Brothers and Sisters,
What a wonderful time of diving into the joy-filled letter of Philippians this past Sunday. Pastor Chuck walked us through Paul’s “get well soon” (as he described it) portion of Philippians. Not that the Philippians were sick with fever or cold but rather Paul helps them better understand suffering and therefore change their perspective—a “get well” of sorts on thinking. The gracious church in Philippi had sent their condolences—a sympathy card of sorts—to Paul in regards to his imprisonment. In Philippians 1:12-18 he responds specifically to his current situation in a surprising way. Paul is no less thankful for their concern and grateful for it but here in this section he broadens and therefore deepens their understanding of suffering. Verse 12 could not be any better in displaying Paul’s take on imprisonment, on suffering. It is precisely that the gospel is advancing that Paul finds his suffering good and not only good but joyous. His imprisonment, his suffering, had allowed outsiders to hear the gospel and emboldened believers to speak the gospel with great courage. This is radical indeed and a massive shift in arithmetic—gospel pain = gospel gain.
Brothers and Sisters, perhaps we need to “get well” in our thinking specifically on suffering. It still stands to be seen exactly how the current trends will affect the church. We will more than likely not face beatings or death physically but perhaps we will face those things in reputation and loss of careers. Our influence in the public square might take a beating but if the gospel advances we can stand in joyous courage.
If you have not considered which connection class you are going to attend, do it now!!! Click here to see the upcoming classes and be prayerful about where you should commit. These moments of gathering around the scriptures are essential for the believer. Grab a friend and help each other make this a priority.
As we get back in the swing of work, school, dropping the children off at various events our calendars get full and overwhelming. This has a potential to push out other things to make room for the daily things in order to bring balance to our busy days. Evaluating your calendar is a healthy practice but don’t drop things that are necessary to your spiritual development. Have you ever placed your calendar in front of you and prayed diligently asking the Lord where he might want you to commit your time? Might I suggest Gospel Communities. This is a gathering where we can be devoted to each other, deepen our understanding of scripture, experience transformation, and stay centered on the gospel in the midst of busy lives. Check out our GC’s here and see which one is closet to you and visit this week!!!
Grace be with you,