Food for Friday

And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment. Philippians 1:9

I had developed a sore throat, usually the precursor to a head cold, and I mentioned the sore throat to an old friend. The best thing to take, he assured me, was a mixture of molasses and ginger. It was the first I had heard of such a remedy, and I asked for instructions on how to prepare it. The concoction seemed to work, or else enough time had passed, I don’t know, but the sore throat eased. Those two ingredients seemed to me to be an unusual combination to accomplish their purpose. Our text today tells of an unusual combination of ingredients: love, combined with knowledge and judgment. This was Paul’s earnest prayer for the Philippians, and God’s will for you and me.

First of all, is the apostle speaking of love for God or love for our fellow saints and lost souls? Love must always start with God, because He is the originator. We need to love Him before we can truly love others. Love that is not developed on the vertical plane (between us and God) is of little use on the horizontal plane (between us and others). So our love for God must be abounding in both knowledge and judgment. Let us examine these two ingredients that we are to combine with love.

What does knowledge have to do with our love for God? Think of it this way: doesn’t it just make sense that the more we know about God, the deeper our love will be? The word ‘knowledge’ refers to an understanding of facts or truth. To know more about God, we must read more of His Word. The Bible contains His revelation of Himself to us. We need to read the Book from cover to cover, and we need to meditate on small portions of it daily. We will learn about God’s character, His dealings with mankind, His purposes for our lives, and most important, we will learn about His Son and how to be more like Him. All this knowledge will deepen our love for God.

The word ‘judgment’ in our text refers to perception or understanding, discernment. In other words, it refers to what we do with the knowledge we obtain about God. It refers to the use we make of what we learn when we read the Bible.

When our love for God grows through knowledge and judgment, our love for God’s people also deepens and expands, and our love for lost souls also grows. And this is my prayer for you. -Jim MacIntosh

Comments are closed.