Overflowing love

Philippians 1:7-11    “So it is right that I should feel as I do about all of you, for you have a special place in my heart. You share with me the special favor of God, both in my imprisonment and in defending and confirming the truth of the Good News.  God knows how much I love you and long for you with the tender compassion of Christ Jesus. I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God.”

  • Paul expresses his gratitude that the Philippians took the risk of identifying themselves with him even as he was a prisoner in Rome.
  • He used legal terms of “defending” (apologia) and “confirming” (bebaiosis) probably referring to his upcoming trial where he would give a defense and offer a clear explanation of the Good News about Jesus in a Roman hearing.
  • Paul expressed his deep love for the church at Philippi and followed it up with specific prayer that included:
  1. love to overflow more and more
  2. growth in knowledge and understanding 
  3. discernment to know what really matters to live a pure life
  4. filling with the fruit of salvation – righteous character
  • Paul said that God gets much glory and praise when our lived are filled with righteous character through Jesus (not our own efforts to “try harder”).   This character fruit paralells the fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5 (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self control)
Application questions
  • Who has stood with you and supported you through trials in your life? Take a moment to call, text, Facebook, or write them a note of expressing thanks for their help.
  • Take a few minutes to pray specifically verses 9-11(4 points of Paul’s above) for someone in your life right now – (your husband, children, friend, neighbor?)
  • Are you able to give a defense and a clear explanation of the Gospel?  If you aren’t sure – take some time to read Romans 3-6!
  • is there an area God is calling you to be more discerning of what really matters in life in view of Christ’s return?  (Will it matter in eternity? Is it harmful? Is it helpful? Does it honor God?)
  • Are you relying on Christ today to produce the fruit of salvation – righteous character – in order that God receives glory through your life?  Is there an area in your life you need to surrender to Jesus that is not bringing glory to God (opposites of the Galatians 5 fruit – impatience, lack of joy, lack of peace, harshness, lack of self control, etc. ?)
Prayer:
Adoration: Praise God that He does the work of producing righteousness in our lives – we just need to yield to Him.
Confession: Admit an area in your life that would not fit into the category of “righteous character”
Thanksgiving:  Thank God that His love that overflows more and more in our lives as we grow deeper in relationship with HIm
Supplication:  Ask God to give you His discernment to know what “really matters” in life today.

 

 

 

 

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