And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment,Philippians 1:9(NASB)
Paul’s love for the body of Christ was a deep love that reflected the love he had for His Saviour and Lord. He grieved when they were slow of heart to learn; reprimanded them when they fell into sin; corrected them when they were lured into error; rejoiced with them as they grew in grace and instructed them, so they would become increasingly mature in the faith.
Paul’s great desire for the saints at Philippi was that they became rooted and grounded in the Word of truth, so that their love for God and their love for others would continue to grow and multiply. His prayer for these brothers and sisters in Christ was that they would increase in knowledge and all discernment, as they became increasingly conformed into the image and likeness of the Lord Jesus.
The love of God is as unfathomable as it is eternal and yet the Lord Jesus commanded us to love as He loved, and Paul prayed that love would overflow in our hearts. The difficult trials and chains of tribulation did not cause Paul to become bitter in his attitude towards God but rather he recognised that in all things, God, in His gracious-love and tender-mercy, was using them for good.
And so Paul was enabled to pen godly insights and instructions as to the true meaning of abounding love. Paul knew that godly wisdom and spiritual understanding has its roots in the love of God and his prayer is as much for us today as it was for the Christians at Philippi. Indeed, this should also be our continuous prayer for our brothers and sisters in Christ – that our love increases and abounds as we grow in grace and in a more intimate knowledge of God.
Heavenly Father, thank you for the privilege of prayer and for placing us in Your family as Your children and the body of Christ. Thank You for the example of Paul the apostle and I too pray for my brothers and sisters in Christ, that their love may increase and multiply and that they too grow in grace and in a knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, in His name I pray, AMEN.