so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world,Philippians 2:15(NASB)
Paul was writing to the Philippian Church from a prison cell but he wanted to emphasise that the many misfortunes that had befallen him in his ministry.. and his incarceration and trial before a Roman court of law had resulted in the furtherance of the gospel, which was to be seen as an occasion of joy and great rejoicing.
He wanted them to understand that what the enemy had intended for evil God had turned to good. Indeed he wanted them to see that the prison chains that bound him and the wicked men that had accused him.. gave witness that he was in Christ and that the Spirit of God was working in his life. It proved Paul to be a blameless innocent, child of God, who was above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation - where he appeared as a light in the world.
It testified to the truth that Paul's imprisonment and all the problems that this had caused to him and others was a wonderful tribute to the Lord Jesus and evidence of God's faithfulness towards his servant - for many in the palace guard and elsewhere had come to faith in Jesus Christ.. for the forgiveness of sins and life everlasting.
Paul not only sought to demonstrate that God worked tremendous triumph out of his own personal tragedies but wanted his personal difficulties and distresses to become an encouragement to all of us - demonstrating that God desires to use the circumstance of our life as a springboard to further the Word of truth.. for His own glory, if we are but willing to endure such hardships for the sake of the gospel..
How wonderful to know that God will take and use every difficulty and danger that we encounter in this life.. for our greater good and for the benefit of others. What a joy to discover that God will use every situation in the life of everyone who is willing to die to self and live for Him.. as a testimony to others that we are in Christ's and that He is in us.. so that like Paul our lives show evidence that we are being used for the furtherance of the gospel .. to His praise and glory.
Paul used his own distressing circumstances as a testimony that God is able and willing to bring beauty out of our own brokenness so that hope will blossom in our personal helplessness and that God in His grace is prepared to replace our personal despair and deep discouragements with a bright hope of glory and an inner joy, that surpasses understanding.. when we trust His word and hold fast to His precious promises.
We are in the world but we are not of the world. We are members of the human race but we have become citizens of heaven. We were born dead in our sins but have been made alive in Christ and become children of God and joint heirs with Him.. And when we trust Him in every circumstance of life and hold fast to the Word of truth - it will prove ourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God, who are above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation - to His praise and glory.
Heavenly Father, how we love and praise You for Your goodness and faithfulness to Your children. I thank You that in Your grace You use everything in life together for my good.. and to bless others. I pray that in all I say and do, that Christ may be seen in me.. so that I may prove myself to be blameless and innocent in the midst of this crooked and perverse generation. I pray that in Your grace and power I may shine forth as a light in the world - knowing that I am in Christ and He is in me - to Your praise and glory, AMEN.
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