31 January 2018

REFLECTION

Welcome to Wednesday’s podcast. My name is Andy Rushworth

Our reading today is Philippians 1: 12-18a

Paul was a missionary… he took the gospel to where it was desperately needed and hardest to find.

In the past, missionaries, those who spread the gospel… boarded ships to go to foreign lands and did not expect to see their homeland shore again. Their goodbyes were final, in terms of earth time.

While air travel, e-mail, and other modern technologies have made worldwide separation much easier, pioneering with the gospel still requires a high sacrifice.

Paul in this passage found himself chained up in prison… many would find this too much to bear and become bitter or give up… but not Paul, he saw it as one more opportunity to spread the good news.

Paul realised that his current circumstances weren’t as important as what he did with them. Turning a bad situation into a good one, he reached out to the Roman soldiers guarding him and encouraged those Christians who were facing persecution.

I don’t know about you… but we may not be in prison, but we still have many opportunities to be discouraged… times of indecision… financial burdens… family conflict… church conflict, or the loss of our jobs.

How we act in such situations will reflect what we believe.

Let us be like Paul this day… let’s look for ways to demonstrate our faith even in bad situations and whether or not those situations improve… your faith will grow stronger!

PRAYER

Father God, Thank you that you are at work in us… grow our faith and give us wisdom to live your way in the toughest of situations.

In Jesus name, Amen

READING: PHILIPPIANS 1:12-18a

Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.

It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defence of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.