Preach Christ

The Apostle Paul encourages the importance of preaching Christ. He rejoices in the message spreading regardless if its from true or false motives. This is interesting because don’t we want all messages to come from a true motive? But Paul, in Philippians 1:18 says, “what does it matter?”

Paul writes to the Philippians

Paul is writing to the church of Philippi while he’s in prison. He wants to tell the church that although he was arrested (for preaching Jesus as king and not Caesar) the mission continues. To Paul what a better way to reach the Roman empire then to the guards themselves. Paul rejoices because now the word is spreading all the more because of this!

I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.

Philippians 1:12-14

Paul takes what would seem like a depressing situation (prison) and turns it into a blessing situation (preaching). Being a light to a dark place. As believers, this reminds us of having the mind of Christ – thinking of things that please God.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.

Philippians 4:8

The important thing is… Christ is preached

Philippians 1:15-18, Paul describes two groups of Christians spreading the Jesus message – ones with good intentions and others with bad intentions. Both groups are preaching the correct gospel, so its not a matter of false teaching. Paul doesn’t want us to worry about the motives behind the message he only cares about the message itself.

It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains.
But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.

Philippians 1:15-18

What does it matter?

We don’t have to judge the motives of others preaching the gospel – let God take care of that.

All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord

Proverbs 16:2

False teaching is a different matter altogether. In Philippians 1:12-18, Paul is speaking of the motives behind the correct message. Paul is encouraging the church not to worry that he is in prison because people are still hearing the gospel. Regardless if they liked Paul or not.

Proclaim the gospel

And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.

Philippians 1:14

The Philippians church were without their fearless leader Paul. Yet, they stepped up. Proclaiming the gospel because they knew their true leader was not Paul but Christ in them.

Today in this time of isolation, and without our church building, lets still be a people that “proclaim the gospel without fear”. Not worrying about how we will look or sound. With the mind of Christ we can see the light in a dark place. So don’t hold back speaking about your faith even if it feels awkward. Getting the word out in itself is good.

Jesus is the one who saves! We just share who He is

Jesus died on the cross as a perfect man and perfect God. Shedding his own blood as a sacrifice for our sins. So we, sinful humans, could have a right relationship with the living God. Through acknowledging this sacrifice and repenting of our sins we can receive the gift. The gift of forgiveness from a God that so loved us that He gave (John 3:16).

Just like Paul who wrote from prison, the journey is not easy and we will suffer on this earth. However, our hope is not from earth but from Heaven. A hope filled promise that beats death itself – an eternal life with the living God for all those who believe in Him (John 3:15).

This message is important because there is no condemnation for those that are in Christ (John 3:17, Romans 8:1). All it takes is a willing heart to believe.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

John 3:16-17

Unexpected

Some time ago (before the virus)

It was middle of the week and I’m strolling my daughter, Lyla, to the grocery store, which was part of our weekly routine. At the time all I was thinking about was what to make for dinner and it was only 9am.

A typical day for a mom.

After checking out with my groceries, the Starbucks inside the store caught my attention. It was one of those, I deserve an obnoxiously-priced-latte, type moments and I caved. As I was waiting for my latte I noticed an employee from the store crying at one of the tables nearby. Drawn with compassion, I knew I wanted to pray for her.

My squawking toddler and the tearful woman locked eyes and both exchanged a smile. Okay, I thought, this was my moment and I approached her and asked, “are you okay?” She sighed, “no”, and explained to me that her dog had to be put down that day and she couldn’t be there. It was happening in Maple Ridge and we live in Victoria. This struck me because I am originally from Maple Ridge so I made that to be a weird connection or coincidence. Regardless, my compassion for her grew.

Coincidence?

After she told me about her dog, I asked if I could pray for her, she replied, “yes”. I prayed that God would bring her comfort and peace in this hard time and thanked Him for what a great companion her dog was to her. After I prayed, I asked about her dog’s name.

She said, “my dog’s name is Lyla”.

“Wait... what? that’s my daughter’s name,” I replied.

Both Lyla the dog and Lyla my daughter shared the exact same name – spelling too! Crazy! Talk about coincidence? No, this was God at work.

Maybe if the names didn’t match or her dog wasn’t in Maple Ridge I would have left thinking it was all me that encouraged her. But the fact that the names matched confirmed that it had to be all God – purposefully planned to show her His love.

Unexpected love

God is always on the move to love. Having a relationship with God means we get to experience His love for others as well. It was such a joy and rush of excitement to feel God’s love for this woman whom I did not know. I felt encouraged that even in unexpected places God can be expected to show up.

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.

1 John 4:7-16