Day 15

January 17

Philippians 1

The book of Philippians is unique in that it is not primarily focused on problems within a church group, but more of an encouragement for believers facing suffering. What strikes me in this first chapter is the attitude Paul takes toward the Gospel. The word Gospel means good news. The Gospel he refers to is proclaiming Jesus as the Messiah Son of God who came to rescue us from our sins if we recognize him and repent.

Paul lives for the Gospel. He doesn’t live with the Gospel. He speaks of imprisonment and chains and suffering as good things because they’re advancing the Gospel, which is way more important than any discomfort we could face on earth. The Gospel is the only important thing in life. If being wrongfully imprisoned spreads the good news of Jesus to more people, it’s a win.

How often do we treat telling people about Jesus as an interruption to our life or a chore to be accomplished so we can get back to other stuff. Here in this first chapter we see there is no other stuff. To Paul, getting Jesus to people is the only thing that matters. There isn’t anything else. He’s willing to suffer and encourage others to endure suffering, because he knows this life is short and more people need to know Jesus before they meet their eternity without him.

How much is your watch or wedding ring worth? A hundred bucks and some sentimental value? How much is your TV worth? $500 bucks and a couple hours a day? How much is your sport or hobby worth? Well you spend time, energy, effort, practice, and sometimes even injury. If you get hurt, you keep working to recover and get back in the game.

What is Jesus worth? Is he worth your time, your money, your energy? What if you get made fun of or even hurt because of your love for Jesus? Is he worth injury? God created you, he gave you life, family, food, clothing, and if you’ve asked him to lead your life, he’s forgiven you of your sins and given you eternal life! When it’s time to give your tithes and offerings do you give joyfully, or would you rather spend the money on a watch? When it’s time to pray and read your Bible do you do it joyfully, or would you rather spend the time on TV? When it’s time to share your faith or suffer for the gospel do you do it joyfully, or would you rather spend your time and energy on sports? Jesus is worth so much more than these things. Like Paul, we should treat the kingdom of God as valuable above everything else and worth paying any price to advance it on this earth.

Philippians 1:14, “And because of my imprisonment, most of the believers here have gained confidence and boldly speak God's message without fear.”

Are the things you value advancing God’s kingdom on this earth?

Pastor Philip Hahn
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