SUNDAY 4TH FEBRUARY, 2018
THEME: IT ALL TURNED OUT FOR GOOD
TEXT: PHILIPPIANS 1:1-20
MEMORY VERSE: PHILIPPIANS 1:12 “But I want you to know, brethren, that the things
which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel”.
Paul was arrested for preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. He was specifically accused of calling good evil, which is, accepting the Gentiles into the commonwealth of Israel and claiming them to be equal with the Jews. Moreover, he was caught bringing Gentiles into the Temple in Jerusalem which they considered to be against the Jewish practice. Although there was no law forbidding Gentiles into the Temple, except beyond the court of the Gentiles.
After his unlawful arrest, Paul suffered lots of pains, restrictions, imprisonments, loneliness, hunger and such like. (2 Cor. 11:23-28) However, instead complaining and regretting his actions, he counted it all joy to have suffered for the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Bible says, “…all things work together for good for those who love God…” (Rom. 8:28). Paul used his imprisonment to encourage brethren in Philippi to forge ahead in their declaration for Jesus and never to be intimidated by hardship or suffering for the gospel.
Occasional, God uses some situations that are unpalatable to spread the gospel faster and make it to get to the almost unbelievable arena. The persecution of Christians in Jerusalem forced Philip to flee to Samaria where he preached and spread the Gospel. As Disciples of Christ, we must be ready to suffer for the cause of the gospel and not consider it a reproach but an advantage to further its cause.
Though we do not pray for any persecution to come, if it comes, we should let God use it as a spring-board for the salvation and edification of others.
HYMN: EMHB 402 – FAITH OF OUR FATHERS, LIVING STILL
PRAYER: Lord, make all things planned against me and my house to become a source of testimonies to the glory of Your name. Amen.