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Philippians 1:10 …so that you may approve (discover) the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ.

Having five kids, my wife and I quickly grew fond of finding a great bargain on anything we needed for their welfare, physically and intellectually. We frequented discount and repurposed clothing stores and were in a constant state of determining what went out the door and what got “handed down” the child growing behind the other. We took them to museums, programs, hikes—anywhere they might learn a thing or two by their participation. We were not able to do everything they, or we, wanted; but they did not lack anything they needed, and they received a generous number of things they wanted.

Each excursion from our home, whether for shopping or learning, was an adventure. On any given day we experience the gamut of emotion. Each child’s emotion of the moment was intertwined with the emotions of the others, and of ours. Blended, they always made for an interesting trip! But as parents, we sensed that there was something amiss despite catering to their physical, intellectual, and emotional needs. That missing element was their spiritual wellbeing.

The Apostle Paul knew well that all actions, knowledge, and fervor were to be used at the direction of a life surrendered to His Savior Jesus Christ. His very soul was to engage the others so all things would be at their maximum benefit to expanding the kingdom through the spreading of the gospel. Jesus confirmed the importance of utilizing all of these areas of self when He declared the Greatest Commandment was to love God with all heart (emotion), soul (spirit), strength (body), and mind (intellect). We use these in tandem so that we “…may approve the things that are excellent…” in the world around us. Our whole self is always engaged. The key to letting our “love abound… to be sincere and blameless” is to purposefully use them in serving Him.

So, we began to make feeding our children spiritually a priority. Getting them involved in a church, family devotionals, and one-on-one discussions introduced and grew their faith in Jesus. Neither we nor they did all things perfectly, but that didn’t deter us from continuing the journey.

Do you seek out and discover the excellence Christ has for you?

Are you sincere in your effort to seek out the knowledge and discernment Christ has for you each day?

Are you watching for Him—living as if He was returning today?

Father of heaven and earth, lead us to sincere faith in your Son, Jesus. Center our hearts on the realization that this very day He might return to earth to reign. Lord, we believe your word that teaches us the mysteries of the universe, yet we know that your knowledge and works surpass what we are capable of. Grant us knowledge and strength to bring us to the place where our understanding ends, and faith begins; and make us useful for your purposes each day. In the name of Christ, our eternal king I pray. Amen.