After expressing confidence in the future work and grace of God (v.6), Paul now explains his love for the Philippians and prays for them.
Paul says, essentially, that he loves the saints at Philippi with the same self-sacrificing love that Jesus showed for the entire world (vv.7-8, cf. John 3.16). He knows they are not fair-weather friends (v.7b), and knows they are in this for the long run (v.10).
The prayer in vv.9-11 is powerful, and something that we could all benefit from praying today.
And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
Even though there is plenty of love on show already (vv.7-8), praying for more is never a bad thing! Paul prays for love with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ…How often we emphasise being full of love, but empty headed. A full heart can actually go with a full head (cf. 1 Corinthians 5.1-7).
Today then, yes, be as full of love as you can possibly be, then pray for more! But, in addition to this, pray and ask God for love that comes with knowledge and discernment. It is possible to be full of both!
If you are worried that this doesn’t really feel like a very ‘Christian’ position, you know, we ought to just focus on loving and not too much on the thinking…, read the end of v.11 again, we pray for this for
…the glory and praise of God.
Full of love, yes!
Full of knowledge and discernment, also yes!