And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may 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. (Philippians 1:9-11)
Paul urges abounding love. Growing in this is not quick and it is not easy. But trust God and praise God, it does happen!
Some people grow in Jesus like wildfire, and never really stop. You hear of someone who comes to believe in Jesus, a week later they know they are called to be a pastor, and for the rest of their life they walk strongly and keep growing.
But what about the rest of us who aren’t always growing like wildfire?
Over the years, I have hit some major rough spots. God was gracious to rescue me from them, but overall growing in “depth of insight” has taken me decades. God sure has been patient and faithful during that time! It’s good to remember that this is what God is like — because the devil will mess with how long we have been Christians and twist it to be used against us: What? You still have doubts?? OR Look at how much growth brother so-and-so has. You are such a waste!
One way I love to counter the devil’s attacks is to be encouraged by honest stories, featuring lives of pilgrims who have both victories and defeats!
I’d like to put in a plug for my men’s group which is named Battleground ; here you have men who love Jesus but who have good stories about how patient God has been with their foul-ups ; and instead of scorn for those weaknesses and flops, there is joy at how God has given repentance, forgiveness, and (steady if sometimes slow) growth over time!
I can’t get over how patient God is with us, when it takes so long to get what he’s saying through our thick heads.
Yes, I have fallen short of the glory of God. Maybe you have, too. But God calls us to a life of repentance and forgiveness, rejoicing that his kindnesses are new and fresh each morning and that he really does view us as pure and blameless because of what Jesus achieved for us.
God loves to help us see what is best, so that we can lead a fruitful life for him. Then we can truly say, thank you for filling me with more of your love.