Philippians | Day Two
By: Taylor Flatt
Have you ever had a best friend that you love more and more every single time you hang out with her? It’s like the more that you get to know her, the more that you love her?! Well, I have one of those too, and she’s the greatest.
As we open our Bibles to Philippians today, we find Paul sharing a prayer with his friends. He longs for them to find a deep friendship in Jesus Christ. Paul knows that Jesus is the friend that you love more every day the deeper you get to know Him.
Read Philippians 1:9-11.
With what is Paul praying for their love to abound?
Why does Paul believe that their love will abound with knowledge and discernment?
Paul prays that his friends would allow their love to grow for God through knowledge because he knows that the more they get to know God, the more they will love Him. And he prays for discernment because he knows that there is nothing they can learn about God that will ever make them love Him less. He’s praying that the Philippians would only believe the true things about God —the things that increase love for Him.
Paul is confident in this: to know God is to love God. and knowing God always leads to loving God.
But here’s the catch: you can’t love someone that you don’t know.
A Bible teacher named Jen Wilkin says it like this: “the heart cannot love what the mind does not know.” Basically, the more you truly know someone, the more you are able to truly love someone. If you don’t spend time getting to know someone, you will not be able to cultivate affection for them.
For example, if you’re feeling like your affection for Jesus isn’t very strong, then spend some more time getting to know Him and your love for Him will grow.
But guess what? It works the opposite way as well. We cannot feel truly loved unless we are truly known. That’s why we feel the most love from the people who know us the best. And that’s exactly why God loves you more than anyone else — because He knows you better than anyone else. God is the only one who can truly know you and that means He’s the only one who can truly love you. Isn’t that amazing?!
Another lesson we can learn from this letter is the truth that knowledge leads to love.
Therefore, we need to get to know more people.
I don’t know about you but I have a hard time loving people I don’t know. I don’t feel a lot of love and compassion for people when I haven’t taken the time to get to know them and their stories. And conversely, when I do take the time to get to know someone and their story, it’s so much easier for me to love them with the love of Jesus.
If we love people with the love of Jesus, we are doing the work of Jesus! But as Christians, we aren’t just called to love God and to love people. We first are called to know God and to know people.
Know God and know people = Love God and love people.
This is the way of Jesus. This is living with purpose.
Think about these important questions today.
How does knowing that I am completely known and loved by God change the way that I live?
Am I increasing my love for God by increasing my knowledge of God?
Who am I getting to know?
Maybe it’s someone from school that you haven’t been getting along with or maybe it’s one of your siblings. Sit down and listen to someone’s story and their heart. Ask them what they are going through and watch your love for them grow!