Prepare yourself to discern what is and what is not of God today. Still yourself so you can hear how God is calling you.
Philippians 1:3-11 (NRSV)
I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to think this way about all of you, because you hold me in your heart, for all of you share in God’s grace with me, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the compassion of Christ Jesus. And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.
In today’s culture the term love is commonplace. It often comes across as hollow, insincere, and meaningless. In our scripture for today, Paul is praying that the Philippians will grow and mature in love. He mentions a kind of love not ordinarily associated with the term, a love that includes knowledge, insight, and discernment. This love is tested by real-life situations and is broader than “just Jesus and me.” It involves discernment rather than judgement, solutions rather than criticism. With this kind of love, we learn to see others through the eyes of Jesus. A mature love understands we cannot love God without loving others. Our love experience looks to wisdom, which results in lives pleasing to Christ. Such love is not automatic. Our status quo has the real possibility of making us comfortable and complacent, rather than being engaged in an expanding, inclusive love. “They will know we are Christians by our love.”
Lord, how often we struggle to love as you command us. We assume an awesome responsibility and only through your extended grace and our continuing effort will we experience the joy of a maturing love. Grant us that grace. Amen.
Go with God.