The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

05/22/2009

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A Philippian Prayer


"And this is my prayer; that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth and insight. so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until 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).

Isn't it cool to watch a plant grow, and after careful nurturing get to eat of it's fruit? In the Christian community we often talk of fruit-bearing. We talk about it on many levels such as talking about the hope that is in us to others. We also talk about the fruits of the spirit that ought to be exemplified in our lives. I would maintain to you that one of the fruits of our faith is prayer. When we become Christians, our prayer life starts to become more meaningful. As we mature in the Lord, just as it is natural for a well nurtured plant to bear fruit, our prayer life becomes something natural to us.

Paul prays here that their "love may abound." He prays this because it is possible for our love to wane. To increase, it must be cultivated and nurtured. He wants their love to not just abound, but to abound in knowledge. Knowledge is the wellspring of our faith and love. With knowledge comes "depth of insight." We need this because it aids us "to be able to discern what is best." It keeps our moral compass functioning in the proper way. Through this discernment we can move toward being "pure and blameless," as opposed to insincere and self-serving.

Being "blameless" means not being offensive to others. It means "biting our tongues" rather than saying something that would hurt and hinder. All of us know about those words uttered in anger that just can't be brought back in. It means not being a stumbling block to others, but rather an example of what Christian demeanor ought to be about. Rather than just "having to be heard" maybe our attitude may become just "having to listen."

Finally Paul speaks about the "fruits of righteousness." He prays that we ought to be filled with them...Filled to an abundance! When my Mother-in law died this past October, my eulogy revolved around how her life reflected the "fruits of the spirit" in Galatians 5:22 & 23. How fitting for a farmer's wife to be filled with wonderful fruits. Every once in a while we ought to read about those fruits to see if the fruits of our faith are growing. Paul's wonderful prayer in Philippians 1 is for each of us....

Have a great day...I got a RAK yesterday....Thanks...Go about doing good... Love mark Phil. 4:11

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