February 4, 2024
Pastor Ricky Smith
I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear. 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. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.
I. Our Disappointments May Actually Be God’s Appointments
God can turn obstacles into opportunities
II. The Main Thing Must Remain the Main Thing
See your circumstances as God-ordained opportunities.
III. My Hope in Life and Death
- I confess my sin and turn to Jesus as King for the first time.
- I choose to see my obstacles as opportunities.
- I commit to sharing the Gospel with someone this week.
- Compare Job 13:16 and Philippians 1:19-20. How is Paul reflecting the attitude of Job?
- How can we genuinely care more about the Kingdom than our own life?
- Does our attitude toward the Gospel impact how we view obstacles in our life?
- Read John 11:25-26. What does it mean that we must die in order to live?
- Share your story of salvation and baptism.
- How does baptism demonstrate that you are a new person in Christ?