Love; May 11, 2019


Philippians 1:9-11 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may 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.

This is certainly timely, when I’m speaking on Love tomorrow! Paul is here expressing some of the benefits of our love growing. Love is not to be blind, it is to “abound in knowledge and depth of insight.” In no way does it mean that we are to “check our minds at the door,” as some atheists accuse Christians of doing. As long as we are on this earth we are to keep growing, in our love for God, in our knowledge of Him, and in obediently applying what He shows us. It is as we do that, that we are able to discern the truth of what is going on around us. Frankly, most of us are oblivious to most of what is going on, because we have very little spiritual insight. Some of what is going on is really nasty, as is coming out in various revelations of this Information Age. I was absolutely flabbergasted yesterday to see a bit of antisemitic drivel that was exposed by the Clarion Project. I have trouble believing there really are people who think like that! On the other hand, there is also a lot of good going on that we aren’t aware of, and that is where we need to keep our focus. After all, God is Love, and of all the many things that means, one thing we can be sure of is that it means everything is going to turn out right.

I find myself frequently reinforced in my awareness of Jesus’ wisdom in condensing the whole Bible into two commands: love God, and love your neighbor. (Matthew 22:36-40) At the same time, I am also reminded frequently that my love has plenty of room to grow. At times I seem to love easily, but at other times not so much. I have had a 50-year practicum in loving my wife, and I still don’t do it perfectly! However, my love for her has taught me things about all the other loves in my life, as I’ll be talking about tomorrow. Maybe it’s a good thing she won’t be in the congregation tomorrow, so I won’t be distracted by her responses to what I say! I need to remember, and teach, that my love for God has got to be the foundation for every other love in my life, and all of that is predicated on my awareness of His love for me. I need to be active in seeking to grow in my love and knowledge of my Lord, drawing ever closer to Him, so that I may be increasingly available to Him to use me to do His will, for His glory.

Father, thank You for Your love. Your grace and mercy and everything else flow from it. Help me respond more and more accurately and fully to that love, to be the son You desire, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

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About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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