And this I pray, that your love may abound
still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment
There is a huge need in all of us to become more effective at loving as we grow older. If we are not careful, we will stagnate and love the same things in the same way with the same depth that we always have. This is not Christ’s goal for us. He wants us to have more love flow out of us with each new day.
Look at this verse of Scripture. It is a prayer of the Apostle Paul for a group of young Christians who have just gotten started in their Christian life. They realize that life is meant to be loved. God’s goal for us is to make us great lovers. He also realizes that we can be conned by people into serving them when they should be helping themselves. He realizes that we may not understand that true love has a tough side, and thereby we might coddle someone rather than truly meet their needs. We also might not be able to really discern which need needs to be met in a given situation. So he prays that they will be able to listen for the Holy Spirit’s guidance to grow better at the game of life.
We have all watched people who get trapped into loving ineffectively or inaccurately or without discernment. Do not let this be you. Love changes things. If a person is not being changed by love, then your love needs some more knowledge and discernment.
Jesus is right that the goal of life is to love God and love others. We just need to do that more and more effectively as we go along.
love: This is the Greek word agapao, which means to meet needs, to pursue, and to please. If I have met a person’s needs, then I have loved them even if I have not felt anything towards them. If I have pursued the soul of the person, then I have loved them. This is the story of the good Samaritan.
Now in the case of God, He does not have any needs that we can meet; but He chooses to accept our desire to please Him as glorifying Him and worship. We need to get better at pleasing, pursuing, and glorifying God. As we do this we will be fulfilling this verse to get better at these essential actions. They provide the proper base to life.
Ask yourself if you are better at loving God now than you were five years ago. If the answer is yes, then great. If the answer is no, then seek out God’s grace and learn to love Him more deeply and more completely.
Ask yourself if you are better at loving your spouse now than you were five years ago?
Ask yourself if you are better at loving your family now than you were five years ago?
Ask yourself if you are better at loving your friends now than you were five years ago?
abound: This is the Greek word perisseuo, which means abundance, exceed, abound. The idea is of excess. According to the New Testament, the answer to almost every problem is LOVE MORE. We must figure out how love applies in each situation and apply more of it. Too many people want to withhold love in many situations because they think of love as a feeling. Love is meeting needs. Sometimes the needs that are crying out to be met require a tough kind of love or a perseverant kind of love.
Ask yourself these questions: How do I love this person more? How to I inject more love into this situation?
There is a not a day that goes by that the people in your life do not need you to love them. Are they getting any love from you? Do they sense this love that you think you are giving?
* This material is copyrighted © by Gil Stieglitz who retains all rights to the material. The verses quoted are taken from the NASB Bible 1995 edition.