We are starting a new series here at T2 Women focusing on helping moms in raising their children. Let’s face it; it is a scary world out there! Children today are learning about things much earlier than their parents and grandparents did. Just take television programs: restrictions are being loosened and it’s tough trying to find something today that the whole family can sit down and enjoy together without being embarrassed or feeling as if they are setting poor examples for their children to follow, such as in the way they talk to one another. This wasn’t the case 40-50 years ago.
Advice for parents also runs the gambit! Do we discipline or do we hope the children will find their way on their own. Just when do we push them to succeed and when should we back off and accept their performance? Can we allow our kids to quit, or do we encourage them to keep trying? There are hundreds of questions each parent will face in their child’s lifetime. How can we be sure we’re making the right choices for our children? As a new mom I used to wish children came with an instruction manual, and then I learned we do have one! The Bible has every answer to every question you will ever wonder about! It’s all right there in one Book; you just need to go looking for it, and the best thing about it is, you never have to doubt you’re doing the right things again!! You can stand on its truths.
As I mentioned yesterday, the first place to begin is in prayer, and this prayer of Paul’s for the Philippians is a great prayer to pray for those you love most. Once we break it down a bit to see exactly what we are praying for, I’m sure you’ll agree.
“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.” Phil 1:9-11
There are five things Paul is asking for here, and it’s important to note that they are all sequential. Paul prayed:
1. That our love may abound more and more.
2. With knowledge and depth of insight. so that we will
3. Approve what is excellent, pure, blameless, (the best!)
4. All for good works or a righteous life (right living)
5. So that we would glorify Christ.
As we look to see just a bit of what’s here, I’d like to start from the bottom and work our way up.
5.) “ …to the glory and praise of God”- We were put on this earth to glorify Him hands down. That’s why we were created and are here today; unfortunately, not many realize that, but that’s for another post and time.
4.) “…filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ”- How many of you want to raise your children to be men and women of great integrity for others to look up to one day? How many of you want them to shine as bright lights in this world and for others to know and recognize that God is with your son /daughter and for others to desire to follow in their footsteps? This is part of what this prayer is asking, but it’s not all.
3.) “…so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ “-We all, I believe, want our children to grow up and be able to discern not only right from wrong, but what is the very best in every situation. No wavering, no doubting, no hesitating, no excuses but to be men/women of integrity that will stand firm on their beliefs. One that others can and will look to.
1&2.) “…that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight- It begins with love!! But hold on here; it’s not just any love. It is not Eros – the romantic love, nor Philos – brotherly love. No, this love is Agape – God’s unconditional love and can only come from Him. It is a love of action verses a love of feelings. It’s defined in I Corinthians 13:4-8a: “ Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
It’s God’s love and, therefore, it doesn’t come naturally, but comes from God and has the ability to grow within each of us through our “knowledge and depth of insight” into God Himself and His ways. Paul goes on in this chapter to explain just how important this love is, in that without this love we are nothing and wraps up the chapter by saying, “So faith, hope and love remain, these three, but the greatest of these is love.” (1 Cor 13:13) Now that we have a better sense of what this prayer is asking, look once more to this prayer of Paul’s amplified to gain a better sense of Paul’s urgency:
“And this I pray: that your love may abound yet more and more and extend to its fullest development in knowledge and all keen insight [that your love may display itself in greater depth of acquaintance ], So that you may surely learn to sense what is vital, and approve and prize what is excellent and of real value [recognizing the highest and the best, ], and that you may be untainted and pure and unerring and blameless [so that with hearts sincere and certain, you may approach] the day of Christ [not stumbling nor causing others to stumble]. May you abound in and be filled with the fruits of righteousness (of right standing with God and good works) which come through Jesus Christ, to the honor and praise of God.”
WoW! Can you see why Paul was so compelled to pray this for those he loved!? Shouldn’t we as well?
‘Til next time, sue