from Lynda Lindsey
I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so the it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear. Philippians 1:12-14
But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. Acts 20:24
As it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. Philippians 1:20-21
A purpose statement, a concise written expression explaining the reason for which something is done or for which someone exists, serves to clarify goals and priorities. Purpose statements keep businesses or individuals from deviating from what’s most important. Paul’s entire life is a ringing affirmation of what matters most; his sole aim and purpose is to advance the gospel. No matter Paul’s circumstances, he single-mindedly serves Christ by spreading the gospel. In prison or walking about freely, in suffering or in ease, enduring persecution and slander or enjoying men’s goodwill, faithfulness to Jesus is Paul’s priority.
Paul, acting on his settled conviction, proclaimed the gospel while chained to an ever rotating roster of guards. Paul, himself a captive, reasoned and explained the gospel to a captive audience and the kingdom of God advanced! Paul’s boldness, his willingness to suffer, his courage and unswerving commitment to honor God is similar to Joseph’s attitude about wrongs he endured from his brothers: “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” The kingdom must advance…regardless!
The gospel must advance in whatever circumstances we find ourselves, in good times or in times of difficulty and trial. Perhaps we are most believable when we witness from places of deep personal hardship. The gospel advances from where we are. Homes, schools, neighborhoods, there we find our audience, and to these people we speak the good news of God. Don’t wait for just the right time to share the gospel…now is the time. People are hungry for something constant and dependable in our ever changing world…and that constant is God. What matters most to you? Speak out!