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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Joy in Chains

This week was the study of Philippians 1 for me. Paul was rejoicing even though he was in prison. He also rejoiced that the gospel was being preached even if it wasn't being preached for right reasons.

The gospel is centered around Jesus Christ. It's all about the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. We have to know what it is in order to be able to share it. Paul shared wherever he was. I'm ashamed to say that I don't. What if I offend someone? What if they think I'm weird?

Our life is to be lived in such a way as to show others Christ. Philippians 1:27 is a good verse to memorize. Am I living my life so that others will say "What's different about her?" The next question would be am I hoping that my life's example will be enough so that I don't have to say anything. The whole Praetorian guard knew what Paul believed. He had a captive audience you might say as this was their duty. Somewhere I have read that they were chained to him. Then again, would I want to open my mouth if I couldn't get away from the fist that may come flying at me if I bothered the man.

I wonder though, were the men happy to listen to Paul? Maybe they were. Maybe they didn't mind him talking about his faith in Christ. But I would venture to guess that some probably didn't like it at all. Defending the gospel of Christ brough Paul into this situation - a damp, dark dungeon probably. But he didn't stop. He pressed on continuing until the whole guard knew the truth. He was passionate about it.

One thing to note, he does give credit to the Philippians for his boldness. He tells them it's because of their prayers that he is willing to do this. Makes me think I need to start praying more, for my own willingness to share the Truth, and for people I know who are doing this - my pastor, missionaries and others that I know have committed their lives to doing just that. My mother-in-law works in a nursing home and shares Christ with everyone she comes in contact with. I would like to learn to be more like that.

I guess that's what I'll take from chapter one of Philippians. Prayer and sharing the Truth are two areas where I need growth. And I think it will bring joy to be going on this journey instead of avoiding it.

Because He died for me,
Steph

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