so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ;
-Philippians 1:10 (NASB)
Thoughts on Today’s Verse
Despite his imprisonment, Paul delights in the fellowship of the gospel, and discovers an inner holy joy that comes from tenderly keeping the saints of God in his loving thoughts and holding them in his heart. But Paul’s love for his brothers and sisters in Christ overspills into earnest prayer for them all.
Paul prays that their love for God and their love towards each other might expand and overflow in all knowledge, discernment and spiritual maturity. He prayed that godly love would be the outward display of an inner heart.. in love with Jesus and mindful of the needs of others.
It was not simply an emotional love or a feeling of benevolence towards one another for which he prayed.. but true Christian love that considers the needs and desires of another, before considering ones own necessities.
His prayer was for the blossoming of an over-abounding love in each of their hearts.. and for the manifestation of deep spiritual discernment in each of their lives. Paul did not pray a vague prayer of ‘blessing’ over the saints of God, but beseeched the Lord for their abounding love and spiritual maturity – (for a specific purpose)… so that in Christ, they would be afforded the wisdom to make the right choices in their lives and approve those things that are good and excellent in the sight of the Lord.
Paul knew that only the divine love of God that flows into our hearts from the indwelling life of Christ can effectively abound in godly love towards others. He knew that only the new-life in Christ can be enabled by the Holy Spirit to approve those things that are good and excellent, so that the man or woman of God may live a life of godly service that is sincere and blameless before the Lord. Paul knew that only as we abide in Christ and He in us can we live as God intended all His children to live – in total dependence upon Him… a good and excellent life that is without offense, blameless and holy before our God.
Heavenly Father, I pray that I may set aside my own self life and live in true fellowship of the gospel with my brothers and sisters in Christ. Help me to discover that inner holy joy that comes from holding all the saints of God in my loving thoughts and lifting them up in prayer within my heart. May my love for all believers in Christ overspill into earnest prayer for them all – that togethe we may learn to approve that which is good and excellent, so that in sincerity and truth we may grow in grace and live blamelessly before You.. until the return of Christ, when we shall be like Him – for we shall see Him as He is. This I ask in Jesus precious name, AMEN