Thursday, July 15
It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.
More About Philippians 1:15-18a
Written by Karen Ehman (First 5 Ministries)
When Paul penned the words of his letter to the Philippians he was confined to a Roman prison. However, he decided to see his chains as an opportunity to spread the gospel.
Paul had many reasons to despair. He wrote to the church at Philippi after being deserted by most of his friends. Others, even fellow Christian leaders, had spoken out against him, hoping to get him into trouble with the ruling government. In fact, Paul was possibly facing execution for his faith. However, no book in the Bible is so filled with deep joy as the book of Philippians.
Is there something that has happened in your life that has sought to place you in bondage? Can you see Christ and the gospel even in the midst of this sorrowful or painful circumstance? If so, take time to write a testimony of the way God met you in the situation and how the gospel can help others who also struggle with such situations.
1 Peter 3:15 urges us: “…in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect…”
By having your testimony all written out, you’ll be ready to give the reason for your hope when someone asks. (Then, pray that they ask!)
Prayer: Father, may I seek to place the good news of the gospel above all, not focusing on any mistreatment I may receive from others. Help me to instead focus on Your gracious treatment of humankind by sending Your only Son to earth to offer the way to heaven. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Journal Prompt: If you’ve ever sensed competition between Christians — whether between two other people or between others and yourself — how can today’s teaching give you a reminder of what matters most in life — the gospel?