"What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."
Have courage and do not lose sight of the gospel. That is what I keep pondering on after studying through chapter one of Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi. The word gospel is mentioned 6 times within the 30 verses. Grab your bible and journey with me to see how it is used to give our burdened souls some encouragement!
He states that his joy is made complete by the partnership in the gospel, and this church is near to his heart. (vs. 5) Do you have a list of names you can write out in the margin of your Bible next to this verse? A church or ministry you can list? I have eight names written out, and they each make my joy complete serving with them. Their passion for sharing Christ with others strengthens my everyday walk with Jesus. Their love for Jesus makes me want to fight for that joy we read about throughout this short letter. My prayer is that if you do not have at least one person to write down that God would bring you that person. Or maybe someone is waiting for you? Can you genuinely say you strive to be a partaker in intentionally sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ?!
Found in verse 7. This is a continuation of verse five. Paul is sure God will finish the work started in the church of Philippi. The beauty of Paul’s certainty that his affections are directed by God compels me to love others better. Does it do the same for you? It is a call to encourage one another and pray fervently for those we serve alongside as we bring God's kingdom to this earth.
In verse 12, we are reminded that many times our sufferings advance the kingdom of God. Paul was under house arrest at this time, and he makes an account that the entire imperial guard has heard the good news of Jesus and that others are proclaiming Jesus more boldly as well.
Verse 16, we are reminded not to worry about others' motives and rejoice when Christ is proclaimed!
& 6. We find in verse 27 an encouragement to live a life worthy of the gospel. We are reminded to stand firm and in unity for the sake of the gospel no matter what we are facing. Paul reminds us that suffering is inevitable and that others will come against us to challenge our faith in Christ that we proclaim. Stand firm beautiful, no matter what you are facing.
Today, if you are faced with sufferings, heartache, and the battle to keep your joy, allow God’s word to give you strength. Allow the words in Philippians chapter one to remind you not to forget your main purpose of being a Christ-follower, and that is to share the gospel! The world around us seems entirely out of control, and there is so much noise attempting to make us forget where our true hope is. That hope is found in Jesus Christ and Him alone! Turn down the noise, keep your bible near, seek the face of your Father in heaven, and be compelled to share the good news this world needs right now.
Have courage, beautiful, and do not lose sight of the gospel!
“As it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. Philippians 1:20