Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Friday, 26 June 20:
Note: Here is a short video overview of Philippians: https://youtu.be/oE9qqW1-BkU
Philippians 1:12-14 — I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
How do you view circumstances? How would you feel, and how would you react if you were persecuted and thrown into prison? Paul saw his imprisonment as a unique opportunity to spread the Gospel and to inspire courageousness and boldness in fellow Christians. Every day Paul was in prison, he was chained to two Praetorian guards (elite imperial guards) who operated in shifts. So every day, the guards had no choice but the hear the Gospel from Paul as he shared it with them, with fellow prisoners, and with other believers who visited him and with whom he corresponded. The guards were also first-hand witnesses to the effect of the Gospel on Paul’s character, attitude and behavior.
So, what was the impact of Paul’s imprisonment? Later, Paul will write to the Philippians, “Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me greet you. All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar’s household.” (Philippians 4:21, 22) Christianity was spreading in Caesar’s household because Paul served as Christ’s ambassador in chains there! And we can only imagine how members of Caesar’s household, such as the imperial guards who were eventually transferred, subsequently spread the Gospel throughout Rome and beyond.
Ironically, Paul’s chains gave him the freedom to share the Gospel where others couldn’t and to spread the Gospel broadly without personally going anywhere. And Paul’s powerful example emboldened other Christians to spread the Gospel where they were. How might God be orchestrating circumstances in your life so you can spread the Gospel where others can’t? Are you making the most of your opportunities and inspiring other Christians to do the same?
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 26 June 20: In all your circumstances, look for the opportunity God has orchestrated for you to share the Gospel with someone who needs to hear it.