“And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and 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.” Philippians 1:9-11
Let this be our prayer for one another. That our love would be rooted and grounded and growing in the rich soil of the Father’s love. That we would meditate on what Jesus means in John 15 when He promises to love us with the very same love the Father and Son share. That our love would grow because we grow in knowledge and discernment, living lives pleasing unto the LORD, approving only what He does. Do you sometimes shun words like “pure and blameless” because they seem lofty, unattainable, Pharisaical? This call to purity is God’s desire for you, and He will be at work in you, making you more like His Son–pure and blameless. Oh that we would gaze upon Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, and so be filled with true love, knowledge and discernment–a love and knowledge that would shape us, and make us fruitful. The Master Gardner will make the branches fruitful who are abiding in the Vine. He will. And that fruit will include the fruit of righteousness.
“I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness. If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them…” John 12:46-47
“I know that His commandment is eternal life; therefore the things I speak, I speak just as the Father has told Me.” John 12:50
“As for you, let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning…This is the promise which He Himself made to us: eternal life.” 1 John 2:24-25
The Word of God came and dwelt among us, and all whom the Father gave to Him would and will come, and all who come He will not turn away. All who seek will find, when they seek with their whole being. He promises that all who believe, who keep His words, who abide in His words, will have eternal life. Neither keeping His words, nor abiding in His words, is reducible to a “moment in which I repeat some magic words in the form of what some call prayer.” This is not reducible to a mere moment in which I make a decision. We make a beginning, and we live. This is the ongoing, active, abundant and flourishing life we long for. If I am His, it is because He has drawn me with His everlasting love, has grafted me in to His body, united me to Christ, has circumcised my heart, taken away my heart of stone and given me a new heart–one that can know Him and love Him, and He has begun to transform me into His image, renewing me to a true knowledge. He has drawn me into the Light, I am a child of Light, finally capable of knowing truth by the illuminating work of the Spirit of Truth dwelling in me. Keeping His words, abiding in them, is the beginning of my enjoying the gift of eternal life. “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” (John 17:3) This knowing is with our whole being–not the head, not the heart, but with the whole you (do not separate them, as Western Christianity is want to do).
This eternal life is not merely “living forever.” We do not have a boring God with boring mysterious promises. This is an exciting promise, for those who would have fervour and zeal in their quest to know, to comprehend, to take hold of the eternal life. Do you hunger and thirst for righteousness? You will be filled.
For the time being, Philippians 1:9-11 is up on my wall, that I may meditate on it, and pray it for me, for my church family, and that my affections may come in line with His.