Moment of Transformation:
GROWTH AND FRUIT BEARING
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 for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ – to the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:9-11 NKJV
It is the Lord’s desire that His followers shall grow in grace, that their love shall abound more and more, that they shall be filled with the fruits of righteousness…. Where there is life, there will be growth and fruit bearing; but unless we grow in grace, our spirituality will be dwarfed, sickly, fruitless. It is only by growing, by bearing fruit, that we can fulfill God’s purpose for us. “Herein is my Father glorified,” Christ said, “that ye bear much fruit” (John 15:8). In order to bear much fruit, we must make the most of our privileges. We must use every opportunity granted us for obtaining strength.
A pure, noble character, with all its grand possibilities, has been provided for every human being. But there are many who have not an earnest longing for such a character. They are not willing to part with the evil that they may have the good. Great opportunities are placed within their reach. But they neglect to grasp the blessings that would place them in harmony with God. They work at cross-purposes with the One who is seeking their good. They are dead branches, having no living union with the Vine. They cannot grow.
One of the divine plans for growth is impartation. The Christian is to gain strength by strengthening others. “He that watereth shall be watered also himself” (Proverbs 11:25). This is not merely a promise; it is a divine law, a law by which God designs that the streams of benevolence, like the waters of the great deep, shall be kept in constant circulation, continually flowing back to their source.
Christians, is Christ revealed in us? Are we doing all in our power to gain a body that is not easily enfeebled, a mind that looks beyond self to the cause and effect of every movement, that can wrestle with hard problems and conquer them, a will that is firm to resist evil and defend the right? Are we crucifying self? Are we growing up unto the full stature of men and women in Christ?
Ellen G. White, That I May Know Him, 165 – June 7
Quote of the Day “Nothing proves that you love someone more than mentioning them in your prayers.” Unknown
Did You Know?
Paul’s prayer reaches to two levels. It goes down to the basement in relation to the Philippians’ depth of need and to the top floor in terms of God’s resources.
Paul’s petition for the church at Philippi indicates his awareness of its need and also his confidence that God would be willing and able to supply what was lacking. But it also expresses his desire that God would do so. Prayer for other Christians not only tests one’s confidence in God but also one’s love for fellow believers. Though he intends to exhort the believers by means of what he is going to write to them, he begins by praying to God for them. This is because, ultimately, all spiritual growth comes from above. Should anyone preach or witness to others or offer advice without praying for them?
Hywel R. Jones, Philippians, Focus on the Bible Commentary (Ross-shire, Scotland: Christian Focus Publications, 1993), 30–31.
Paul prayed that the Philippians would abound in love. How could you grow in love through prayer?
This Week’s Homework