“Now, brothers, I want you to know that what has happened to me has helped in advancing the Good News. It has become clear to the whole palace and to everyone else that it is because of the Messiah that I am in chains. Also, my being in prison has given most of the brothers in the Lord confidence, so that they have become much more bold in speaking the word of God fearlessly. True, some are proclaiming the Messiah out of jealousy and rivalry, but others are doing it in good will. The latter act from love, aware that I am put where I am for defending the Good news; while the former announce the Messiah out of selfish ambition, with impure motives, supposing they can stir up trouble for me in prison. But so what? All that matters is that in every way, whether honestly or in pretense, the Messiah is being proclaimed; and in that I rejoice.” Philippians 1:12-18/The Letter from Yeshua’s Emissary Sha’ul (Paul) to the Messianic Community in Philippi.
We know that Paul was bold in his approach regarding the good news. But first, let’s define bold:
a: fearless before danger : intrepid b:showing or requiring a fearless daring spirit
:standing out prominently
How do we define ourselves in boldness? Are we lukewarm? Are we ashamed? Afraid? Not wanting confrontation? Or are we fearless before danger, daring, assured, confident, steep, adventurous, and free?
At the same time Paul was bold, he was humble. He was happy to suffer if the Messiah, Jesus Christ, was being proclaimed; in fact, he rejoiced in his suffering.
Do we complain because we should give up a particular activity or television program? Do we grumble and become irritated because we have to change aspects of our lives to conform to a life with Christ? Do we become filled with anxiety and worry at the mere thought of ministering to someone who either doesn’t know Christ Jesus, or is living outside of His will? Is there some area in our lives we need to cut off because it is not pleasing the Lord, yet we hold onto it regardless? Think about this, and then compare it to the words of Paul.
He was in prison…probably a very dark place with rats, mice, spiders, and other rodents. Surrounded by nothing but stone walls, fed gruel (a thin porridge made up of nasty slop, probably rotten leftover food all mushed together), and instead of a soft bed to sleep in, he either slept on the stone floor with the spiders, mice, and rats, or slept on a stone slab. He had no television, no computer, no video game system, no iPad, no iPod, no golf clubs or tennis racquets—nothing. Yet this guy was rejoicing and happy to suffer for the benefit of Jesus Christ. This is incredible! Now doesn’t this make our sufferings seem so small?
He was warned, he was threatened, and it wasn’t the first time he’d been arrested, yet still, Paul continued BOLDLY proclaiming the truth. It reminds me of all of the preachers right now who are too afraid to say what they really believe for fear of getting into trouble. I can’t tell you how many countless ministers I’ve witnessed in videos actually side-stepping questions, or denying the truth to save their own skin. I can understand, it would be hard for me too. But what on earth is God going to say when they stand before Him? His word says He will be ashamed of us if we are ashamed of Him.
“Then to everyone he said, ‘If anyone wants to come after me, let him say ‘No’ to himself, take up his execution-stake daily and keep following me. For whoever tries to save his own life will destroy it, but whoever destroys his life on my account will save it. What will it benefit a person if he gains the whole world but destroys or forfeits his own life? For if someone is ashamed of me and of what I say, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and that of the Father and of the holy angels.’” Luke 9:23-26