How to Have a Good Work Life Balance by an Overflowing Love for Students
First Sneak Peak
Our first sneak peek into the heartbeat of Paul’s meditator is found in his first sentence: “Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ…” Paul saw himself as a servant! He was nothing more. Though this man could have introduced himself as the father of their church or the great missionary to the Gentiles, he chose to remain a servant. He was in jail and considered himself a servant. The true test of a servant is if you act like one when you’re being treated like one! Paul had a right perspective of himself. He was a servant of Jesus Christ.
Second Sneak Peek
In our second peek at his meditations of concentration, we see Paul’s attitude in his circumstances: In verse three we read, “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.” Now, remember that this man is writing this from prison! Yet, he once again has a spirit of gratitude for them. Rather than focusing on his own woes and sorrow, he is saying, “I thank God every time I remember you.”
Verse four continues, “Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy.” Again in verse eight, “For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.” He is telling them, “I thank God every time I think of you because I miss you so much!” I don’t know about you, but I would have a really hard time writing these things from a prison cell, much less thinking them and meaning them! But, Paul realized that it wasn’t about him, it was about his students!
Third Sneak Peek
Our third sneak peek into the heart of Paul is found in his prayers. He exhorted them to accept the goals that he was setting for them in his prayers. In verse nine, Paul prays that they may experience an outpouring of the Spirit’s love that was within them.
He called it an overflowing love:
“that your love may abound yet more and more.”
Paul also prayed for them to cling to a higher standard.
“That ye may approve (or, put on trial) things that are excellent.”
He is saying, “God is going to show you things that are absolutely excellent, and I ask that you try them.” I ask that you take on some higher standards and see how good they are for you. We later see these higher standards are not in “what we do,” but in how “we think about what God wants us to do.” Once again—this is an encouragement for a preparation for proper meditations!
Paul’s desire was that they overflow in love, cling to a higher standard of living, and thirdly, he exhorted them to be serious-minded and meek. “…that ye may be sincere and without offence.” This is what he is telling these people: “I’m praying all the time that your love will absolutely abound, that you will cling to a higher standard of excellence, that you will be serious in your walk with God, and that you will be meek with your fellow man. This is what I pray every day.”
His last prayer request is found in verse 11:
“Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.”
Righteousness is being led of the indwelling Holy Spirit. It is the ability to do right—God’s way. So, we see that the fruits of righteousness are the fruits (results) that come from being led of the Holy Spirit. Paul is praying that they will be filled with His fruit; that is to say, he wanted the character of God to be coming out of them as they would willfully yield to Him. This overflow of our indwelling fruit brings God praise and glory!