9 And it is my prayer that q your love may abound more and more, r with knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve what is excellent, s and so be pure and blameless t for the day of Christ, 11 filled u with the fruit of righteousness that comes v through Jesus Christ, w to the glory and praise of God.
I have a stack of index cards that I keep in my car, and usually each ride home (OK, maybe more like 3x a week) I will review them. This verse has been in my stack of cards for years. It is one of my favorite verses. I’ve memorized it. Meditated on it. It’s in regular rotation during my prayers. Tonight…it blew my head clean off my shoulders like I’ve never heard it before. The Word of God is DEEP.
…that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and all discernment
I have been kicking what this means around in my head for a while. Recently, I’ve been praying that God teaches me how to love my wife. Also recently…I’ve been challenged to love my wife as Christ loved the church (Eph 5:25). In other words to love her in a Gospel-generated love, love her like Jesus loves. To represent the Gospel to her in my love and all my actions. Christ has become for us wisdom from God (1 Cor 1:30). His divine wisdom has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness thru our knowledge of HIM. (2 Peter 1:3) See the collision here that left me without a head? In order for my love to abound -increasingly, continually abound – I need to love in the knowledge of the person and work of Jesus Christ. I need to love like Jesus loved. I need to forgive in light of how much I’ve been forgiven, I have been saved from an eternal torment in Hell. Should that not make me forever grateful and joyful? Burdened in love for others to see? I need to focus my eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, and love my wife, my kids, my co-workers, my fellow elders, the church members who send me e-mails about their personal worship preferences – love them all like Jesus, in the knowledge of Him and the Cross. I need to know the Gospel deeply, breath it…it needs to dictate my love. I need to hunger to love God by knowing him. As Pink says “Where God is truly known, he is necessarily adored.”
…so that you may approve what is excellent (NIV says “so that you may be able to discern what is best”)
in all of my interactions with all the people in my life – there are split second decisions on how I will act, or re-act. How will I act when I see sin? When I’m sinned against. How will I decide major life decisions? How can I do anything if I don’t know God? How do we know God? Thru His word, revealed in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
…and be pure and blameless for the day of Christ
There are 2 things God has been impressing on me these last few days. (1) Hell is real. I was on my way there, and there are lots of people on their way there now. Shouldn’t that burden me more then it seems to? Hell is an awful place of eternal torment apart from God. The place where those go on that day of Christ when he comes back and finds you still in your sin. Then it is too late. Speaking of which, the other thing he has been impressing on me lately is (2) He is coming back. Why do I live my life like I’m more concerned with this life than the next? I’m going to be with him FOREVER, this life will seem like nothing, a vapor. So, when he does come back…what will I be doing? If I’m not filled with the knowledge of God thru the Bible, and demonstrated in the love and grace of the cross, odds are I will probably be sinning. Perhaps blatantly, intentionally sinning – at the moment the purest holiest one returns. What if I’m in a huge sin, like adultery for example? Won’t that be so shameful to be caught at that moment by the Most High God? Yes, theologically speaking… Christians have their sins completely forgiven, and covered by the blood of Christ on the cross, he died for all sin, if you come to faith in Him and understand what he did all of your sins (past, present, and future) are forgiven. But…yer gonna tell me that won’t be the worst moment of your life when Christ comes back and you have your pants around your ankles? Holy terror is probably more like it, then shame like you wouldn’t believe. Not to mention judgment of your works for how you’ve used your time. How do we keep ourselves focused on Christ more and sin less? Love based on the knowledge of the love of God, revealed in the Bible and in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
…filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes thru Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God
A heard kind of a cheesy analogy once, but we are kinda like cups. What are you filled with? You know when you bump a cup…and it’s full…something usually spills out. So, if we are cups and we are full of something, (easy now…), and we are bumped – what spills out of you? Selfishness? Pride? Anger? Depression? — or — Love? Joy? Peace? Patience? Kindness? Goodness? Faithfulness? Gentleness? Self-control? (Gal 5:22-23)
How do we get these fruits of the Spirit?
Love based on the knowledge of the love of God, revealed in the Bible and in the person and work of Jesus Christ.