October 7

Philippians 1:6,9-10 6being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

9And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ,

Paul certainly had a heart of love for the churches. Those believers were very precious to him. He is encouraging them with the fact that he is confident that God will carry on to completion what He started in their lives until Jesus returns. The Christians of that day had to deal with persecution. They must have wondered at times if they would stand strong. Paul reminded them that it is God's work, not just their own ability.

When I was a child, I would sometimes start something and then lose interest. My father always told me to finish the task I started, or at least clean up my effort. God doesn't leave things half done. He finishes what He starts. He has started to make you like His Son. He won't lose interest or give up. He will finish the seemingly impossible task.

In this prayer he was asking that God work into the Philippians' lives an increasing love. He asked that their love increase in knowledge and depth of insight. As we grow in the love of God, we gain the ability to discern not just the good but the best. That discernment is part of the work God is completing in us.

Much of our battle in life is not choosing between the good and the bad. As we mature, that becomes more and more obvious. The real battle becomes how effective our lives will be for the Kingdom of God. Will we choose the best over what is good? That is the dividing line that will determine our fruitfulness. It will also determine how closely we follow the Lord. Paul says the answer lies in an increase in agape love. Pray for God's love for your brothers and sisters, for the lost, and most of all, to love God with the kind of love with which He loves you. That is what will keep you from straying on the way to God finishing the work He started in you.

Prayer: Lord, please mature me so that I can discern the best, and help me follow through with that choice.