Philippians 1:15–17 ‘The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains.’ (v17)
As my good friend used to say with a glint in his eye: ‘God blesses all the wrong people!’ We might like to think that only the churches that we agree with receive the blessing of God – after all, we have come to our treasured view with so much thought and prayer that God is bound to bless us and churches like us!
But when we mix with Christians from other denominations, we soon discover that God seems to be involved with them too, and sometimes in spite of the fact that they get so much wrong! The apostle Paul had learned that the motives of some of the people who were preaching were not entirely pure – they were preaching Christ ‘out of selfish ambition’ (v15).
They hadn’t received the memo about church unity. But instead of being upset or getting annoyed with God, he chooses to rejoice that Christ has been preached, knowing that God honours His Word and the kingdom of God will grow even through people who are not exactly on his side! Maybe it’s time to be relaxed about who God blesses and be delighted that He is blessing us, and them, and that together we are on the same side.
A Prayer To Make:
‘Please give me the humility to realise that I don’t deserve blessing even though I think I’m right! Thank You that You bless me anyway. Amen.’
An Action To Take:
Think of the local churches in your area and perhaps particularly those that you know you don’t agree with. Thank God that Christ is preached in them.
Scripture To Consider:
Ps. 67:1–7; Jonah 4:1–11; Luke 18:9–14; Acts 11:1–18