I’ve been studying for our adult Sunday school class from Philippians Chapter 1, where Paul imprisoned, wrote about the gospel being preached, and his desire to leave and be with Christ. It is a lesson in personal conflict.
Paul’s ministry had an amazing impact on those believers. They were bold for Christ and the message was yielding fruit. Paul’s joyful attitude made them eager to share Christ with the world. The purity and sincerity of Christ’s love broke down the walls, and despite his tremendous joy at the spreading of the gospel, we see Paul’s desire to be with the Lord [Phil 1:21-23]. While he remained, the gospel was being preached, and the church was encouraged, but if he died he would be with the Lord, a thing which he desired. Paul’s attitude was resolute – ” Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you. [Phil 1:24]” Paul stated that no matter what he had to endure, he would not be ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ[Phil 1:20]. His purpose was to honor and glorify Christ at all costs. So it didn’t matter if he was imprisoned, his spirit, his attitude was not. Paul was freed from the snares, the temptations, and his own flesh to do the will of Christ. He did not sit in a corner moaning his misfortune, instead Paul reflected Christ. Paul’s total message was so captivating that Christ’s message of love and grace won the hearts and minds of those desperately seeking the Messiah. And they discovered Christ-the hope of glory through Paul despite of his chains. The thought for today is, does our attitude reflect and honor Christ despite our situations, challenges, and personal imprisonments?
Faith asks us neither to destroy nor to exalt human desire but to gather it into an even greater desire; the thirst for God.
Dear friends, let your entire being like Paul, reflect the glory of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Share Christ and let the joy of your salvation bring forth the light and love.
Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 Amen.