Love Intelligently

23 12 2010

How are we called to love? What does true love, in a Christian sense, not in a mushy Lifetime movie-sense, really look like? I think that in order to love others, we must first understand how Jesus loved us. Unconditionally and as his precious children. God’s love for us borders on incomprehensible, but we are given many glimpses through His word into the depths of His love. We are also given some instruction on how to love others. As I read over this passage (Philippians 1:9-11), I felt that there was little explanation to be given. Paul is praying for the church in Philippi that they may love each other to bring glory to God. To love each other with knowledge and discernment, with the fruit of the Spirit. I think that each translation picks up on key elements to this passage and I hope that God also speaks to you through it and helps you to draw insight about love.

NIV

9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

Amplified Bible

9And 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],

10So 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].

11May 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].

Message

9-11So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately. You need to use your head and test your feelings so that your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush. Live a lover’s life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of: bountiful in fruits from the soul, making Jesus Christ attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God.

King James Version

9And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;  10That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ.  11Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.

NLT

9 I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. 10 For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. 11 May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God.

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