New King James Version (NKJV)
Christ Is Preached
12 But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, 13 so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; 14 and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
15 Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from goodwill: 16 The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains; 17 but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel. 18 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.
There are a lot of things I could talk about today but I am still keeping it to 3 so the post does not get to long, besides that is what others are for, and that makes me smile. Knowing that people are reading the passages and putting their time in to responding to what they read. So in some ways I feel like Paul, but without the chains.
- Let’s start with (vv. 12, 13) we read “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;”
- You would think that Paul being imprisoned would be a bad thing, but we see Paul stating that this was a good thing because it leads to the “furtherance of the gospel”. I can understand this because if I would not have gotten sick and ask Him for help when I hit bottom I may not have ever become a pastor. So then the question is; would the people that I have helped come to know Christ still have found Him? Please do not take this question as a commit of my importance, it is just a question. I also have wondered if Andrew had never followed Jesus and spent the time with Him, then would Peter have ever known Christ. All I can say it that I am so grateful for God allowing me to serve Him.
- I loved reading where Paul says “so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ;” See this leads me back to my commit before, Paul being imprisoned was a good thing because if he had not been there then the palace guards and everyone else would not have seen Paul’s true conviction. There is a poem I like and I will put it in the thought of the day. I can see Paul living out this poem.
- In (v. 15) we read “Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from goodwill”
- With Paul being in prison it seems there may have been a struggle for power. One group that preached the gospel for selfish reasons and a group that preached the gospel for the right reason.
- Even today we have men and women that preach the gospel just to bring riches and fame in to their lives, and then there are some that truly believe the message of the gospel, I think (Matt. 7:21-23) say it best “21 Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”
- Let’s finish with (v. 16, 17) “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.”
- Paul saw himself as a defender appointed by Christ to stand up for the gospel and even in the face of death he would stand fast to his belief. And when Paul did pass there where others that gladly took up the job of proclaiming the message of the gospel.
- But knowing that the gospel was being heard was still the greatest joy Paul knew.
Thought of the Day
I am not sure who wrote this poem but as a pastor I try and live it.
“”I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day;
I’d rather one would walk with me than merely show the way.
The eye’s a better pupil and more willing than the ear;
Fine counsel is confusing but example’s always clear.
And the best of all the preachers are the ones who live their creeds,
For to see good put in action is what everybody needs.
I soon can learn to do it if you let me see it done.
I can watch your hands in action but your tongue too fast may run.
And the sermon you deliver may be very wise and true,
But I’d rather get my lesson by observing what you do”
Personal Reflection and Discussion
- What are your thoughts on (v. 13)?
- What do you think of when you read (v. 18)?
- What other things do you see in the text?
- Call your Partner and discuss this devotional.
- Continue to have a prayer list and continue to praying for them.
- Pray with them and ask for the following;
- For God to help you live the life the poem describes.
- For God to strengthen your prayer life.
- For the individuals on your pray list.
- I love reading the Psalms and we hear so many different ones repeated to us but it seems we forget the very first one. So for today’s prayer verse let’s use (Psalms 1:1-3).