December 7, 2018
Philippians 1:20-26 New Living Translation
The world’s definition for peace is freedom from disturbance or tranquility. It conjures up a more passive picture. Biblical peace based on the Hebrew world, shalom, brings a much broader and active meaning. God’s peace translates to be sound of mind, complete, or whole. God’s Word teaches that His peace is not necessarily based on pleasant circumstances. In fact, we can stay in peace no matter what is going on in our lives if we stay focused on trusting God who is the Source of our shalom or peace.
While the Apostle Paul spent time in prison for sharing his faith in Christ, he held onto his peace and continued to write to the church in Philippi and encourage them to keep spreading the Good News of Jesus. He prayed for the church family to overflow with love for one another, because that would be a testimony to the presence and power of God operating in their lives. Then, Paul shares his testimony of how God was working in his life; he found joy in Christ even in prison. Paul was able to share the Good News with the palace guards and they became believers. Paul’s witness for Christ in prison gave other believers confidence and courage to share Christ’s message without fear. Sometimes we forget how God uses our circumstances to touch the lives of others who are watching our lives and listening to our words. This is why it is so important to remain in God’s love, hold on to our peace, and trust His plan.
Philippians 1:20-26 Paul’s Life for Christ
20 For I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die. 21 For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. 22 But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better. 23 I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. 24 But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live.
25 Knowing this, I am convinced that I will remain alive so I can continue to help all of you grow and experience the joy of your faith. 26 And when I come to you again, you will have even more reason to take pride in Christ Jesus because of what he is doing through me.
Prayer: Lord thank you for the peace that passes all understanding; you are my Source. Thank you for this lesson from Paul to stay the course by holding onto peace and staying focused on sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ. In Jesus’ name. Amen.