Read Philippians 1:7-11
"Love may abound"
The Christians had shown their true spirit by their actions. They ministered to Paul while he was in prison (Phi 2:25, Phi 4:14-18) and they were ready to defend the Gospel right along with him. In verse nine we see that their love abounded in knowledge and in judgement as well. This brings out an important truth... you may call yourself a "Christian", but your actions speak loader then your words. Is your life lining up with your profession? Do others see Jesus Christ in you, or do they just see you? Part of Paul's joy was that the Philippians Christians were living godly lives. This godly living made Paul long for them: He wanted to be with them...to share in their "Christ centered" life. They same should be said about each of us. Our faith in Christ should bring about a lifestyle that draws other to us.
In verse nine, Paul tells us where true Godly love comes from. He says that he prayed "that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgement". True love according to this verse comes from "knowledge" and "judgement". The more we know about Jesus and the more we discern what is right and wrong, the more godly love we have. Do you lack love for others? Get into God's Word and your love will grow.
But Paul does not stop with just love. In verses nine through eleven he prays that their love will abound (verse 9), that they will test things that are different (verse 10), that their lives will not lead them into sin, and finally that they will be filled with the fruits of righteousness (verse 11). This is a tall order for a human to do. But, Paul doesn't stop there. He goes on to say that these things come from Jesus Christ (verse 11), and that they should lead to praise and glory being given to God.
What would the world be like if every Christian had this prayer answered in their life? Every Christian was filled with the fruits of righteousness, that they tested things whether they were of God or not and that their life style did not lead them into sin, but rather they loved others in all knowledge and judgement.
(1) How did the Christians in Philippians help Paul?
(2) What four things did Paul pray would come about in the Philippians life?
(3) Who do these things come from?
(4) What two things will God receive if these four things are in our life?