Think, Act, Be, Day 27-Philippians 1:12-21
My imprisonment is for Christ
Few of us know what it’s like firsthand for a preacher to be arrested. The Philippians did, and they were embarrassed—and probably a bit worried about their own fate. In a high-achieving, competitive world, they had never imagined a pastor who would be so humiliated. They could not imagine following a leader who would be so mistreated. That is, until they remembered Jesus. He set an example—and Paul followed—of descending to the depths, even if it meant imprisonment, so that God would receive glory.
Paul did not use his incarceration as a pretext for publicity. He used his time in jail to point his church to Jesus, write letters, and encourage them to trust in the Lord even in Paul’s absence. Because Paul was in jail, the Philippians could rejoice—not panic.
On Sunday, September 27, we heard Mariana Elya’s testimony about Saint Church in Alexandria and prayed for these precious people. We grieved over the loss of these 23 people and rejoiced in the dynamic growth of the church since December 31, 2011. We prayed for Pastor Saeed Abedini as well. Today, pray for those who are imprisoned for the sake of the gospel, as if you were imprisoned with them. Pray for our missionaries, and pray for your enemies, as the Lord taught us to do.
12 I want you to know, beloved,[a] that what has happened to me has actually helped to spread the gospel, 13 so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard[b] and to everyone else that my imprisonment is for Christ; 14 and most of the brothers and sisters,[c] having been made confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, dare to speak the word[d] with greater boldness and without fear.
15 Some proclaim Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from goodwill. 16 These proclaim Christ out of love, knowing that I have been put here for the defense of the gospel; 17 the others proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but intending to increase my suffering in my imprisonment. 18 What does it matter? Just this, that Christ is proclaimed in every way, whether out of false motives or true; and in that I rejoice.
Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance. 20 It is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be put to shame in any way, but that by my speaking with all boldness, Christ will be exalted now as always in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain.