A Life To The Glory And Praise Of God

The apostle Paul prayed the following prayer for those at Philippi.  Philippians 1:9-11 “And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”  I wish to encourage you with this prayer.

First, that your love would abound still more and more.  We know that love is the greatest commandment (Matthew 22:37-40).  Your love for God and your neighbor should abound – that is that love should be present in your live in a great quantity.  Over time, you should sense that your love is growing.  How can you be a true disciple of Jesus Christ and have a small amount of love?  Seek to be a person characterized by love.

Second, that you would have knowledge and all discernment.  The writer of Hebrews criticized his audience in Hebrews 5:12-14 “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.  For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.  But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”  You need to be spiritually mature, not still a babe in knowledge and discernment.  Recently someone I have known most of my life told me that they could see spiritual maturity in me.  I take that as a compliment.  Over time you should work to increase your spiritual knowledge and discernment – that comes from being into the Word and applying it in your life.

Third, that you may approve the things that are excellent.  Your choices in life and the things that you approve should be excellent.  Pray to God that you would make the right choices for the things that you approve and that you would be pleasing to your God in what you do.  This can happen when you seek to be led by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:14).

Fourth, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ.  Sincerity is opposed to hypocrisy.  Your Christian life must be genuine.  There should be no unrepented sin or offense in you.  Instead, seek to be a pure, genuine follower of Jesus Christ.

Fifth, that you would be filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ.  When the Holy Spirit lives within you, you will bear His fruit.  Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”  You will also perform righteous works.  Ephesians 2:10 “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”  Are you filled with the fruits of righteousness?

Finally, when you abound in love, you have spiritual knowledge and discernment, you approve things that are excellent, you are sincere and without offense, and you are filled with the fruits of righteousness, then your life will be to the glory and praise of God.  This is my encouragement to you.

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