Be excellent

Be excellent

I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent. – Philippians 1:9-10

Philippians 1:6-10

 6 And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

 7 So it is right that I should feel as I do about all of you, for you have a special place in my heart . . .

 8 God knows how much I love you and long for you with the tender compassion of Christ Jesus.

 9 I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding.

 10 For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return.

When we accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, the Father adopts us as His dear children into His forever family. It does not matter what has come before. All things have been forgiven and washed clean. We begin a new journey in life. Our goal is to seek to know our new Father and please and honor Him with our lives.

What Christlike quality directs all the rest? Paul unequivocally answers, now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love (1 Corinthians 13:13).

It is the Father’s desire that we grow in our knowledge and understanding of love. When we start out, we are infants in our comprehension of love. To a baby as they learn to speak, all animals with wings are “birdies,” all four-footed animals are “doggies,” and all automobiles are “car cars.” Later they learn to distinguish the things that are different.

Paul prays that they might experience abounding love and discerning love. Christian love is not blind! The heart and mind work together so that we have discerning love and loving discernment (Wiersbe).

The Father is faithful to finish what He starts. Once we accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, the work of sanctification begins. And it continues. There is always more to walking with God than what we’ve known, seen, learned, or experienced (Stanley).

REFLECT & PRAY

The Father has started us on a new path. We no longer have to look over our shoulder at what we have done wrong. Rather we are to look forward to the good that we will do. It is the Father Himself who has begun a good work in us, and He will continue it from now on.

Father I want to set new goals. I no longer want to be just average or good enough. I want to be excellent. Dear Father when it comes to really understanding what love is, I recognize my knowledge is like that of a small baby. Please encourage and enable me to grow up and develop real knowledge and discernment that come only from You.

INSIGHT

When I perform an honest self-check, I recognize that I seem to think and understand more than I really do. It would be better to begin to think of my knowledge as a jigsaw puzzle of a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ. The puzzle portrays His beautiful love and grace.

The puzzle has thousands of pieces but alas I only have a few properly laid out, mainly around the edges. All the pieces that are missing need to be fitted in. It takes many years, if not an entire lifetime to complete the puzzle.

Be encouraged to begin anew, to acquire the necessary knowledge and discernment to put it all together.

Time to get to work.

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