To parse means to analyze something to discover its implications or uncover a deeper meaning. It’s what we do to verses.
15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15
One of my favorite passages about love is Philippians 1:9-11,
9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
I have heard grace imagined as a waterfall under which we step in order to receive all that we need from God. Let’s see what we can “parse” in this passage:
- The more we know of God, the more of His love we know; the more of His love we know, the deeper our insight into God. The word, “abound,” draws the picture of abundance, as in a waterfall that nearly knocks us down. Now, THAT’S grace!
- The ability to discern comes from our attenuation to the Spirit. We must be tuned in and listening in order to sense the nudges and warnings of the Spirit. In order to be tuned in, we must be pure and blameless–speaking of which…
- Being pure and blameless has to do with being current with God in thought and attitude. Have we let something slide that is keeping us from seeking His face? Are we up-to-date in our prayer life concerning temptations, feelings, habits, relationships, and numerous other things that can spin out of control in a hurry? By the way, purity and blamelessness are awarded to us via grace as we stand under the waterfall and “put on the new self created in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:24).
- The day of Christ can be many things. In this instance, the day of Christ is everyday. Christ is in us, so the conviction of the Spirit comes to us instantly. We either react in the flesh or respond according to the Spirit. Look at Romans 8:11-13,
- 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.
- 12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.
- 14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.
- Filled with the fruit of righteousness is easy: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control come to mind (Galatians 5:22-23) as well as truth (Ephesians 5:9). They all come through our relationship with Christ. His Spirit grows them in us!
- It is all to the glory and praise of God the Father.
Know that I pray Philippians 1:9-11 for you. I ask that you pray it for me.
Abba, once again I lift up this passage as a prayer for my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. As we seek You daily, walk in step with you consistently, and obey you immediately, we trust that You are making us pure and blameless. May we serve You today, Abba, as we stand under Your waterfall of grace that comes from Your throne. Amen.