As hard as this must have been for Paul, it was good for us. Because this is how Paul had the time to write some letters.
Because Paul was in house prison in Rome, we get Colossians, Philemon, Ephesians, and Philippians. Yey!
And the gospel advanced deeply into the heart of Rome. The whole praetorian guard heard about Paul, particularly that his imprisonment was for Christ.
This praetorian guard was a group of 10,000 select soldiers. They had double pay, and huge influence. The emperor even courted their favor. So, 10,000 of the most select soldiers ALL heard about Paul and the cause of his imprisonment.
Word of Paul's imprisonment for Christ spread throughout the city and even into Caesar's household.
Good things were happening. But bad things were happening too.
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. Philippians 1:15-17
Sounds crazy, right? People would choose to identify with Christ for the purpose of getting somebody in trouble.
But here's what I really love about this. It didn't rock Paul's world.
Here's how he handles it:
1. He acknowledges the facts
2. He chooses his battle
3. He considers the outcome
4. He focuses on his mission
5. He lets it run its own course
Paul doesn't try to pretend that this isn't real. But, really, he doesn't give it much time. This is not his battle. He also knows that if he starts fighting this battle, he will bring fire not only upon himself, but the growing church in Rome. He stays focused on his mission and just let's this whole thing play out.
Do you have a situation in your life that could
- distract you
- distress you
- dishearten you
- discomfort you
- disrupt you
from what God has for you today? Don't let it rock your world. Focus on Christ and what He has for you today.
How can I pray for you today? Do you have a situation that threatens to take you off track? Leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to come alongside! And, if you're new, we're a couple of weeks into Philippians. Just like Lydia and her band of women gathered at the riverside, we're gathering here each morning. Thanks for joining! And I hope you'll be back!
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