"And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”
Phil. 1:9-11, ESV
Paul prays for the Philippians that their hearts would abound in love. He is praying for our love to overflow towards God and man. This is not a mushy gushy love but it is born from knowledge and discernment. It is a sincere, intelligent and excessive love.
When we are abounding in love, then we will approve of what is excellent.
"If you love me, then you will keep my commandments."
When we love Him, we begin to love the things He loves.
The third part of the passage says that we will then be filled with righteous fruit to the glory of God.
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
More than the gifts of the Spirit, more than signs and wonders, more than anything else, it is the fruit of the Spirit in our lives that glorifies God.
Paul's understanding of the gospel is seen here in that salvation is only the starting point. The gospel is not only about the forgiveness of sins. We begin there but God is looking for a complete transformation.
We begin by loving the God that perhaps we once hated, at least were once indifferent to. As our love abounds towards Him, we begin to approve of the things we once resisted and then we begin to bear fruit that is the opposite of what we once produced.
Pray that God would cause our love to abound more and more, in knowledge and all discernment.
Pray that our values would line up with His values - that we would love the things that He loves and approve of the things He approves of.
Pray that we would produce good fruit - that we would walk in the character and attributes of Jesus. Pray that we would look like Him, sound like Him and even smell like Him.