Memory verses this week are Philippians 1:12-18:
12 And I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News.
13 For everyone here, including the whole palace guard, knows that I am in chains because of Christ.
14 And because of my imprisonment, most of the believers here have gained confidence and boldly speak God’s message without fear.
15 It’s true that some are preaching out of jealousy and rivalry. But others preach about Christ with pure motives.
16 They preach because they love me, for they know I have been appointed to defend the Good News.
17 Those others do not have pure motives as they preach about Christ. They preach with selfish ambition, not sincerely, intending to make my chains more painful to me.
18 But that doesn’t matter. Whether their motives are false or genuine, the message about Christ is being preached either way, so I rejoice. And I will continue to rejoice.
Notes for more study
I think these verses illustrate the theory to never underestimate your influence on those around you. I know for me, I wanted what my Christian friends had. I wanted what I observed as a peacefulness, and strength. It made me seek and find my way to a relationship with Christ. I wasn’t in prison but I was being held captive by some pretty evil stuff.
The other point I spot here is the motives of “others” who preach, verse18. We know this don’t we? For example, I hear some folks critical of Joel Osteen yet he is getting the core message of Jesus to the people on a large scale. He feeds those that need to hear the message in that way. Others come to Christ and are fed with preachers like Max Lucado, or my personal favorites, Stuart Briscoe and Robert Emmitt. It makes sense to me God uses each in their own way.
I’m late publishing and late in memorizing. I’m still determined though.
Illustration: Painting by Rembrandt, Paul in Prison
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