Catechism: instruction by a series of questions and answers
I keep a journal where I write down thoughts, prayers, sermon notes, Bible study notes, and morning meditations, etc. Every so often, I find that using a catechism format is a good way to slow down my thought process and think about what I am reading. Here’s an example:
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. -Philippians 1:9-11
Q. Who is speaking and what is the purpose of this section?
A. Paul is praying for the Philippians that their love may abound more and more.
Q. In what way does Paul pray that love may abound more and more?
A. Paul prays that love may abound more and more in knowledge and discernment.
Q. To what end may love abound in knowledge and discernment?
A. So that the Philippians would be able to approve what is excellent.
Q. What is the result of being able to approve what is excellent?
A. The Philippians would be pure and blameless and filled with the fruit of righteousness for the day of Christ.
Q. Where does the fruit of righteousness come from and how does it fill us?
A. The fruit of righteousness comes from and through Jesus Christ.
Q. What purpose is accomplished when the Philippians are filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes from Jesus Christ?
A. All to the glory and praise of God!
Christian love is more than sentimentalism (not to say that the emotions are totally uninvolved), but is based on knowledge and discernment resulting in our being able to embrace what is excellent. In this way we are able to (gladly!) put aside the things that would hinder our relationship with Christ and keep us from living joyful, fruitful lives until the day when our blessed Hope is realized, the appearing of Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13). And how is all of this made possible? Enter the Gospel! We love because He first loved us (I John 4:19). It is because of and through the Lord Jesus that our love is able to abound more and more. It is because of and through the Lord Jesus and His loving sacrifice for us that we can know and mirror His true and lasting love. There is a connection between abounding love and the glory and praise of God.
Make this (Philippians 1:9-11) a prayer for yourself and your loved ones.
By His Grace and for the Gospel,
Terrie van Baarsel