Php 1:8 God knows how much I love you and long for you with the tender compassion of Christ Jesus. Php 1:9 I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. Php 1:10 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. Php 1:11 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.
How do we know what really matters?
Take any small group of people; heck you can even take a small sample from your local church, and if you ask them this question, "What really matters to you?" The answers could be widely varying simply based on the location of where you ask the question or the age of the person asked. For instance, if I asked them this question directly preceding a fiery sermon, they might say "God is," or "Salvation is"; but if I asked them the same question on a nice quiet day at their own homes I might get answers like "My children are," or "My job is."
Circumstances often drive what we consider important. Most "things" that we would deem important are usually things that satisfy or fulfill a need. Most people we consider important are those that we love or are attached to in some way; usually through blood or by marriage. But Paul wants us to have something so that we can "understand what really matters".
What do we need to gain this understanding?
Paul directs us to a need for love that "will overflow more and more" and a desire to "keep on growing in knowledge and understanding". Apparently these two things will lead us to an understanding of "what really matters." After we do these two things and we gain this understanding of what really matters, it will lead us to "live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ's return." Do you hunger and thirst after righteousness? This is the result of understanding what really matters; in fact it is the "fruit of your salvation." Paul sums up the result of living in love and seeking knowledge in verse 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.
What is the result of overflowing love and knowledge?
You will have a righteous character! But don't stop there...it will be a righteous character produced by Jesus Christ in your life and it's purpose is to "bring glory and praise to God", not to you. This is truly what really matters.
Father in Heaven
You have shown how much You love us. We see and feel how unworthy we are of that love. We ask You now...I ask You now...to change me; change us and give us the character of Jesus Christ. We have proven to ourselves over and over again how incapable we are of making these changes on our own, so we ask now for Your promise of the Holy Spirit. We ask even that You would increase our desire for love and knowledge for the purpose of attaining a righteous character. We want this so that You may be glorified, not us.
Thank You for loving us so much. Give us the power and wisdom to increase Your kingdom. Amen.