"I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. 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. 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" (Philippians 1:9-11 NLT).
What is more important than having more love, knowledge, understanding, and righteous character from God? Isn't this a beautiful prayer Paul prayed for his close friends in Philippi? It is a prayer I can pray for myself and for others.
Another point I find in Paul's prayer is that it is as we have God's love, knowledge, and understanding, we can understand what really matters and we can live pure and blameless lives until Christ returns.
Then, Paul prays that we will be filled with the fruit of our salvation, which is that right character that Jesus grows in our lives. This right character that Jesus grows is what brings glory and praise to God. This is the fruit, the success story that truly matters in our lives.
Did Eve look for this fruit after she and her husband left the garden? As her children were born and grew, did she try to teach them about what really mattered in life and draw their little hearts to want to choose God's way?
She did not have a Bible to which to turn for guidance, and she could not walk with God each evening and speak to Him face to face anymore. Still, Adam and she had good minds and could easily remember all they had learned from God and the angels when they spoke together in the Garden of Eden. They could pass on this good knowledge and the wisdom they had gleaned. They could pray together for their children and for future generations.
I think Mary must have thought much about what really mattered. She must have desired more love, understanding and knowledge to parent Jesus. Then, living with Jesus every day, even though He was fully human, must have caused her to be astonished at his love, knowledge, and understanding. He had a right character and a focus on honoring God.
The Bible tells us that she gathered the events of Jesus' birth and the other people who acknowledged Him and thought about them in her heart. As He grew, she must have had many times of thoughtfulness concerning Him. She must have prayed for herself and for Jesus through the years.
Lord, my Father,
Please help me to pray this prayer of Paul's over my life and over the lives of my loved ones. Please help me to focus on You and the things that really matter. Thank You that Jesus said, in Matthew 6:33, that when we seek Your kingdom and Your way of doing things, all else will be granted to us as well. I praise You in the name of Jesus. Amen!