Philippians 1:12-17

Observations: Paul wants to share his good news: his imprisonment has helped to spread the gospel to new places, because word spread through the guard and everyone around that he was in prison for his faith. Not only that, but his imprisonment has caused other believers to trust God more and to be bold sharing the gospel without fear; they share the gospel out of love and goodness. But there are some who are sharing the gospel out of jealousy and are driven by greed, rivalry, and personal agenda with impure motives. They are hoping to make it more painful for Paul in prison.

This is a little more about Paul’s prison story, but again because he’s fully surrendered to Christ, it’s not about how it’s affecting him but about how it’s affecting the gospel. Paul is more than willing to go to prison to spread the gospel, and even more than that, he calls his imprisonment “good” because it IS spreading the gospel. It’s also cause for joy because it is motivating other believers: to trust more, to love more, to surrender more, to share more. And to fear less. Which is ironic because you would think the threat of prison would cause others to be fearful, but through Paul’s example and encouragement, and through the Holy Spirit’s work, they are empowered. Paul’s imprisonment has also drawn out those who want to make things harder for him, who preach the gospel with their own agendas. (In the next section Paul makes it clear that wherever the gospel is preached there is joy, thus squelching their plans to cause Paul pain.)

Jesus, I want to trust more, love more, surrender more, share more. And fear less. I want to be like those who are boldly sharing the gospel out of true goodness, motivated by love. I confess that I at times share the gospel out of personal agenda. Please forgive me for ever trying to make your story about me or what I want, or who I want or don’t want, to see in Your kingdom. I surrender myself fully to You, Holy Spirit, to use as You see fit, wherever and whenever You choose. Embolden me and empower me to live out the gospel today in my actions and in my words. I love You and give myself fully to You and Your kingdom.

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