She speaks truth II


But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which  happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear. Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from goodwill: The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains; but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice. For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live on in the flesh, this will  mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which  is  far better. Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you. And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith, that your rejoicing for me may be more abundant in Jesus Christ by my coming to you again. Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel, and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that from God. For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, having the same conflict which you saw in me and now hear is in me.

“I Just Want The World To Know.”

Have you ever had a time in your life when you “crave” spending time with Him? Where not only do you desire that closeness, that intimacy with Him, but you find yourself talking about Him, a lot. But talking in a way that is just every day conversation, and it just flows naturally. Because your heart has become so in tune with His, it’s overflowing and pouring out.

That is the way it is with Paul. When I read this section of scripture, I visualize his hand–I picture him as a lefty–frantically writing these words, barely legible to anyone but him. He just can’t write the words fast enough. He can’t get them down on paper as fast as he wants to share them. These words are simply bursting out of Him, and he is filled with joy–despite his current situation. He has fallen so in love with Christ, that he just wants the world to know Him too.

Paul describes two types of people sharing the gospel: those preaching with selfish ambition and those with pure motives. After Paul describes those teaching the gospel without sincere hearts, I wanted him to say something like, “disregard what they teach.” But he doesn’t. His focus is sharing the gospel to as many people as possible. He goes as far a saying “the motive doesn’t matter to me,” [v.18] as long as Christ is taught. Mind you, Paul does not approve their motives: not in the least bit. But he doesn’t claim to be God–he can’t judge another man’s heart. So instead, Paul chooses to encourage the sharing of Christ to those who haven’t heard it yet.

He ends this chapter with a challenge, bringing us back to the important One: Christ. Regardless of opposition or suffering, it is Christ who saves. It is Christ who unites us.

It’s a slippery slope when we begin to assign motives to another one’s heart. Is there an example of this in your life? Take this time to ask God to help you release that to Him: remember He is the only one who can see the heart.

Close your eyes and imagine Paul. He is in prison. He is in chains. He is suffering, yet He never stops sharing the gospel message. Apply this to your life: what have you allowed to stand in the way of sharing the gospel?

Find a blank page and start writing a prayer. Mark this day as the start of a life that is overflowing with Christ’s love and joy.

This study courtesy of the She Reads Truth community!


2 thoughts on “She speaks truth II

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