August 08, 2019 1 Comment
May your love abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight. Philippians 1:9
We are continuing in Philippians chapter one today. I encourage you to read through the chapter. Paul has a sweet spot in his heart for the Philippians and you can see it in his prayer for them. Acts 16 tells us about his first visit to Philippi. Both Lydia's and the jailer's entire households become believers in Jesus. Lydia is a prominent woman who Paul met at a place of prayer beside a river just outside of town. She opens her home to the believers, hosting their fledgling church herself. The jailer owes his life to Paul and Silas. When they are beaten and imprisoned for driving a demon out of a girl who could tell the future, God shakes the jail and opens the doors. When the jailer realizes all the prisoners have most likely escaped, he grabs his sword to end his life, but Paul calls out that all those imprisoned are still present. Immediately the jailer takes them into his home, cares for their wounds, and opens his heart to their message of hope in Jesus. The next day, the city officials ask Paul and Silas to leave their town.
Throughout chapter one, we see Paul's joy for these friends in Philippi. I love his prayer for them in particular: that their love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight…so that they will be able to discern what is best and be pure until they meet Jesus face to face.
I love that our love in God is not solely an emotional experience. It is based on truth. As we learn more about our Lord, our love grows. It is with this love and knowledge that we can know what is good and pure and best. Purity does not come from gritting out a laundry list of shoulds and should nots. Instead, it is a natural response to our knowledge and love of God.
We need your Spirit to open our minds to your truth. Crack open our guarded hearts to feel the depth of your love. Guide our wills to do what is pure and blameless. I pray that you'd guide us into friendships that bring great joy like Paul with his dear friends in Philippi. Thank you that you are with us and we have each other!
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September 10, 2019
Just before the famous 4:13, Paul speaks about how he's learned to be content no matter the circumstances--rich or poor, well fed or hungry. The secret: God gives him strength in ALL circumstances. Paul trusts God to come through no matter what is happening to him
Now that is something I need way more than the strength to cliff dive or stick a landing, the strength to BE CONTENT no matter what.
September 10, 2019