A Personal Devotional Journal

I invite you to journey with me. Sometimes we will look at short passages of Scripture and I will give my first thoughts and impressions. Other times, I will just share my thinking about spiritual issues. Always, you are welcome to comment and add your thoughts. Together, we could learn something.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Philippians 1:8-11 "Love, Knowledge, and Understanding"

I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding, 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.   Philippians 1:9-11

I sincerely would like to be pure and blameless.  It seems impossible.  I am so damaged.  Even when I try my hardest, I fall short; and even when I appear to be doing the right actions, it is often with the wrong motives.

Pure and blameless seems out of my league.  Yet Paul is praying for the Church in Philppi (and, I believe, for you and me).  And, importantly, he is not only praying, but identifying a path that leads to the very place I want to be.  Here is the path to being pure and blameless: Love -with Knowledge -and Understanding/Discernment.

In order for us to even come close, we need all three ingredients.  Love without knowledge and understanding is simply an emotional experience -all light, no heat.  Knowledge without love and understanding leads to arrogance and judgementalism.  Love and knowledge without understanding/discernment produces an atmosphere where anything goes and no internal transformation is expected.

When love happens in the context of understanding and knowledge, however, we attain compassion, wisdom and transformation.  Where true compassion, wisdom and transformation are operating, the Spirit of God is also operating since true compassion, true wisdom, true understanding and true love are from God.  Where the Spirit of God is operating, the Kingdom of God is being realized.

Clearly, there is an inherent connection between the Kingdom and the King (Jesus) and His righteousness.  It is in this fruitful environment that intimacy with God grows.  And intimacy with God produces spiritual transformation that leads to being pure and blameless in God's eyes.

So, for the Kingdom's sake, let's emulate Paul and pray for one another and for the Church that our love will overflow and that we will keep growing in knowledge and understanding.

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