Scripture: Philippians 1:12-26
Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel, so that my imprisonment in the cause of Christ has become well known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to everyone else, and that most of the brethren, trusting in the Lord because of my imprisonment, have far more courage to speak the word of God without fear. Some, to be sure, are preaching Christ even from envy and strife, but some also from good will; the latter do it out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel; the former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition rather than from pure motives, thinking to cause me distress in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose. But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy in the faith, so that your proud confidence in me may abound in Christ Jesus through my coming to you again.
Insights: You will recall from Monday that the phrase in verse twelve, “greater progress” literally means “pioneer advance.” The journey we began last week in this book of Philippians is about restoration of our joy in the Lord and growth during such an adventure with Him. Life is difficult and there are crazy curves and many detours along the way, but if we will commit ourselves to being pioneers for Jesus our journey will be joyfully exciting as we enter the rough roads of life. Just to be clear, when I am saying Jesus desires for us to be pioneers, what I am saying is we need to be sharing the gospel with new people on a regular basis. If we do, joy in Christ, as He works in us, will overflow. Blaze new trails, Beloved!
- What kind of pioneer are you?
- Do you experience the all-pervasive joy of sharing Jesus?
Prayer: Father, be glorified in my life and let my joy overflow on account of You. Amen.