And this I pray: that your love may abound yet more and more and extend to its fullest development in knowledge and all keen insight [that your love may display itself in greater depth of acquaintance and more comprehensive discernment, So that you may surely learn to sense what is vital, and approve and prize what is excellent and of real value [recognizing the highest and the best, and distinguishing the moral differences], and that you may be untainted and pure and unerring and blameless [so that with hearts sincere and certain and unsullied, you may approach] the day of Christ [not stumbling nor causing others to stumble]. May you abound in and be filled with the fruits of righteousness (of right standing with God and right doing) which come through Jesus Christ (the Anointed One), to the honor and praise of God [that His glory may be both manifested and recognized). Philippians 1:9-11 AMP
This was the apostle Paul’s prayer for the believers, which are the bride of Christ. The Philippians had a foundation of love, but he prayed that they would continue to grow in knowledge and discernment so they could recognize what was really important as they approached the day of Christ. He prayed that they would have discernment about what was morally acceptable to the Lord and that they would not stumble or cause others to stumble.
Paul lived in a time when paganism and occult religions were prevalent. Many worshipped the Greek/Roman gods which included witchcraft and sexual immorality of all kinds. You wouldn’t think it would be necessary for him to write and tell Christian people these kind of things, since they had the Holy Spirit. But, much like today, the moral values of the people had been so tainted by the social and cultural norms that even Christian people didn’t always discern good from evil or right from wrong.
As we get closer to the time of Christ’s return, I think it’s more important than ever that we, as the bride of Christ, continue to renew our minds with what the word of God says and pray these prayers over ourselves and the body of Christ, so that we will not stumble or cause others to stumble.
Jesus warned us in Matthew 24 that many false prophets would arise and deceive and lead many into error and that there would be a great falling away. Matthew 24:10-12 says:
And then many will be offended and repelled and will begin to distrust and desert [Him Whom they ought to trust and obey] and will stumble and fall away and betray one another and pursue one another with hatred. And many false prophets will rise up and deceive and lead many into error. And the love of the great body of people will grow cold because of the multiplied lawlessness and iniquity, But he who endures to the end will be saved. AMP
It seems that offense is the number one thing that the enemy uses to bring division in the body of Christ, to cause people to take on a root of bitterness and fall away. I think it is very important that we guard our hearts and walk in love because love is not easily offended. Walking in love is a safeguard against being offended and falling away and this is so important as we await Christ’s return. Ephesians 5:25-27 says that Jesus is coming back for a bride that is pure and holy, without spot, wrinkle, stain or blemish. God bless and keep you all.
In Christ ~ Kelly Rowe