And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment (Philippians 1:9 NKJV)
That you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ, (Philippians 1:10 NKJV)
Increase In Love
By examining this scripture we start with Increase in love. This requires prayer, desire and effort. The will is actively involved in love but it is the mind that controls the will.
What do we think about? What thoughts do we entertain? We must not be deceived, God still cherishes purity above all else. Love is pure. It thinks no evil so we must constantly think healthy thoughts in order to increase in love.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
For they shall see God.
Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.
The words of the Lord are pure words,
Like silver tried in a furnace of earth,
Purified seven times.
God loves cleanliness and any act of evil is dirty in His sight. Love is clean and will always think of the other person and how her actions affect others.
Love is a winner and always wins. It is greater than faith because it never fails. The more we pray for increase in love and meditate on the word of God, the more rooted we will be in the word of God till it takes over our soul. This will cause the fruit of love to overflow.
Love will not speak evil of anyone and it bridles the tongue. Love is lovely and beautiful and anyone who is full of love and purity will shine greater than the stars. He will be a light that will attract people of every race because God will shine through Him and heal others. He will exude and transmit love.
Knowledge Precedes Love
We cannot love without knowledge of what is love. The only way to know what love is is to study the teachings in the word of God.
The summary of the word of God is love, that is why Jesus capped it all by saying, “love your neighbour as your self.” Love is the fulfilment of the law.
Knowledge therefore is knowledge of love and how to love. Any knowledge that does not lead to increase in love and purity is not true knowledge.
Any wisdom that does not exalt love is false wisdom.
Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. (James 3:13 ESV)
But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. (James 3:14 ESV)
This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. (James 3:15 ESV)
For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. (James 3:16 ESV)
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. (James 3:17 ESV)
Distinguishing between good and evil is true knowledge. When we get to true discernment we will not waste our time practising the doctrines of men as if they are the doctrines of God.
Lack of discernment also makes believers throw the word of God away for seductive get rich, quick fix doctrines that are rooted in demon worship, idolatry and magic.
It makes believers embrace any shifting doctrine as if it comes from the mouth of God.
For everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
(Hebrews 5:13-14 ESV)
Approve Excellent Things
We are also counselled to approve excellent things. In order to approve excellent things we must reject evil things and support good things. We must praise, encourage, inspire and motivate others in good things.
Sincerity implies honesty and truthfulness. We must not put on the mask of Christianity or be false.
Our motives and intentions must come from genuineness not from praise, ego and selfishness. God sees our hearts and knows His true children. The true children are true believers.
To be without offence, we must not offend anyone or God. This implies being blameless and faultless in the presence of Christ.