From the Desk of Pastor Stan – Praying With A Purpose (Part 3)

IV. His Concern for their Lives (11) – Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory of God. Finally Paul prays regarding their everyday lives and walk with the Lord. He mentioned: <!–split–>

A. Their Fruitfulness (11a) – Being filled with the fruits of righteousness … This is a natural desire Paul had for the church in Philippi and every believer for that matter. Paul well understood the initial filling of the Spirit at the moment of salvation, but this speaks of a continual filling throughout one’s walk with the Lord. He desired the church to be filled with the fruits of righteousness daily.

There is much we could deal with here regarding the fruit believers are to  bear. Suffice it to say that Paul prayed for the church to live in a way that revealed their faith in Christ, influencing those around them, and honoring the Lord. Each day we live, our lives should bear witness of the grace of God that was shed abundantly toward us in salvation. We are to bear fruit consistent with our relationship with Christ. As others view our lives, there should never be a question regarding our faith and walk with the Lord.

B. Their Filling (11a) – Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ. We discussed this being a daily, continual filling, but Paul also mentioned that the believer’s filling and fruitfulness are by and through the Lord Jesus Christ. Although they were aware of their need for continued fellowship with the Lord, Paul emphasized this great truth. The believers in Philippi would not be fruitful apart from the Lord. They must be committed to abiding in Him.

This great truth remains relevant for us today. Our only hope of bearing fruits of righteousness is to abide in the Vine that produces righteousness. Apart from Jesus, we are unable to bear fruit pleasing to Him. We too must maintain a daily, committed fellowship with the Lord to bear fruit. John 15:4-5 – Abide in me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can ye, except ye abide in me. [5]  I am the vine, ye are the branches;: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

C. Their Focus (11b) – Being filled with fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God. This is simple, and yet a needful reminder. Paul prayed their lives would bring glory and praise to God. He knew this was their purpose in life, and Paul wanted the church to have a proper perspective and maintain the right focus.

The believer is responsible for much as we walk and serve to serve the Lord. We are obligated to support one another and bear witness of Christ. However, our primary responsibility is to bring glory and praise unto the Lord. If our hearts are right with the Lord, we will have no problem accomplishing this, but we must focus on our priority. It is easy to become so busy in work that we fail to really bring glory and praise to God. At the end of the day, that is our primary obligation as believers!

Conclusion: The prayer Paul offered for the church in Philippi serves as a challenge for all believers. Not only should we  be willing to pray for the church, but we should use this prayer as we examine our lives. Are the elements Paul desired from the church evident in our lives? Are we living in a way that edifies the church, reaches out for the Gospel, and brings honor to the Lord? If not, our lives are lacking spiritually. I trust we will seek the Lord and strive to make progress in our walk with Him.

If you are yet unsaved, my prayer is that the Lord will convict you of your need, draw you unto Himself, and save you by His grace. If He is dealing with your heart, I urge you to respond in repentance and faith unto salvation.

Paul loved the church at Philippi and was committed to praying for them.

We need to share the same commitment to pray for Bethel Wesley.

There are real people with real needs who need specific prayers.