Wednesday, October 31, 2012

lemons to lemonade

Good afternoon sisters and brothers,
Tonight, we're celebrating Halloween with the neighborhood from 5:30-7. The church is hustling and bustling to get ready, and it's going to be a good time. If you haven't done it yet, make sure to put the time change in your calendar for Sunday. I know I'm looking forward to the extra hour; I'll bet you are too. 

Today's reading comes from Paul in prison. As he starts this wonderful letter to the church at Philippi, he wants to reassure them that he is OK. He assure them that even his time in jail will be fruitful for the gospel and for him. The truth is that God can take anything in our life, good or bad, and use it for our growth. Sometimes our worst moments end up bringing us closer to God. For Paul and the early church, conflict and persecution spread the message of God's love. How can we use our opportunities to share God's love today?


Philippians 1:12-21
12I want you to know, beloved that what has happened to me has actually helped to spread the gospel, 13so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to everyone else that my imprisonment is for Christ; 14and most of the brothers and sisters, having been made confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, dare to speak the word with greater boldness and without fear. 15Some proclaim Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from goodwill. 16These proclaim Christ out of love, knowing that I have been put here for the defense of the gospel; 17the others proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but intending to increase my suffering in my imprisonment. 

18What does it matter? Just this, that Christ is proclaimed in every way, whether out of false motives or true; and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance. 20It is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be put to shame in any way, but that by my speaking with all boldness, Christ will be exalted now as always in my body, whether by life or by death. 21For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain.

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