The subtitle of our Philippians series is Words of Hope from a Man in Chains. Erik pointed out this past Sunday that Paul was a “man in chains” on two levels. He considered himself a “slave of Christ”, bound to Christ for the sake of the gospel, and the plans God had for him included prison chains (most likely in Rome).
This was definitely not the way Paul had envisioned himself visiting and ministering in Rome. In his letter to the Roman church, he wrote:
“I hope to see you in passing as I go to Spain, and to be helped on my journey there by you, once I have enjoyed your company for a while… I know that when I come to you I will come in the fullness of the blessing of Christ (Rom. 15:24, 29).”
God had very different plans for how Paul would arrive in Rome. So was Paul wrong in his conviction that he would come to Rome “in the fullness of the blessing of Christ?” As we see in this week’s passage of Philippians, the answer is no. He wasn’t wrong.
“The fullness of the blessing of Christ” just didn’t look the way he had imagined it. How do we come to recognize the fullness of the blessing of Christ in our own unanticipated and even unwanted circumstances? That’s what we’ll consider this Sunday
Jackson Randall will be preaching from Philippians 1:12-18a and Kenny Clark will be leading us in sung worship. Would you pray for each as they prepare? And would you read the passage for Sunday and pray for our church, that God will use Paul’s words to help us see reasons to rejoice in whatever our circumstances? And would you pray for our elder team as we are away for our annual retreat Thursday-Saturday?
Thank you, Grace. See you Sunday!