In Philippians 1:9, Paul who was in prison prayed this request, “And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more …”
One thing is certain. Being in prison may cut a man off from other men, but never from God. Being in prison did not dampen Paul’s faith. It did not dull his hope, nor did it in any way dim his love.
Let’s consider the word “abound” in Paul’s prayer when he prayed “that your love may abound yet more and more.”
A. We as Christians should have an abounding (abundant) attitude.
In Exodus 34:6, we read “The LORD God merciful and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in goodness and truth!”
In Isaiah 55:7, we read “He will abundantly pardon.”
In 1 Peter 1:3, we read “According to His abundant mercy He has begotten us again unto a living hope.”
Consider what Paul wrote to Titus. (3:4-6)
“But when the kindness and the love of God, our Savior, appeared toward man, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior.”
Paul, in Ephesians 1:7-8, wrote, “In Him, we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence.”
Folks, apart from this abounding generosity in the heart of God, there would have been no “wondrous Cross,” no “Savior of sinners,” no “ringing of Gospel bells”, no “salvation” and no “Christian faith.”
B. The Christian life consists of our receiving God’s “abounding blessings.”
In John 10:10 we read “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich (abundant) and satisfying life.”
Jesus came to give us life — a life that satisfies. He wants us to enjoy life. He doesn’t manipulate us with guilt. Rather, He opens the WORD, which is the pastureland for God’s people and He says “Fill yourselves with My truth. Eat, drink and be satisfied.” When we do as He says, we will experience abundant life. We will be like the Psalmist when he declared “my cup overflows.”
In Romans 15:13, the Apostle Paul wrote “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope (confidence) through the power of the Holy Spirit.”
In 2 Corinthians 1:5, we read, “our consolation also aboundeth in Christ.”
In 2 Corinthians 9:8, we read “God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that you always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.”
When you read these different verses, it adds impetus to what Paul wrote in Philippians 1:9 “That your love may abound yet more and more.” Do you have an abounding love toward God and toward others? What an amazing picture of the Christian life —
· Abounding life
· Abounding in hope
· Abounding in the power of the Holy Spirit
· Abounding in consolation
· Abounding in grace
· Abounding in love
· Abounding in forgiveness
· Abounding in serving
We began in Philippians 1:9 — we mentioned it a moment ago and I refer to it again. The first thing Paul prayed for was “That your love may abound yet more and more …” There should be no limit to our life of love.
Folks, it is obvious from these verses that we can have this abounding love or Paul would never have asked for it. We can have the Father’s own love, the Savior’s own compassion, and the Spirit’s own yearning.
I close with one more prayer by Paul, this time for the Thessalonians
(1 Thess. 3:12) “And may the LORD make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow, just as our love for you overflows.”
Do you have an overflowing life? Do you desire to have an abundant, overflowing life of love? That is God’s desire for each of us. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you into the abundant, abounding, overflowing life.
For His glory,