Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Philippians 1:15-30: The example of Paul

This is the second part of my blog journal as I go through the book of Philippians. Again my words are in parenthesis and the word of God is in quotations.

Philippians 1:15-30
V15-18"Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former proclaim Christ out of rivalry, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.Yes, and I will rejoice"
( it's interesting to see Paul's reaction to those who are preaching Christ out of rivalry, instead of complaining or trying to prove these people's false motives , he rejoices and says as long as Christ is proclaimed I will rejoice, he shows a maturity I hope as Christians we can follow his example)

V19"for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance,"
(Paul stood firm in the Lord, unwavering, trusting that these trials would prove deliverance as he says in a few verses later "whether in life or in death" I will be delivered, amazing example again for us to follow)

V20-21"as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."
(Lord I pray that myself and your church will be full of courage and unashamed so that you will be honored in our bodies, in life and in death. Help us to understand what living for you is and to be focused on eternity with you which is all the gain we could ever have and ask for.)

V22" If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me."
(after reading this verse for the first time, I started everyday when I wake up to thank God for a new day and say well I am still alive, I didn't die in my sleep, so there must be fruitful work to be done. "Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; "(Matthew 9:37 ESV)

V22-23"Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.
(I am in complete agreement with Paul, like who wouldn't want to depart and be with Christ. I long for the day when this earth will pass away and we get to see the King, face to face. But look at how many people are still out there who have yet to learn about Christ. Split desires)

V24-26"But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again."
(Paul is focused on building up the church even in prison,while he is suffering he longs to see the church progress and have joy in the faith, In Christ. Again he shows us an example when we are going through trials we should not be focused inwardly but continuing to encourage our brothers and sisters in the faith, our desire no matter what we are going through is to see others glory in Christ Jesus.)

V27-29"Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God."
(imagine if the church's reputation was that of being in one spirit and striving side by side, Lord help your people to stand firm in you,working together for the gospel, help us to not be frightened by our opponents, but to be confident of our salvation that comes from you alone, may our lives be worthy of the gospel.)

V29-30"For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have."
(how many people think that living the Christian life will be without suffering And pain,it has been granted to us , almost like its a gift to be able to suffer for Christ. What a concept. How different is that from the world that makes us think it's all about our comfort and happiness and the mindset of do all you can to avoid any type of suffering. Yet here we see Paul embrace the life of suffering calling it fruitful work, calling it Christ, and standing firm even to death which will prove much gain.)

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