What is the text saying?
Make God’s mission my mission by…
- Looking for God at work (12-13). God is at work in our world fulfilling his mission of redemption and restoration. Paul was in prison for telling people about Jesus. But that was actually a really good thing for the mission of God. He says that everyone, including the imperial guard, was hearing the message.
But you will only see it from God’s perspective if God’s mission is your mission. Otherwise you’ll avoid doing the right thing and you’ll only focus on the bad things that are happening to you.
- Inspiring others to God’s mission (14). Courage and boldness is contagious. Because of what Paul did, lots of other Christians were inspired to boldly proclaim the message. Paul said that their confidence was in the Lord. If you are confident in the Lord you will never be ruled by fear.
- Caring most about what matters most (15-18). But, there were some Christians who were preaching Christ because they felt like rivals and were envious of Paul’s position. Paul didn’t care, all he cared about was that Christ was proclaimed. Winston Churchill said, “If you stop and throw rocks at every barking dog you will never reach your destination.”
It is not about a quantity of disciples but a quality of discipleship. We must keep focused on making disciples (what matters most) and let God control the fruit.
How does God want me to respond?
I think the main thing I would encourage everyone in this week is to ask yourself whether Jesus is a part-time thing in your life or does he get to rule it all? Nobody is perfect, we are all on this same journey. Jesus said we must deny ourselves and follow him. Is there an area where you need to deny yourself and follow him? Ask God to lead you in this question. Talk to someone else about it. Be bold and go for it!
Who might God want you to share this with?
Remember that courage and boldness is contagious. Look for ways to encourage one another and to share stories of God working.