Important things first! - 13 October 2020
By Ewald Schmidt
- Philippians 1:9-11
I pray that your love will keep on growing more and more, together with true knowledge and perfect judgement, so that you will be able to choose what is best. Then you will be free from all impurity and blame on the Day of Christ. Your lives will be filled with the truly good qualities which only Jesus Christ can produce, for the glory and praise of God.
We have become so busy. Our calendars and planners are overfilled with tasks that need to be done every day. We need to earn our daily bread. Some of us still have children at home who need our care: that is a full-time job on its own! We need to pay attention to our health and fitness. We need a bit of cultural stimulation – and we want to relax with our favourite show or two on television in the evening. We go to bed tired, and we struggle to rise in the morning. One day, we suddenly wonder: What am I doing with my life?
In yesterday’s text, Paul said God would finish the good work he had started in us. What does that mean? In verse 9, he says the single, most important word written all over our lives: love. God created man in his image, and God is love (1 John 4:7). We were created to love God with all our heart, soul and mind. And we were saved to love our neighbour not just as ourselves, but as Jesus loves them. Love is the most beautiful gift God has given us. But we need to grow in our application of love in our lives, Paul reminds us. Growing in love is our responsibility. Love grows with discernment. We need to prioritise what is really important in life, and give that top priority. We need the knowledge of God to make a difference in this world, in other people’s lives. We need the insight of what love requires in every situation, and in every contact with another person. Love is God’s great command for us. 1 John 3:23 has stated it like this: “And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.” When we love, we have nothing to fear on the day of judgement. We will need to answer the question: have you loved? Everything else is not as important as that.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you that you have shown us what true love means. You gave yourself to die in my place, so that I may live a life of love. Today, I want to ask you to guide me in the knowledge and insight, so that I may love like you. Amen