I have been telling you for a couple weeks now that I would be writing a blog series on the book of Philippians. Last week I wrote a brief introduction and shared that with you. Now this week I want to begin in the first chapter. I have the entire chapter below so feel free to read through that or open up your own Bible and read along as we go.
 Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons:  Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thanksgiving and Prayer
 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you,  always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy,  because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.  And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.  It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel.  For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus.  And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment,  so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,  filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
The Advance of the Gospel
 I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel,  so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ.  And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.  Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will.  The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel.  The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment.  What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.
To Live Is Christ
Yes, and I will rejoice,  for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance,  as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.  For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.  If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell.  I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.  But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.  Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith,  so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.  Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel,  and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God.  For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake,  engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.
(Philippians 1 ESV)
As we read through this chapter, I’ll share with you five things that Paul desires for Christian’s lives. I hope you’re encouraged and challenged by these things.
#1: Verses 9-11 Be Prepared For The Day of Christ
One of the things I see here that Paul desires for Christians. Is in verses nine through eleven. He wants us to be prepared for the day of Christ. How can we be prepared? By keeping ourselves blameless, and filled with the fruit of righteousness. We can be filled with the fruit of righteousness by being obedient to the word of God. These are important things for us to do. We must be killing sin and seeking obedience to the Bible in all that we do.
#2: Verses 12-18 Be Bold to Preach The Gospel
The second thing I see here that Paul clearly desires for every Christian, is that we should preach the gospel with boldness. Even if it means imprisonment or persecution. Paul is one who boldly shared the gospel, even after being imprisoned he didn’t stop. God obviously worked through Paul to spread the gospel. If we are obedient to God and seek to boldly share the gospel, God will use our words and example to work in others for His glory.
#3: Verse 21 To Die is Gain
Paul knows very well that death is nothing to be afraid of, death is to his advantage. He wants us to know too that death is gain. As Christians when we die, our suffering will be over. We will be done with sin and most of all we’ll be with Christ. Death is certainly nothing to fear. This is Paul’s mindset and Paul wants this to be our mindset as well.
#4: Verses 22-26 It is Necessary to Remain in The Flesh
Even though Paul knows that death is gain he understands it is more necessary to remain in the flesh for the work of Christ. It is important for us to understand that we are here for the work of Christ. Everyday that we have breath we have opportunities to share the love of Christ and the gospel of Christ not only with our words, but especially with our actions.
#5: Verses 27-28 Let Your Manner of Life be Worthy of The Gospel of Christ
Let your actions be worthy of the gospel. This is the final thing I want to point out today. This goes well with #4, we have many chances to share the gospel with others. Let’s align our lives with the gospel. Let’s live in obedience to Christ one day at a time. When we have opportunities to share the gospel with other people, our lives should match up with our words. This is what Paul desires for every Christian, this should not only be Paul’s desire but ours also. Now I challenge myself and I challenge you to live each day in accordance with the gospel. As we live, Christ will use us to shine light into other people’s lives. Though many people may never say anything to us, we will still have an influence on others for the greater work of Christ.
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Have a great week, see you next time!