Philippians – The Happiness Letter
NEWS REPORT: THIS JUST IN…
The congregational statistical reports are in! Despite all desperate circumstances The Message of the Messiah is reaching more people than every before! Everyone is talking about Him, learning more about Him and wanting to know more so they can live like Him! Transformed lives are all around and multiplying exponentially as Christians, more confident in their faith, are holding nothing back as they apply the Word to their daily walk and depend fully on Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit to lead them! Wow, it’s a revolution! People love God with all that is in them and are loving others just like Jesus love them! Nothing like this has happened before in the history of God’s people! Amazement and wonder is awakening people to action everywhere! The race is on, we can’t lose! There is life and more life to be had by following this Messiah who saved us all!
We interviewed Paul, a passionate preacher, jailed for telling The Message of the Truth of the Person of the Messiah. He reports, “They didn’t shut me up; they gave me a pulpit!”
REFLECTION: What if that happened today? It is! But maybe not in our part of the world, in our town, as much as we would like. Are we confident of The Message of the Messiah? Are we boldly making the most of every opportunity? Are we learning and maturing with a desire to be more like Christ? Do we seek Life and more Life? Are we celebrating? Does it show on our faces? In our lives?
Philippians 1, The Message
They Can’t Imprison the Message
12-14 I want to report to you, friends, that my imprisonment here has had the opposite of its intended effect. Instead of being squelched, the Message has actually prospered. All the soldiers here, and everyone else, too, found out that I’m in jail because of this Messiah. That piqued their curiosity, and now they’ve learned all about him. Not only that, but most of the followers of Jesus here have become far more sure of themselves in the faith than ever, speaking out fearlessly about God, about the Messiah.
15-17 It’s true that some here preach Christ because with me out of the way, they think they’ll step right into the spotlight. But the others do it with the best heart in the world. One group is motivated by pure love, knowing that I am here defending the Message, wanting to help. The others, now that I’m out of the picture, are merely greedy, hoping to get something out of it for themselves. Their motives are bad. They see me as their competition, and so the worse it goes for me, the better—they think—for them.
18-21 So how am I to respond? I’ve decided that I really don’t care about their motives, whether mixed, bad, or indifferent. Every time one of them opens his mouth, Christ is proclaimed, so I just cheer them on!
And I’m going to keep that celebration going because I know how it’s going to turn out. Through your faithful prayers and the generous response of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, everything he wants to do in and through me will be done. I can hardly wait to continue on my course. I don’t expect to be embarrassed in the least. On the contrary, everything happening to me in this jail only serves to make Christ more accurately known, regardless of whether I live or die. They didn’t shut me up; they gave me a pulpit! Alive, I’m Christ’s messenger; dead, I’m his bounty. Life versus even more life! I can’t lose.
Dear Heavenly Father, Help us to be more like Jesus. Help us to love like You love us. You have lifted our Spirits with Your Word today. Confidence is returning and rising to the top of our being to overflow to everyone who is seeking a Savior. May Your Holy Spirit work in and through us to speak boldly at the right time and in the right, loving Spirit. We also seek life and more life in You.
In Jesus Name, Amen