Last night the Holy Spirit led me to study Philippians 1:9. It says, “And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and discernment.”
I looked at it through four translations. Here is my paraphrase: that your love will continue to increase and expand beyond anything you have ever known; that it will lead you into a deeper, experiential knowledge of who the Lord is; that you will live in revelational insight.
Then I went on to verse 10 which says, “That you may approve the things that are excellent that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ.” Again my paraphrase from four translations: learn to sense and recognize what is vital so that your love is not contaminated.
I also looked up Hebrews 12:11 and 1 Peter 1:22 in the four translations. Then I asked the Lord to instruct my heart during the night. I had a dream. In this dream He said to guard my treasure. What was that treasure? Love.
When we are saved, Romans 5:5 says, “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
I know from personal experience, and my years of counseling, that emotional pain, bitterness, resentment, unforgiveness, and hidden sin can harden a heart. A hard, callous heart shrinks. It does not expand. The capacity to love decreases.
Jude verse 21 says, “Keep yourselves in the love of God…” The word keep means to guard, protect, and preserve. How do we do that? In my dream He turned me to John 15.
Our love for the Lord grows, expands, and increases as we spend time with Him. Verse 4 in the Amplified says, “…no branch can bear fruit of itself without abiding in (being vitally united to) the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me.”
Have you allowed your first love to decrease? Has your heart capacity shrunk? That was the Lord’s indictment against the church of Ephesus. Revelation 2:4 says, “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.”
Philippians 1:11 was the capstone of verses 9-10. My paraphrase: filled with the abounding fruit of righteousness that is birthed in a love relationship with the Lord that brings Him glory.