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Rev. Carl H. Kemp, Pastor

Prayer For Loved Ones

August 5, 2007

      Philippians 1:9-11

Introduction

While Paul loved all of his brethren, he seemed to have an especially warm spot in his heart for the church in Philippi. Here he prays that they might have three things.

I.    That Love May Abound.

A.    May it keep overflowing in a perpetual river of love. Even in Philippi there was some discord (4:2). But here, as in Corinth, love is the answer (1 Corinthians 13).

B.    Love must be coupled with knowledge. Agape love couples knowledge and understanding with purpose. Seth Wilson told his Bible college students, “What we teach you to love is more important than what we teach you to know.”

C.    Discernment and insight are fostered by love and knowledge. Such perception comes by life’s experiences.

 

II.    That You May Discern the Best.

A.     The Christian’s choice is not the good from the bad, but the best out of the good. One of the first Philippian converts, Lydia, sought those things that are excellent

(Acts 16:14 NIV)  One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul's message.

(Acts 16:15 NIV)  When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. "If you consider me a believer in the Lord," she said, "come and stay at my house." And she persuaded us.). 

(Rom 14:22 NIV)  So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves.).  

Discernment comes by thinking on heavenly things

(Phil 4:8 NIV)  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.

(Phil 4:9 NIV)  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me--put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. 

III.    That You Remain Pure and Blameless.

A.    Even though he wrote from a prison cell, Paul knew he had done no wrong. So did his readers. He was filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes from Jesus Christ (v. 11).

B.    To be pure is to be unalloyed, of unmixed substance. Believers are to stay uncontaminated by the world. They are “void of offense,” neither causing nor    receiving it. Such a life bears fruit to the glory and praise of God (Job 15:4 NIV)  But you even undermine piety and hinder devotion to God.).

Illustrations

The Power of Love

An old fable tells how different instruments tried to master a piece of iron. The blows of the ax fell heavily, but its edge became more and more blunt. The saw’s relentless teeth worked until they were worn down or broken The hammer’s head flew off at the first stroke. Despite all their efforts, the iron remained. Finally the flame curled gently around the iron, embraced it, and never left until the iron melted under its irresistible influence Love can melt hardened hearts and keep the spirit of Christ in His church.

 

Above Reproach

A friend told Plato of a terrible charge that had been leveled against the famous philosopher. Knowing it was not true, his friend said, “What are we going to do?” Plato replied, “We must simply live in such a way that all people will know it is false.” Paul said that an elder is to be above reproach

(1 Tim 3:2 NIV)  Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,). He told all Christians to abstain from every appearance of evil

(1 Th 5:22 NIV)  Avoid every kind of evil.).

 

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