Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel,
so that my imprisonment for the cause of Christ has become well known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to everyone else,
and that most of the brethren, trusting in the Lord because of my imprisonment, have far more courage to speak the word of God without fear.
Paul is in prison as he writes because he has been preaching the gospel.
His imprisonment has provided an opportunity for the gospel to be spread even further, even among the roman guards.
Paul's imprisonment emboldened other believers to share God's word- to share without fear.
While I do not think I need to fear being imprisoned or killed for sharing the word of God in the USA, I do see some challenges to consider in these verses. God does not seem to do things in the conventional way. It strikes me as funny this morning, that here I am saying it is God who is not conventional, the One who created us in His image, I expect Him to conform to mine. Crazy when I think about it like that!
What amazes me in this passage from Philippians is the reaction of other believers. Instead of growing more fearful now that Paul has been arrested they are more courageous than ever. Now remember, Paul is not serving out a sentence here, he is awaiting news of whether he will be set free or put to death. If my pastor were arrested today and facing that same fate I am pretty sure it would shake me up a good bit and make me think twice about sharing God's word with anyone else. I am pretty sure I would not go running out to passersby proclaiming the gospel and its power to save. I may even stop writing this Bible study for fear that they might target me next. The response of the believer's in Paul's day I can only attribute to the work of the Holy Spirit, and that actually gives me hope. That same Spirit is at work in my life. Can it be that I too would gain more courage to speak the word of God without fear? And shouldn't that be happening right now anyway?
Father God, I simply ask that You free me from anything that is holding me back, from keeping me from being the woman You created me to be. Give me more courage to share Your word without fear.
Grace and peace,
I am a woman with a Mary heart and these are my musings as I read and study God's Word
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