Summary: Pauls prayer to the Believers in Philippi and Us.

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1.That they might be filled with Love

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, (verse 9)

Here we see Paul’s passion for the spiritual maturity of the believers under his care through prayer. Ephesians 1:16-18 tells us:

Ephes. 1:16-18 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. [17] I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. [18] I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,

There is no truer gauge of a Christian’s lever of spiritual maturity that his prayer life. A true prayerful Christian does not arise from a mere sense of duty but from a deep inner passion to rely on God.

IIllustration: George Mueller Things looked bleak for the children of George Mueller’s orphanage at Ashley Downs in England. It was time for breakfast, and there was no food. A small girl whose father was a close friend of Mueller was visiting in the home. Mueller took her hand and said, “Come and see what our Father will do.” In the dining room, long tables were set with empty plates and empty mugs. Not only was there no food in the kitchen, but there was no money in the home’s account. Mueller prayed, “Dear Father, we thank Thee for what Thou art going to give us to eat.” Immediately, they heard a knock at the door. When they opened it, there stood the local baker. “Mr. Mueller,” he said, “I couldn’t sleep last night. Somehow I felt you had no bread for breakfast, so I got up at 2 o’clock and baked fresh bread. Here it is.” Mueller thanked him and gave praise to God. Soon, a second knock was heard. It was the milkman. His cart had broken down in front of the orphanage. He said he would like to give the children the milk so he could empty the cart and repair it.

But his prayer here for the Philippian believers that their love may abound more and more.

1 Cor. 13:1-3 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. [2] If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. [3] If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Object Lesson: Pots and Pans

Paul here in 1 Corinthians 13 five “if’s” even the most impressive achievements are pointless without love.

1.If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

2. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.

3. If I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

How important is love? Without it, our words rattle and clang and clang like noisy instruments.

Anything – Love = Zero

His prayer is that they will love more, more, more meaning that the believers here were already showing love for Paul and each other. That is why Paul could say he wanted their love to abound still more. One of the marks of a true Christian is love. Jesus tells us in

John 13:35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

John 15:12-13 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. [13] Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

2. That they might have the Spirit of Discernment so that you may be able to discern what is best (verse 10)

Paul continues and pray that they might have the spirit of discernment. He calls them to put aside their own tastes and preferences but to focus on achieving mature insight and understanding.

Acts 17:11 Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

The Bereans are one of my favorite people: Two things, They received the Word of God with eagerness and examined the Scriptures daily. These people met daily to search the Scriptures to determine whether or not what Paul was saying was true. Paul had been overjoyed at the way the people in Thessalonica had received the Word (1 Thes. 2:13), so these “noble Bereans” must have really encouraged his heart. All of us should imitate these Bereans by faithfully studying God’s Word daily, discussing it, and testing the messages that we hear

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