Nov. 16, 2021
12 But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel;
13 So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places;
14 And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
15 Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will:
16 The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds:
17 But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.
18 What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.
19 For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,
20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.
21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.
23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:
24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.
25 And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith;
26 That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again.
St. Paul writes a good letter, doesn’t he? Especially when we consider he was in prison at the time.
For St. Paul, Jesus was all and everything. Nothing could dissuade him of his devotion to Jesus and to spreading the Gospel. He’s quite an inspiration; his joy was to tell the story, the truth, to help folks to live as Jesus had informed him and all the disciples we – and they – should be living. Ok … he did have that ‘little’ event on the road to Damascus and a three day crash course taught by the very Jesus he’d tried to undo but the new Paul never looked back to the old Saul he’d been. When he stepped out of that room at the inn, there was only Paul and he was convicted, convinced, and wholly in deep and abiding love with and for Jesus.
St. Paul is still preaching the Gospel; verses 25 and 26 refers not only to the Philippians of his day, but to us today as well. It would the greatest joy to love Jesus the way St. Paul loved Jesus. We are a fallen and broken humanity and yet, Jesus sees us striving, doing the best we can to take up our crosses and follow Him; He sees our hearts and knows our intent and sends the Holy Spirit – the Comforter, the Teacher – to help us. As long as we keep trying, He’ll be right there beside us.