Monday, August 13, 2012
"Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear. " ~ Philippians 1:12-14
Paul is probably one of the believer's most profound examples of what it is to emulate Christ in adversity and stand up through the power of the Holy Spirit through suffering and persecution. I love his perspective and the encouragement he gives in this passage. He boldly recognizes that what he is walking through is being used of the Lord to advance His Kingdom work and purpose not only in bringing unbelievers to a saving knowledge of Christ [the WHOLE palace guard - take that in for a minute :0) ] but, in emboldening the Body of Christ to stand up and follow his lead. WOW!
It begs answer to a few questions, " Am I allowing the Lord to use the circumstance I find myself in to advance His kingdom work? Are those who don't believe being influenced to believe because of the overwhelming display of His glory in my hard place? Is my example stirring the faithful to deeper faith and bolder display of the Father in their own lives?
It's a paradigm shift really...instead of a "poor me", "why me" -we begin to see each day -no matter what comes; good or bad - as simply an opportunity to advance the cause of Christ...to be faithful "Unveiled Faces" for the display of His splendor in our sphere of influence... a sweet aroma amidst the stench of a dying world...salt licks and fire flys for the cause of Christ...
We are called -it' not optional!
How are you doing?