TEXT: Philippians 1:1-10
1 Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:
2 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,
4 Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy,
5 For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;
6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
7 Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace.
8 For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.
9 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;
10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ.
— PRAYER —
We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 306 messages in this series.
This is message #307 titled, The Power of Remembering, Thanksgiving, and Praying, Part 6.
In our last message we used Paul’s example of praying for the Philippians to show how we should love and pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ. Paul had a heart of true love and concern for the believers in Philippi. And he showed that heart by praying that: (1) their love for each other would “abound” or grow exponentially, (2) that their love for each other would be coupled with “knowledge” and spiritual growth, and (3) that their love for each other would be coupled with “judgment” or discernment.
Furthermore, in verse 10, we read that Paul prays that the believers may “approve things that are excellent.” Dr John Walvoord writes, “In his second petition, Paul logically proceeds from his prayer for love abounding in knowledge and in judgment to the corresponding quality of a discriminating sense of values expressed in the clause, ‘that ye may approve things that are excellent.’ The idea of approval comes from a word meaning ‘to examine carefully’ or ‘to test.’ The conclusion ‘that are excellent’ more literally means ‘to discriminate between things that are good and bad,’ or things that are opposed to each other. Spiritual discernment sorts all things out as good or bad in the sight of God determined by divine, rather than human, criteria. An accurate translation would be, ‘that ye may discriminate between things that differ.’ The same expression occurs in Romans 2:18 where it speaks of knowing God’s will and of being instructed out of the law. In a world which has lost its sense of value, a Christian must have unusual sensitivity to what really counts.”
Have you ever been confronted with making a decision that could lead you down one path or another? Have you ever struggled with knowing the right thing to do when presented with different options? The devil specializes in wrapping his ideas for us in appealing packages. If we listen too long to the voice of the tempter, the more confused we can become regarding what is right and wrong. The devil is eager to blur the lines of distinction. But, through prayer, we can ask for discernment between that which is good and evil.
Not only should we ask for discernment for ourselves, but we ought to ask for that discernment — that ability to test the spirits — for others as well. Our concern for fellow believers should prompt us to pray that they will be granted the discernment to avoid a dark path and the will to accept that which is excellent, especially when we have tried to warn them, but they have taken no heed. Let’s pray for the wisdom to discern between darkness and light for ourselves and others.
William Young wrote:
As deep darkness falls around
With shadows of the night,
We gather here with hymn and prayer,
To seek the eternal light.
Father in Heaven, to Thee are known
Our many hopes and fears,
Our heavy weight of mortal toil,
Our bitterness of tears.
We pray Thee for our absent ones,
Who have been with us here:
And in our secret heart we name
The distant and the dear.
For weary eyes, and aching hearts,
And feet that from Thee rove,
The sick, the poor, the tired, the fallen,
We pray Thee, God of love.
We bring to Thee our hopes and fears
And at Thy footstool lay;
And, Father, Thou who lovest all
Wilt hear us as we pray.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.