Sunday, 23 December 2018
Love, knowledge and discernment
Question of the day: Philippians 1:9 Now this I pray, that your love might overflow still more and more in knowledge and depth of discernment". Paul's prayer contains 3 components, love, knowledge and discernment. How do we unpack this?
Answer: Love is important. After all, God is love (1 John 4:8) and He has poured out His love on us (Romans 5:5) by sending His Son, Yeshua. Next to love in the illustrated dictionary there should be the image of Yeshua on the cross (John 15:13). Love is always self-sacrificing. I like this definition, "Love is wanting God's best for someone else, more than any selfish desire."
I'm actually intrigued that Paul has connected love to knowledge. Knowledge is what you know to be fact. Knowledge is known truth. It is said that love is blind, but this verse begs to differ.
Paul also connects love to discernment. Discernment is the ability to see beyond what we know, to read between the lines. We have to call on the Lord to give us understanding hearts; to know the facts before they present themselves.
Why should the people of God be simple? Simple people only know what they see. God's people have the gift of the Holy Spirit. It is promised, John 14:26 "But the Helper, the Ruach ha-Kodesh whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you everything and remind you of everything that I said to you."
Teaching us everything includes the ability to love with knowledge and discernment. May each of us be led by the Holy Spirit to enhance our ability to love, along with other fruits of the Spirit, and give the glory to God.
1 Peter 4:8 "Above all, keep your love for one another constant, for 'love covers a multitude of sins.'"
Rabbi Michael Weiner,