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Love that Builds

Philippians 1:9-11
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 until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ--to the glory and praise of God. (NIV)

Sentimental feelings and nice emotions can be described as love, but they are neither the essence of love nor its purpose. True love only works when it is rooted in a full and clear understanding of the facts. Without knowing what is true, the power of love will become misdirected and fail to achieve its objective - the glorious up-building of somebody else. And this is especially necessary, when it comes to loving somebody as special as God.

Paul loved the people in the Philippian church. They received the gospel, surrendered to Christ and became partners in the missionary work. But they were still 'work in progress'. Their love for the Lord had to be informed by knowing what pleases Him, if they were to make decisions which fulfilled His purpose. And so Paul's prayer is that their love will become hungry to know more of God, and His purposes.

However, there are many competing ideas which circulate in a secular world, seeking to invade the Christian's mind. So followers of Jesus have to test the purity of each thought and impulse against God's 'gold standard'. When we do that, our lives will become full of what is right; they will also become transforming influences for others, and a glory to God both today and when He returns. That is a very big aspiration, but the way to start is to pray: pray these things for yourself, and pray them for others too. As we pray, God works in our hearts to change us from the inside. He also helps us to make the sort of decisions which please Him. This is especially valuable at work. If you have a workplace Christian prayer group, do join in. God's power is unlimited and when we ask him to act, just see what He will do.

Faithful God. Thank You that You want me to grow in love towards You and fellow believers. Please forgive me when my love has been uninformed by Your Word, uninspired by Your Spirit, unholy and impure. Please help me to know what pleases You and so to love You in an acceptable way. Help me to pray for my Christian brothers and sisters that they may also grow in love, so that when we all meet Jesus on the Last Day He will affirm that our love has been glorifying to God. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams