Posted in Daily Word

Philippians 1:9-12

Php 1:9-12
And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;
10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;
11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.
12 But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel;    KJV

We have been studying these four verses this week, and giving our insights, thoughts, and applications at Philter48, a forum set up by a couple of brothers in the Lord for this purpose. Everyone is welcome to participate in this ongoing study as we seek to live out what it means to have “every joint supply” (Ephesians 4:16) that which is necessary for the Body.

It is a verse-by-verse study, which can sometimes become tedious, and sometimes bring up things that are not necessarily the main intent of the passage, but always enhances our understanding and experience in the Lord. So, join us, please.

Paul is stuck in prison as he writes this letter. Rather than asking for prayer for his release or safety or any other personal thing at this time, he prays for the saints at Philippi. (For those who do not know how to pronounce that word, I’ll steal a line from Swanny who wrote Fill-A-Pie).

When he prays for the saints at Philippi, I take that as a prayer for me also, and a lesson is contained within the prayer itself.

Paul indicates that the Philippian saints were a manifestation of love when he prays that their love may abound even more.

But, this is not some sort of a fuzzy, touchy-feely kind of love, as we shall see further into the letter. It is a love that is manifested in action. Here, though, the apostle wants their love to abound by increasing in knowledge and judgment.

We can see from this that true agape love does not just accept and tolerate anything and everything that comes along, but is most truly shown by its exercise of discernment. It is a love that knows how to distinguish between good and evil, and between the good and the not-so-good. And that discernment has a purpose: to keep one pure and blameless until the day of Christ.

In other words, it is not enough to just love. It is not enough to just know. It is not enough to distinguish. One must act on love’s discerning knowledge.

That action, that doing what is called for in the moment by reason of a loving awareness, will produce the fruits of righteousness in the believer.

Lest they forget and think that it is by their good efforts, Paul reminds them that it ALL is by Jesus Christ. The love, the knowledge, the discernment, the sincerity, and the blamelessness are all of Him. He provides, leads, and guides; and it is up to me to do. But even the doing is of Him.

When will I ever get to the place where I realize on a moment-by-moment basis that I am nothing without Him? When will I get to the place that I do not secretly long for some sort of recognition?


NOTE: For a good read about one who is learning to trust the Lord on a moment-by-moment basis, read This is The Day.

Posted in Daily Word

Blogged Bible Study–John 21

Double Entendre

The final encounter between Jesus and Peter is loaded with food for thought, especially as we look to the words that are used.

The English language leaves much to be desired when trying to communicate various thoughts or nuances of meaning. For instance, I have been told that the the Eskimo have about seven different words for “snow.” each word describes the type of snow. We use “powder”, “wet”, “heavy” etc in conjunction with the word ‘snow’ to gtry to get across the meaning of what we are trying to say.

Most foreign languages avoid this difficulty by having specific words for differing meanings.

Such is the case here with Jesus asking Peter if he loved Him. There are two different words used for “love.” Peter’s responses use two different words for “know.” And Jesus used two different words in telling Peter to care for the flock of God, as well as making the distinction between lambs and sheep.

Many have written about the different words for “love” used here: agape and phileo. Agape is the word for unconditional committed love regardless of circumstances or anything else. It is a decision. Phileo is the word for brotherly love, and is dependent upon the good feelings one has for another. Those feelings can change, and so the phileo quality might change.

Up until his last response given with intense emotion, Peter used the word ‘oida’ which means to perceive or to recognize based on information attained. Then he said emphatically, “You know that I love you!” There, he uses the word ‘ginosko,’ which means to come to an experiential understanding.

“Lord, you have knowledge of all things. You know by your own experience how much I love You!” But, Peter would not go the extra step of proclaiming his undying love for the Lord by using the word agape. Peter had only responded with the word ‘phileo’ even when the Lord had asked for ‘agape.’ Finally, when Jesus used Peter’s level of love, he responded with emotion and said, “That’s the best I can do!!”

Was Peter remembering his betrayal? Did he remember how he had boasted of his full commitment, only to find himself a coward?

Jesus, the Master, was unrelenting in His pursuit of Peter’s knowledge of his own heart.

He is unrelenting in His pursuit of your heart. He wants it without reservation; but with full knowledge of the truth. No false humility. No false claims of greatness.

Be real.

NOTE: This is the last week for the Blogged Bible Study. Be sure to check out the other writers. And stay tuned to the various blogs of the different writers. Some are going to be doing different things that may prove interesting and beneficial for our walk with the Lord. I am looking to the Lord for my part in this.