I am challenged when Paul exhorts this church to approve things which are excellent and to be sincere... Until the return of Christ. He also prays for Philemon that the sharing of his faith be effective by the acknowledgement of every good thing in him in Christ Jesus.
Sharing our faith can be a long term exercise and the things which I approve on a daily basis impact the effectiveness of my witness. If I laugh at that dirty joke or go watch that R rated movie, then I am approving of things that are not excellent. Lord, help me be a sincere servant.
I agree with you Jack especially if you are with a bunch of unbelievers and you laugh at a dirty joke you are no better than they are, but if you don't laugh maybe they will ask why and you can be a witness.
Paul’s love for fellow believers is so edifying! He says that he has them in his heart, that he longs for all of them with the affection of Christ Jesus. His prayer for them echoes something that stuck with me from the Pastor’s conference this year, “that your love may abound more and more.” This has been my prayer for years, that God’s Love in us may abound more and more, so that “we may be able to discern what is best, and be pure and blameless until the day of Christ.” Lord help me to love deeply, even when dealing with brothers/sisters I would label as ‘difficult.’
I like in verse 10 it says to be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ.