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.
Philippians 1:9-11 (NIV)
Read: Philippians 1:1-11
Consider: In Philippians 1 Paul encourages the members of the church at Philippi by assuring them that he prays for them. It is the focus of this prayer that is interesting.
Paul wants the Philippian believers to grow in their love for God and each other. The phrase he uses is ‘… that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight …’ This is love that is bountiful and overflowing.
I’m sure you’ve met some people along life’s journey who have been very knowledgeable, but weren’t very wise in applying that knowledge. Paul links the necessity for ‘knowledge’ with ‘insight’. How do you become knowledgeable and gain insight into any subject? To achieve this it is necessary to devote time and energy. Ask any undergraduate if knowledge is relatively easy to acquire and they will probably answer yes. If only exams were based on memorising, rather than applying knowledge! However, ask them how insight and understanding comes and they will acknowledge that this takes times and effort.
It is just the same in the spiritual realm. Reading the Bible is not the same as studying the Bible. Of course it is possible to study anything at a very basic level, but what is envisaged is that to gain ‘insight’ takes more time and effort to achieve. Insight may come in a blinding flash, but it is more likely to develop over weeks, months or even years, as we spend more and more time with God in both prayer and studying Scripture.
Are you willing to spend the time to become knowledgeable and to gain insight into your faith, so that you may discern what is best? God’s desire for you is to be ‘pure and blameless’, and to be ‘filled with the fruit of righteousness’.
Pray: Father, may we be willingness to devote time and energy in getting to know you and your Word better. We pray that as we do so, you would give us insight into the application of what we are reading to our lives. Amen