Paul's Joy That Christ Is Preached~ Philippians 1:12-19
12 And I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News. 13 For everyone here, including the whole palace guard, knows that I am in chains because of Christ. 14 And because of my imprisonment, most of the believers here have gained confidence and boldly speak God’s message without fear.
15 It’s true that some are preaching out of jealousy and rivalry. But others preach about Christ with pure motives. 16 They preach because they love me, for they know I have been appointed to defend the Good News. 17 Those others do not have pure motives as they preach about Christ. They preach with selfish ambition, not sincerely, intending to make my chains more painful to me. 18 But that doesn’t matter. Whether their motives are false or genuine, the message about Christ is being preached either way, so I rejoice. And I will continue to rejoice. 19 For I know that as you pray for me and the Spirit of Jesus Christ helps me, this will lead to my deliverance.
I am so excited for all that we are going to learn together as we go through Philippians and see how Paul reacted to some hard circumstances. We all go through hard times and the way we react is a big indicator of where our heart is and where we are in our walk with Christ.
There is one really great word that describes Paul throughout this part of Philippians, and that word is committed. He was constantly committed to sharing the Gospel and spreading the good news. The word constant plays a big part in this passage because his commitment to Christ was constant, no matter what his circumstances were. Being in chains for sharing Christ is not the most ideal place to be sharing the Gospel, but he was committed and did not let that determine his actions. How many times do we let out circumstances change our actions? I know that in my life there are times that I don't want to be inconvenienced by something, so I may not do what I know needs to be done. But y'all, Paul was in jail and continued to do the very thing that got him there!
Not only did his commitment to consistently share the Gospel save many lives, his committing spirit gave so many people the courage to take bold risks for Christ (Phil 1:14). He was the example for boldly sharing Christ and doing it without fear. By living our lives as committed Christians, we can influence so many lives in many ways, both non-believers and believers. We can help bring people to Christ by fearlessly sharing the Gospel, and we can also influence other believers to do the same. Can you imagine what would happen if we all began to live our lives fearlessly? So many more people would come to know Christ!
Notice that no matter what the cost was, Paul continued to do what he knew was right. We need to do the same everyday. It's true that being more like Paul and sharing the Gospel no matter the circumstance might cost you some things. You might not be as popular, you might lose a friend, or you might even be viewed as weird...but all of those things do not matter overall. Just think, if all of us joined in as believers in Christ and fearlessly shared the Gospel without thinking about what it might cost us, lives would be changed and it would be amazing. We would not be focusing on what it cost us, but what amazing things came from being fearless. Ultimately, sharing Christ is our purpose. As children of God we need to work to fulfill that purpose each day. We can't worry about our circumstances. We can't worry about what it may cost us right then. We only need to focus on Him, and that will make all the difference.
Lastly, Paul constantly did one thing no matter what...he rejoiced. Wow! When he was sitting in jail he rejoiced. When people mocked him for sharing the Gospel, he rejoiced. He always looked for the good in each situation, and he rejoiced constantly. So many times we focus on the negative. We find excuse after excuse and lose sight of the rejoicing thing. Today, let's focus on rejoicing no matter what. No matter what situation you may find yourself in, you have a reason to rejoice: You are a child of God!
Let's also focus on being more committed to sharing Christ. Paul was fearless and he impacted many lives. That doesn't mean that it wasn't hard, it was. He just focused on Christ and that gave him a reason to rejoice. I pray that you ask God to work in your life today and give you an opportunity to share Christ and live the way Paul did!