Summary: God is the master of bringing good things out of bad things. He loves to turn crucifixions into resurrections. How does He do it? Phil.1:12-20 shows us.
Pastor Wurmbrand wrote, “Afterward I had to pay for this, but it had been worthwhile.”
There is a great difference between suffering for the wrong reasons and suffering for the right reasons.
“For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God.” – I Peter 2:19-20 (NIV)
Paul shows us that a Christian can surrender to Christ and not their circumstances.
What circumstances are getting you down lately? Do you have any situations in your life that are negatively affecting you?
Can you adopt the attitude of Paul in your present circumstances?
Can you choose to surrender to Christ instead of give in to your circumstances?
2. Seeing Paul Stand Up For Christ Motivated Others To Speak Up For Christ.
“Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly. It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so out in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice.” – Philippians 1:14-18 (NIV)
Spiritual Application: God is just as concerned about my motives for serving Him as my methods of serving Him.
Here we have two kinds of people using the same method but from very different motives.
Both were using the method of preaching.
The word Paul uses that is translated ‘preach’ is the greek word karusso. It means ‘to publicly announce something, to proclaim’.
Preaching is one method God uses to meet the needs of people.
There are many other methods God uses in the Bible for ministering to people.
Here in this passage Paul references the method of preaching.
Both groups are preaching but with very different agendas.
One group’s motive was love. The other group’s motive was rivalry.
One preached from compassion the other out of competition.
God cares more about our motives than our methods in ministry.
While we’re looking for better methods God is looking for men…women…boys…girls.
Spiritual Application: God uses people with mixed motives.
Paul tells us that either way Christ is preached.
How to apply this passage to my life: What am I going to do with what I’ve learned tonight?
1. I will rejoice.
“And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice.” – Philippians 1:18c (NIV)
Instead of complain, or give up, or leave, or quit, or whatever, I will rejoice.
I will turn “Ain’t it awful” conversations into “I am thankful” conversations.
Paul never prays for God to change his situation.
While we are looking for God to change our situation God is looking to change us.