“And I pray this: that your love will keep on growing in knowledge and every kind of discernment, so that you may approve the things that are superior and may be pure and blameless in 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
How would you describe your love for others? Is it growing? Is it with knowledge and discernment?
Our love should always be growing. On earth, we will never reach a point of loving one another perfectly, because we are each still in our sinful flesh. We can always be growing in our love for one another.
The Thessalonians modeled this; in his first letter to them, Paul exclaimed how thankful he was for their labor of love (1 Thessalonians 1:2-3), and in his second letter, he declared that their love had grown ever greater (2 Thessalonians 1:3). Could someone say the same of your love for others? Has your love grown ever greater?
How does our love grow? In knowledge and discernment, which can only be produced from Scripture. John MacArthur writes, “Biblical love is not an empty, sentimentalism but is anchored deeply in the truth of Scripture and regulated by it … Love is not blind, but perceptive, and it carefully scrutinizes to distinguish between right and wrong.”
Our love should be based on knowledge—our knowledge of how we were first loved by the Savior (1 John 4:19). According to the love that God has covered us, we love others—with the same grace, selflessness, and truth. We also love others wisely; we seek to discern the need of the moment and use the opportunity to love them in the best way possible. We love one another with knowledge of the truth, always seeking to encourage them in further holiness. Is your love founded in this kind of knowledge and discernment?
God, thank You for your abundant love towards me. Thank You for how You covered me with Your perfect love. Help me to love others the same way. Help me to have love that is ever-growing and grounded in knowledge and discernment. Amen.
Spend this week praying Paul’s prayer for the Philippians, not only for yourself, but also for the believers around you—your family, your friends, and your church.