From our first section of Philippians, we know that Paul is in prison. His situation does not change his mood or view of his goals. He is still seeking to advance the kingdom of God. In this next section (Philippians 1:12-26) Paul is speaking to the concern of the Philippian Christians. These people are worried and concerned about Paul. Paul writes to them by sending a report of his state. He can tell the people about how his imprisonment was allowing the Messiah to be proclaimed. In this section, Paul speaks to his confinement as either further service or death. In all of these things, he can rejoice. He understands what is important- the gospel.
Before going any further take some time to read Philippians 1:12-26 on your own.
In our own lives we claim that we prioritize certain things like family, friends, God but if we take a step back would that actually be the case. If we evaluate our time and how we spend our money, we may realize the priorities we claim to have are actually much further than what we claim. Paul is showing what his priorities are. He is not focused on his situation instead he is more concerned about how the situation is spreading the story of God.
Take a look at your phone's screen time, what apps or amount of time is a priority for you why? As a secondary experiment for the next day, or a week, keep a tracker of how you spend your time. Is the information surprising, unbelievable, or is it what you expected?
Paul is convinced that he will one day leave the prison. There are two ways that can happen. He can either be freed to continue to share the gospel or he could die and gain community with the God he loves. Either option is fine with Paul. Either the story of God is proclaimed further and longer or he gets to finally be with the author of creation. The priority for Paul though is not to get out of prison but to continue sharing the story of God. Paul makes these priorities know to those around him and those reading his letter. Outsiders know what he values and he sticks to those values.
If a friend, or stranger, looked at your life what would they say are your priorities?
God has given each of us a place. For some it is school, others have a specific roommate, some have a job in a specific field, still, others may be stay at home parents. No matter the situation God has placed you in your area for a reason and for a purpose. Paul was placed in prison for a reason and he mentions that his imprisonment allowed the imperial guards to hear of God.
Beyond the simple and easy answer (to share the gospel), why do you think God has put you where he has?
Who are the people you are supposed to reach out to? Why does it make sense for you to be that person
Finally, Paul speaks of his situation. He speaks to honoring and glorifying Christ throughout the entire situation. His prison time, maybe death, and his life leading up to those points can be and are used to bring glory to God. His entire life and perspective show that his priorities are not from selfish ambition or manipulation of others. Paul’s only goal both in life and death is to seek God and make him known.
Think again about the situations God has placed you in. Where do you find yourself afraid to share him?
What areas of your life are you unwilling to give up to God? What does this reveal about your priorities in the situation
Remember: Share the story
A Review of: Welcoming the future church