Happy Resurrection Sunday!!!!
Read Philippians 1:12-18
Paul is probably in jail in Rome as he is writing back to this church he deeply loves in Philippi. His imprisonment has been used by God to advance the gospel—the word “advance” means to blaze a trail before an army. It has paved the way for his ministry.
Remember the theme of our stewardship campaign as we pray about committing financially over the next three years to give to the Lord above and beyond our tithe.
Our theme is “Advancing the Gospel…Trusting His Provision.”
As a church we are called to blaze a trail or pave a way through our declaration of the gospel. The gospel has the inherent power to save sinners and to sanctify saints.
And yet the ironic thing in Paul’s situation is that his imprisonment was actually a good thing in that it was used by God to blaze a trail to advance the gospel.
How? Paul has been able to personally share the gospel so that the entire prison guard has heard! That’s just like Paul isn’t it. He has a captive audience and he’s not going to squander any opportunity to testify about Jesus.
In addition, this boldness by Paul has encouraged and emboldened the Philippian church to be bolder itself!
Why is it so hard at times to be bold in our witness? We are afraid of rejection! We are afraid we won’t know what to say! We’re afraid that we will offend someone and possibly lose a friend or strain a relationship!
The bottom line is that we are AFRAID!
And I totally understand this fear! I’m not the world’s greatest evangelist, but we need to remember something about the gospel.
Read Romans 1:16
Boldness is something we need to pray for. Even Paul himself asked people to pray for him to be bold! Can you imagine the apostle Paul praying for boldness.
Read Ephesians 6:18-20
Read Colossians 4:1-4
As a church, let us make a solid commitment that we will be bold in advancing the gospel. Let us believe in the reality of a literal hell and the urgency of evangelism.
Let us have the bold passion like Charles Spurgeon who said these words: “If sinners will be damned at least let them leap to hell over our bodies. And if they will perish let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay. If hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for.”
Are you willing to be used by God to “blaze a trail” by advancing the gospel? Are you humbly asking God in His sovereign grace to use us as Emmanuel to advance His gospel? Do you believe in the power of the gospel? Are you willing to pray for boldness to declare this glorious gospel?
St. Francis of Assisi said, “Preach the gospel always, and use words if necessary”. That’s about as helpful as saying, “Make a free throw, but use a basketball if necessary!” “Buy a Big Mac at McDonalds for lunch, and use money if necessary!”
There is no sharing the gospel unless we use words. We have to open our mouths in boldness and share the life-changing message of Jesus! In the proverbial words of Nike: “Just do it!”
I know that your gospel has amazing power! And yet I am so afraid at times to share it with boldness. Please take away my fear and let me be obedient to advancing your gospel. Let me pray for lost people. Let me be passionate about testifying to You and your grace! Regardless of how difficult things may get in the future in regards to restrictions placed upon us to share, let me be a light that shines your glory through both my words and my life.
For Your Glory Jesus,