A Nugget from New Life Network
Scripture for the Day (August 1, 2018)
And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ. (Philippians 1:9-10)
The Apostle Paul wrote the letter to the Philippians from a Roman jail. As we read this letter it is very apparent that he is more concerned with the Philippians than he is for himself. It’s almost like Paul is at complete peace and he just considers this trip to a Roman dungeon as another planned stop on his missionary journeys and a great opportunity to preach and display the Gospel. In actuality it was just that because the Lord had already revealed to Paul all the sufferings he was going to go through.
For I will shew him (Paul) how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake (Acts 9:16).
But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel; So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places; (Philippians 1:1-13)
When we look at Paul’s prayer for the Philippians we see that there were two key things that he considered very important. He prayed that they would be sincere and without offence. Paul used an example to illustrate this point when he said, Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from goodwill: The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains; (Philippians 1:15-16, NKJV).
Leadership positions in the Church of Jesus Christ, whether that position be Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor, or Teacher is a calling and not a position to compete for. Some people, even today, look at these positions as professions or status symbol slots rather than callings. This results in envy, strife and worldly competition. Paul said the sincere would preach Christ out of love and not out of selfish ambition.
The second part of Paul’s prayer was about not being offended. You can see in this letter to the Philippians that he was not going to get offended by preachers that were not sincere. What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice (Philippians 1:18).
We see this same sentiment throughout Paul’s teachings in the New Testament. Being offended was a big deal to him because he knew it grieved the Holy Spirit and brought bondage rather than freedom.
And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:30-32)
And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void to offence toward God, and toward men. (Acts 24:16)
Our prayer today is for all of our readers to be sincere and void of any offence. Let God decide where you fit into the Body of Christ. You just be you and stay in love with Jesus. When offence tries to come your way, just say no thank you I will not receive it. Forgive, shake the dust off, and move on with your calling.