And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God (Phi. 1:9-11)(ESV).
Paul’s prayer for the Philippians was that the cardinal Christian value of love would grow within them, that they would become more knowledgeable of God’s Word and that they would have a more discerning spirit.
He prayed this because he knew that Christian maturity would lead the Philippians to express their love in ways that would truly benefit others and glorify God.
Their love wouldn’t just be empty talk. It wouldn’t be the result of some twisted rendering of God’s Word for their own purposes.
It would be the practical expression of what it means to know and love him. It would be the demonstration in their lives of how Jesus lived his life.
Through their love, others would be drawn to God.
As Christians, God has given us the ministry of reconciliation. We are Christ’s ambassadors and God makes his appeal to others through us.
Would people know us as Christ followers by watching our lives? Do they see Jesus in us? Do our interactions with others draw people to his love or push them further away?
For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised (2 Cor. 5:14-15)(ESV).