It seems to be my year for Philippians. I started meditating and journaling on Philippians in May of 2010. In August, my children and I decided to memorize Philippians. In September our church began a study of Philippians. And now, a year later, I am still reading this little book, and still discovering new gems!
How true it is that…
…the Word of God is living and active…
God’s Word meets us where we are and reveals fresh truths to us every time!
If you followed along with the study plan, you have read Philippians 1:12-18 many times this week. You have looked for truths about God, Paul and your identity in Christ. You have discovered promises and commands. And you have sought God for how to apply to your own life what you have gleaned from your study of this passage.
In Chains for Christ
We learned last week that Paul was imprisoned while he was writing his letter to the Philippians. This fact is a central point of Philippians 1:12-18.
Paul has been imprisoned because He is preaching the good news about Jesus Christ …
…my imprisonment is for Christ.
But against all human inclination, Paul speaks of his imprisonment in nothing but positive terms…
…what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel,
According to Paul, his imprisonment advanced the gospel not only because it received a lot of publicity (v. 13), but also by causing his brothers in Christ to trust in the Lord more fully, thereby strengthening them to speak the Word of God fearlessly (v. 14).
Sadly, some people used the situation to preach Christ for the wrong reasons (v.17) but Paul was able to see that despite their impure motives, he could still be thankful that the good news was being preached (v. 18).
Paul understood that the gospel was progressing not despite his difficult circumstances, but because of his difficult circumstances. He was not dismayed by how things appeared. Instead, Paul used his spiritual eyes to see God’s good work through his trials.
Did you notice that Paul ends this passage about his imprisonment and others’ selfish behavior by rejoicing? It will come as no surprise that when he was imprisoned in Philippi Paul spent his time singing praise songs!
Friend, are you feeling imprisoned right now? Can you, like Paul, look at your situation with spiritual eyes? Does God want you to allow Him to use your sufferings for His glory to advance the gospel?
God’s Word in Your Life
You have spent time each day studying God’s Word this week. Because His Word is living and active, what has stood out to you will be uniquely applicable to your own life. And just as Paul’s boldness in sharing his faith encouraged his fellow believers, your gleanings will bless us!
I hope you will share with us how God has spoken to your heart through Philippians 1:12-18. What new truths have you discovered? What action is God prompting you to through these verses?
Please leave us your thoughts in the comments… we look forward to hearing from you!