Week beginning: 1st February, 2015
By Mark Barrell | Bury St Edmunds
"I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and the all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ."Philippians 1 v 12-13 (ESV)
Paul writes these words to the young and growing Philippian church from prison. Rather than bemoaning his circumstances Paul encourages his recipients to be confident in Christ and know that the gospel is being proclaimed, to the point that even the imperial guard have heard about Jesus, and the Good News. That is astonishing.
Christians around the world are living in places where their belief in and witness to Christ means that they will suffer and be persecuted. Many are, however, so sure that what God has done for them in Christ means that He can be fully relied on. As a result they trust that where God has placed them is, despite their circumstances, where they must witness for Him.
Do you have the same attitude as you start your work and study this week? Do you believe that where you will be and the situations you will find yourself in is where God has specifically put you for the advancement of the gospel?
Paul is clear – "what has happened to me has really served the gospel".
Are you sure that you can say that this morning? If not pray that God will give you the boldness and certainty to live this as a reality today, and that you will be open to take every opportunity to witness for Him.
1) Ask God to give you the words to say and the boldness to talk about your faith in Christ this week.
2) Pray for those who are suffering for their faith in Christ around the world but despite this are standing firm in their confidence in the gospel.