And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ- to all the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1: 9-11 NIV)
Paul’s attitude is one to take note. He was imprisoned in Philippi a second time. The first time a violent earthquake loosened Paul and Silas’s chains. Remember the jailor and his entire family were saved. This time Paul writes letter to the Philippians. He longs for this group of people to step further into their relationship with Christ. The more our love grows for knowledge and depth of insight, the better we will be to discern what is best. We are to be pure and blameless in our daily lives as we become filled with righteousness from Jesus. The fruit of righteousness begins to overshadow former thoughts and actions. A sure sign a transformation has taken place. You may ask, “Why would I need to change?” Good and evil cannot be in the same place. This would be a good time to reflect on one’s attitudes. How do they line up with the Word of God?
A dear friend
I have a dear friend who had surgery yesterday to remove stage 1 cancer from both breast. People leave her CaringBridge sight more encouraged by her. Her attitude has been much like Paul’s. He has a similar experience while in prison. He wanted the Philippians to know what happened to him served to advance the gospel. He was in chains for Christ. Not only were the prison guards and other prisoners enlightened, brothers in Christ spoke the Word of God more courageous and fearless. Attitudes continued to change for the betterment of the gospel. Paul rejoices while in chains because Christ is preached.
Do you face any challenges? Can some attitudes be an open door into a prison? While other attitudes free us from chains. We move closer to Christ to be able to discern good from evil, a tool we need in today’s world. To trade self-righteousness for righteousness found only through Jesus Christ develops the love we need. Even as Paul is in prison, he feels freedom. I agree with Paul, this is a prayer we need to pray everyday for our loved ones and our nation as a whole.