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Families/Individuals with no young children, please follow this devotional by Rev. Ron Ray:
Philippians 1:12-18 (NIV):
12 Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. 13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 14 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. 15 It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16 The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. 18 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. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice.
What a beautiful testimony Paul gives in these verses. In spite of what happened to Paul, he rejoices that the gospel is being preached. You will find joy and rejoicing throughout the book of Philippians. An example of what happened to Paul that would be known to the Philippians is recorded in Acts 16. It tells of Paul and his evangelistic/missionary team being led by the Holy Spirit in entering Philippi. After they arrived, they were looking for a place to pray. The prayer meeting was interrupted by a fortune teller being freed from the demons that enabled the fortune telling. The owners of the fortune teller had Paul and Silas put in jail because the fortune teller was the source of income for them. Subsequently the jailer and his family were converted, and Paul and Silas were set free.
Through the book of Acts and Church History, and to this day this process continues: (1) proclaiming the gospel (2) converts being won to Jesus (3) persecution arising.
Question to ponder: Does persecution hinder the growth of the church, or does it cause the gospel message to be more powerful?
Prayer: Lord, let me be a mighty flame for You, no matter what circumstances I live in.