Paul’s Chains Advance the Gospel
Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.[d] 20 I
eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christand
to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and
be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with
all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.
The other day, I received an email stating that if I wanted the church to grow, I should buy and use their sermon system that will make better sermons and grow the church. Hey I like this! But there sure a lot
of “I’s” in this! I started wondering… does the Holy Spirit play a role in leading pastors, developing sermons, and growing a church? It seems that I can by-pass the Holy Spirit and now do it on my own. This would
have a profound effect on my prayers to something like this: “Thank you Lord, but I got this under control… If I need your he, I’ll let you know.” Well, I don’t want to go at it alone, but under the guidance of the
Holy Spirit. I don’t want the credit, but give all credit and glory to God. That is what is happening in today’s reading. Paul is not taking credit in what he is doing, but giving credit to God. In fact, we see Paul struggling
over whether to die and go to heaven, or stay here on earth. In the end, it is not for him to decide, but what is God’s will. Take Paul out of the decision making process and he knows that he will remain here and serve the Lord.
I pray: O Lord, I repent of the many times that I think I have things under control, when I need to let go and let you be God. Forgive me for getting in the
way. Help me to get out of your way and to let you use me in the process. Amen.