Friday 4th October, 2019

Theme: God First

Passage: Philippians 1:12-26

To Live Is Christ

12 I want you to know, my friends, that the things that have happened to me have really helped the progress of the gospel. 13 As a result, the whole palace guard and all the others here know that I am in prison because I am a servant of Christ. 14 And my being in prison has given most of the believers more confidence in the Lord, so that they grow bolder all the time to preach the message fearlessly.

15 Of course some of them preach Christ because they are jealous and quarrelsome, but others from genuine good will. 16 These do so from love, because they know that God has given me the work of defending the gospel. 17 The others do not proclaim Christ sincerely, but from a spirit of selfish ambition; they think that they will make more trouble for me while I am in prison.

18 It does not matter! I am happy about it—just so Christ is preached in every way possible, whether from wrong or right motives. And I will continue to be happy, 19 because I know that by means of your prayers and the help which comes from the Spirit of Jesus Christ I shall be set free. 20 My deep desire and hope is that I shall never fail in my duty, but that at all times, and especially right now, I shall be full of courage, so that with my whole being I shall bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die. 21 For what is life? To me, it is Christ. Death, then, will bring more. 22 But if by continuing to live I can do more worthwhile work, then I am not sure which I should choose. 23 I am pulled in two directions. I want very much to leave this life and be with Christ, which is a far better thing; 24 but for your sake it is much more important that I remain alive. 25 I am sure of this, and so I know that I will stay. I will stay on with you all, to add to your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that when I am with you again, you will have even more reason to be proud of me in your life in union with Christ Jesus.

The words of Apostle Paul in the passage for this devotion, is amplified by James 4;1 “from where do war and fights come from among you? Do they come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?”

Apostle Paul said, some preach Christ from envy and strife, some from goodwill, others from selfish ambition but the latter out of love and this is where he belonged. And we should also.

The preaching of Jesus Christ in love brought so much pain on Paul because he was selfless but only minding what gain the body of Christ would get from him and through him. For him, he would love to be with Christ where there is no persecution but because of his love to spend and be spent for Christ for the benefit of the dying souls and even for brethren, he said, ”For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you”. Vs 23-24.

Paul was simply saying there that if he was to exercise his own desire, he would have led you into a more comfortable place which is the kingdom of God, but I have chosen to do God’s will first which is to remain with you and to preach the gospel.

What do you take as priority in life? Know that your choosing Christ required selfless sacrifice. So act fast as the time is running out while you still have time.

MEMORY VERSE: Philippians 1:18 “What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretence or in truth, Christ is Preached, and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice”

HYMN: MHB 597- TEACH me, my God and King.

PRAYER: My desire Lord, in all my life, is to please you first. Make for me opportunity and give me the will to sustain in Jesus’ Name I Pray, Amen.

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