Paul continues his letter to those in the church at Philippi with his prayer. Last week we read how Paul was thankful in his prayers for them and how being in partnership in the gospel brought him joy. 
This week, Paul begins to put content to his prayers. Today we read some specifics regarding the “good work” begun in them that he continues to pray God will some day bring to completion, on the day of Christ.
The three verses Marvin read for us today, contain four descriptors: 
The means
The end
What is Paul’s prayer for them? 
That their love grows still more and more. 
That they might be found blameless at the day of Christ.
The means?
Through Jesus Christ
The end?
For the glory and praise of God. 
Back in verse 4, Paul told the Philippians that he prayed for them on a regular basis. Now he is telling them what those prayers consist of. Verse 9, 
“that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight.”
The word love in English is a poor descriptive word. 
In Greek there are a variety of words for love, and in this case, the word agape is used. Agape has been used for both God’s love for His people and in the two love commands in Deuteronomy where it tells us to love God and your neighbor. This type of love is the very character of God. God is love. Demonstrated by the death of Christ for His enemies, Romans 5:6-8. This is not an affectionate type of love, but rather a sober type of love. The type of love that places high value in a person or a thing. Paul continues to pray this type of love will abound. Paul continues his prayer by describing this love, not as affection, but as behavior, the type of behavior that is seen as pure or (stemming from right motives) and blameless “lacking offense.” 
Sounds just like Jesus. 
The behavior we are to exhibit as His followers should come from right motives and lacking offense. An excellent litmus test for both our own behavior and for that of others. 
Another thing Paul is praying for is a similar increase in both knowledge and depth of insight. The knowledge Paul refers to here is not the intellectual kind of knowledge, but rather the knowledge one has by being in relationship with someone. By increasing their knowledge or relationship with Christ, they will in turn, also be increasing their moral insight.
Paul was a good teacher. He presented the task, being pure and blameless, then he gives an example of how to learn the task, by strengthening their relationship with Christ, the role model of pure and blameless. 
Next Paul will state his purpose for more abounding love and more knowledge and depth of insight. Verse 10, 
so that you may be able to discern what is best.
It could be that Paul anticipates what he is about to write in this letter. He writes to them about their safety and he also writes to them about the conflict of circumcision. Paul reminds them in both instances, what is important is to discern what counts, which ultimately is the keeping the commandments of God, which Paul interprets as being “a faith that manifests itself through love.” Galatians 5:6.
Conflicts are a part of life. They can be as small as, what color shirt will I wear today, to larger ones, such as which person should I vote for President. Discerning what is best can be challenging. 
As we continue reading Paul’s letter to those at Philippi, we will can insight into Godly discernment. We will notice that Paul has taken a 180 degree turn from his Pharisee days, in his discernment process. Prior to meeting Jesus face to face, Paul was concerned with status, knowledge, hierarchy, prosperity, worldly needs and standards. Paul did not care one iota who he effected along the way, as long as he was on top. After his encounter, Paul took on Jesus’ discerning process. Love, taking care of people, physically, emotionally, spiritually, most of the time, in that order. It was like the scales that fell from his eyes, allowed him to actually see “people” not processes, to see humans as God’s creation, not profit and success. 
The ultimate purpose for increased knowledge and depth of insight along with discernment, according to Paul, is to  be pure and blameless for the day of Christ. Paul’s choice of Greek words for pure and blameless are worth noting. 
The Greek word for “pure” refers to purity or sincerity of motive, in terms of relationships with the community. The Greek word “blameless” used in this sentence has to do with being “non-offending,” or “not causing someone else to stumble.”
Basically what Paul is praying is that when those in Philippi stand before God, at the end, they will stand blameless, not having offended others through deceptive behavior. 
We will notice that Paul is not one to leave things on a negative note. Verse 11, tells us what Paul wants the Philippians to be like when they stand before the LORD, he wants them to be filled with the fruit of righteousness.
But in order for that to happen, they had to be “living out righteousness” NOW. 
Paul again, presents the “already but not yet” of living out life in Christ. Paul is praying for Christian behavior which only comes “through Jesus Christ.” 
The ultimate goal of all things, Paul reminds them, is, “to the glory and praise of God.” 
Paul reminds us, “the good work” begun in us, is God’s doing, and God doesn’t leave things undone. 
Then Paul reminds us to “pray.” 
Praying the Scripture is not uncommon. Luke suggests that when we pray, that we pray saying what is known as the Lord’s Prayer. But for those of us who are caregivers, who have people in our lives whom we are invested in their spiritual nurture, like or children, our friends, Paul’s prayer is a great model. 
Who couldn’t use more “love to overflow,”  or “knowledge of God” and “insight into His will,” and be filled with the kind of righteousness that characterizes God and that Christ modeled? 
And then there are those in our lives that we may be praying for who may not be doing so well in the aforementioned areas. Before talking to them about their foibles that need changing, we could be praying to God about them. And instead of pointing out their sins, we could point out how we are praying for them. 
I believe this prayer has many possibilities. One of which we can implement right now. Any righteousness we obtain, comes only through Christ. Ultimately through His love for us demonstrated on the cross. Rather ironic, isn’t it? The epitome of love comes from a cross. 
As we take time today coming to the Lord’s Supper one at a time, let’s sit in the pew, praying this prayer for someone we know. First, let’s start praying it for ourselves. Then as we meditate in prayer, I believe God will bring to your mind those He has on your heart who need this prayer. 
The Lord’s Supper.