Sunday, July 28, 2013

using our opportunities

Good afternoon friends,
I hope your weekend has been wonderful. Despite being a bit wet, the camping trip was lots of fun. As always, teamwork and community make for a great trip even with less than perfect weather. In our reading for today, Paul reflects on being in prison for the sake of the gospel. He says that even his imprisonment has helped spread the gospel. For one thing, being in prison has given him the opportunity to share his faith with his jailers and other prisoners. It has also allowed people to see how deeply he loves Christ, which might also draw people to salvation.

I find Paul's devotion inspiring. He doesn't get everything right, but he sees everything he does as part of his faith. That's an invitation for us as well. Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, you have the opportunity to share God's love with others.

God bless,

Philippians 1:12-21
12 I 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.

15 Some 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 result in 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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