The Gospel Advances – April 15, 2024

Monday, April 15

Devotional written by Brian Williams, Community Engagement Pastor



“Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel.”
Philippians 1:12

Read John 17:3 & Philippians 3:7-11


Paul is writing to these dear brothers and sisters while chained to a Roman guard under house arrest in Rome. Being a prisoner with no freedom to work (he was a tent maker), he was likely responsible for providing his own food and clothing and even paying rent for where he was staying. The Philippian church sent him a gift to help support him as he was unable to do so for himself. These people loved him and were curious to know how he was doing in these difficult circumstances. Yet, notice what Paul writes to them (Phil 1:12). 

Rather than telling them how he is doing, he jumps right into telling them how the gospel is doing. His identity is so intertwined with the will and purpose of God that how the gospel is doing is how he is doing. For him, success or failure, joy or sorrow, is more deeply connected to the advancement of the gospel than to his comfort.

The Greek word translated “advance” [NIV], which he uses to describe how his circumstances relate to the gospel, has the connotation of overcoming obstacles. It might be used to describe a person advancing through a jungle with a machete or blazing a trail undeterred by the thick vegetation. In the same way, the gospel is triumphing in and through his life, taking new ground unimpeded by what would seem to be a hindrance.

The most important thing a life can accomplish is occurring in his life, which is what he wants them to know and rejoice in with him. The gospel advances. Everything else is secondary.

Action: If you evaluate your day based on the advancement of the gospel in or through you, how would that change your outlook on the day? If that were your primary measure of a good or bad day, what obstacles are hindering you from having a good day? Of those obstacles, how many do you have control over?

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