to gain an accurate and deep intuitive understanding of a person or thing
Discern: perceive or recognize
Pure: free of any contamination
Blameless: innocent of wrongdoing
Fruit: the result or reward of work or activity
Righteousness: the quality of being morally right or justifiable
When I read through those, these verses paint a picture of not just what Paul was praying for the Philippians but also what we should be praying for each other. Imagine a world where LOVE ABOUNDS…where KNOWLEDGE and INSIGHT are sought not just for their own sake, but so that we can recognize what is BEST and so that we can be PURE and BLAMELESS for the day of Christ’s return.
It doesn’t happen without an effort. The love won’t always be the first instinct. My insight may not be the same as yours. And we may not be innocent of wrongdoing every day in every way. But what are we filling our time with? Are we seeking to have that deeper understanding, that full commitment to loving like Jesus loved? The gifts only come through Jesus Christ. And He gives them for one reason – for the glory and praise of God.
So let’s commit to praying like Paul prayed. Pray for love to abound, for knowledge and insight to grow and deepen, and for discernment so that we may be filled with the righteousness of Jesus.