SUPPLICATION

“And this is my prayer, that your love may continue to grow stronger in all understanding and discernment, that you may distinguish good from evil and learn to prize what is truly valuable, that you be of transparent character and kept pure until Christ returns, bearing a rich harvest of His righteousness that will bring praise and glory to God.”    (paraphrased)

v. 9
Paul prays the Philippians love for God will continue to increase. But though the love within a church family may run true and deep, there is always room for improvement. Later in this epistle, we find hints of rivalries and jealousies within the church at Philippi. As with marital affection, love within a church must grow or it will lose its freshness. The term “more and more” means “to overflow.” Paul desires their love will continue to mature. Mutual love should motivate us to increase our appreciation of one another. The fact that we will spend eternity together should cause us to be sensitive to the needs of others. The better we know Jesus, the more we love Him and seek to know Him more intimately every day.

v. 10
“The things which are excellent” are things that have spiritual value. Here we are challenged to discern the very best course of action in every situation. Paul encourages us to love Jesus all the more “in all knowledge and discernment.” Christians should exercise discretion, perception and sound judgment. For example, the Spirit of God will guide Christian businesswomen in their dealings with men in the workplace just as He will guide men to avoid flirtatious co-workers.

Jesus says, “If you love Me, keep my commandments,” teaching us that love for God results in obedience (John 14:15). Love for God demands we trust Him, even when He does not fully explain everything to us. For example, Peter tries to dissuade Jesus from going to Calvary and Jesus immediately corrects him (Matt. 16:23). Peter’s love is sincere, but is restricted by his lack of knowledge of the plan of salvation. Our love for Jesus is insufficient if it is not growing and “abounding more and more.”

Paul encourages his Philippians to grow spiritually stronger that they may be “sincere and sinless until He returns.” The term “sincere” carries the idea of “freedom from impurities.” When we attempt to walk with Christ and also walk with unsaved persons, our loyalties become divided. We must constantly seek spiritual enrichment or risk becoming spiritually impoverished. In these verses, Paul shows the impossibility of loving the world and Jesus simultaneously. When Believers become self-centered, the desire to know God more intimately is easily overshadowed by the desire for “earthly things” (Phil. 3:19).

v. 11
A further desirable result of Christian maturity is to produce “the fruits of righteousness.” The positive development of our Christian life is in view here. Jesus teaches a branch can only bear fruit as it abides in the vine (John 15:4). The ultimate aim of our maturity and production of spiritual fruit is to give glory and honor to the True Vine (John 15:1).

 

SUPPLICATION - STUDY QUESTIONS

MULTIPLE CHOICE

1. In this passage, Paul prays the Philippians:
A. will have a stronger love
B. will exercise discernment
C. will be sincere
D. will be filled with righteousness
E. all of the above

2. Paul desires the Philippians be filled with the fruits of righteousness.  What other fruit does Paul refer to in Galatians 5:22?
A. the fruit of evangelism
B. the fruit of teaching
C. the fruit of fellowship
D. the fruit of the Spirit
E. the fruit of selflessness

3. In verse 11, we find that the ultimate aim of Paul’s prayers for the Philippians is:
A. personal peace
B. the glory of God
C. their continued generosity
D. church growth
E. none of the above

8. Read 1:5. List some benefits of having fellowship with your spouse.

 

SUPPLICATION - REFLECTION

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR COUPLES

1. Paul desires the love of the Philippians will continue to grow.  Discuss ways in which your love for God has grown over the past few months.

2. List the things David desires from the Lord in Psalm 127:4. Discuss whether or not these are your desires as a couple as well - and if not, why not.


3. Dialogue with your mate concerning avoiding the temptations of fornication.


4. Read John 15:1-6. According to verse 2, what will Jesus do in order to help you produce more
  fruit for Him? According to verse 6, what will happen to persons who do not abide in Christ?


5. What can Paul’s prayer in 1:3-11 teach you about praying for your spouse and others?


6. Read Psalm 27:4 and list the things David desires.


7. Read 1:5. List some benefits of fellowshipping with other Christian couples.

SUPPLICATION - REFLECTION


ESSAY QUESTIONS FOR INDIVIDUALS

1. Paul desires the love of the Philippians will continue to grow.  List ways in which your love for God has grown over the past few months.

 

2. List the things David desires from the Lord in Psalm 127:4. Write a paragraph whether or not these are your desires as well and if not, why not.

 

 

3. List specific ways you can exercise discernment concerning temptations of fornication.

 

4. Read John 15:1-6. According to v. 2, what will Jesus do in order to help you produce more fruit for Him? According to v. 6, what will happen to persons who do not abide in Christ?


5. What can Paul’s prayer in 1:3-11 teach you about praying for others?

 

6. Read Psalm 27:4 and list the things David desires.

 

 

7. Read 1:5. List some benefits of having fellowship with good Christian friends.

 

 


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