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Philippians 1:9-11 Intro | Philippians 1:9a Practical love |
Philippians1:9b Discerning Love | Philippians 1:10 Righteous Love |
Philippians 1:11 Glorious Love | 1:9-11 Video |
Stepping Into God’s Love is an expository sermon on Philippians 1:9-11 relating four stages of love that Paul was praying for those in Philippi and that God wants activated in our lives. Righteous Love from Philippians 1:10-11a tells us the product of a more excellent love filled with righteousness.
“So that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ, having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ” (1:10-11a).
Abounding love, love that overflows, enables us to fix our attention on the greater things in life. Paul states it as ‘approve the things that are excellent.’ We know there are many good things out there and many more less than good.
Our challenge in each of our lives is to live out excellent lives. Paul, sitting in jail, is convinced his living out from love is far greater than safe and ease at home. What kept Paul from focusing on his own needs and becoming bitter rather than living from a heart of love?
￼There are several points here that we should attend to if we are to incorporate this truth of love into our lives.
Starts with Christ-centered love
Grow in knowledge
Challenged with choices (approve)
Hope of sincerity & blamelessness
Result - filled with righteousness (i.e. Love between each other)
Excellence is not just for books on management but for every Christian believer.
This ability to master each circumstance with the touch and power of love is ours through the Holy Spirit.
Yes, I know the baby is crying, your boss acts pig-headed, that driver is crazy, but love is within our reach no matter what our circumstances. The church at Philippi needed a lot of prayer to get there just as we do. But having said that, when we concentrate on loving others, then we can carry out God’s good and special will and not be ensnared in one or more of the evil schemes.
Excellence leads to good decisions that accomplish God’s will but that which is excellent, like Christ’s work on the cross, might lead through difficult paths.
Remembering that the Apostle Paul is in a dirty, raunchy prison from doing great works of love help us remember this fact. We should say to ourselves, ‘Yes, it is important to dedicate myself to caring for others, even if things do not go well with me.”
Winning does not mean that we do not suffer, though we prefer that, but that we abound in love. We even love our enemies. Triumph’s final tale will not be told or seen here but in heaven. We can, however, be excited with our opportunities to love others.
I remember my wife being so tired from getting up in the middle of the night with the baby. Normally, she would need to feed the baby, but at times the baby was just fussy. I would at times tell her to rest and that I would get the baby this time. This gives the husband an opportunity to introduce more love into the situation.
Excellence is based upon certain standards and expectations. We will face judgment for our deeds. Each day’s decision make a difference.
The very words sincere and blameless both depict a certain level of obedience. If I go on a bout of self-seeking entertainment when others need discipling, isn’t there something wrong? Love compels us from out of our complacency to do what is right and good. In many cases, people will not ask for love. They have given up hope on that. But love spurs us on to give and keep giving.
This standard that God holds us to is based on His lofty design for His people specifically and as a whole. He positions us in a certain geographical position, gifts us with spiritual gifts and steers us with general admonitions.
The fruit of righteousness is the outcome of all the loving deeds we have done. A tree bears its fruit, a flower its blossom. And so a believer of Jesus Christ bears forth the fruit of righteousness.
The word ‘righteousness’ speaks of those kind actions that meet God’s holy standards. We should instantly know that sex or sexual foreplay before marriage is not righteous and therefore is not born from His love. Neither is stealing something from one to give it to someone in need. This is because it breaks the greater rule of the proper treatment expected of individuals before God.
Love does not just happen. Love is a lifestyle. It is how one lives. We must learn to go beyond our feelings to what the Word of God says. We must dare ask ourselves, “Do we really commit to love others?” Do we forgive, help and support? This can mean something like offering to babysit for a young couple or taking part in cleaning the church building.
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Scriptures typically quoted from the New American Standard Bible unless noted:
(C) Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1988