“And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more…” – Philippians 1:9a
The Philippians had a real love for the apostle Paul. This was seen in their selfless giving to his ministry, even when others could not or would not support him (4:14-16). As we know true, biblical love is a “fruit of the Spirit”. It is something that is to mark our lives and to be lived out daily. And so, for Paul, it was his earnest desire that their love would not be idle, or only expressed occasionally, or to only a particular people, but that their love would “abound still more and more…” In other words, Paul desired that their “love” would overflow, that it would be ever-increasing, flowing into many lives and situations like a flowing river, rather than looking like a stagnant pool!
The “love” Paul envisions is selfless and giving, a sacrificial love, the kind expressed by the Lord Jesus Christ, as seen in Philippians 2:5-8, where He took the form of a servant, and gave Himself, even to death on a cross for our sins! It is that kind of love that Paul desires these Christians to abound in! But that’s not always easy to do. We’re not always lovable. Sometimes we hurt each other, or we disagree on matters, or we suffer persecution. But this is why Paul prays for them, and why we must pray for each other. For only in that way will we be gracious and forgiving of one another and able to serve the Lord together!
Suggestions for prayer
Let us be thankful for each other. And because we care for one another, let us pray for this kind of abounding, sacrificial love to be seen in our lives for the blessing of the church, for our witness and the glory of God!
Rev. Merwin serves as minister of the Immanuel United Reformed Church of Listowel, Ontario, Canada. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.