Saturday, June 27, 2015
While cuddling and reading devotions with my eight-year-old, Philippians 1:15 tore my heart wide open.
"Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from goodwill: The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains; but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel." Phillipians 1:15-17
Pressure for platform and numbers can distract attention. The moment envy rises its ugly green head in our hearts when it comes to fellow ambassadors of the gospel, we can be sure Phil 1:15 isn't far from describing our state.
As ministers of the gospel of Christ, we need to be keenly aware of our motives. And this not only goes for ministers, but every service in the church body. There is a key question we must continue to ask ourselves...Why do we do what we do?
Do we like the attention?
Does it make us feel good about ourselves?
Is position and favor our conquest?
There are other questions to ask as well. But, there should only be one answer. The only reason for proclaiming the gospel of Christ is simply to preach Christ.
Thankfully whatever the motives, still Christ is preached, as Paul admirably points out in Phil 1:18.
"What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in trust, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice."
Anyone is subject to fall. Anyone at any time can be tempted with envy and jealousy. No one is immune. We are all human. We just all need to be aware.
Do you find yourself comparing your ministry to others? Check your motives.
Do you find yourself begrudging the fruit in others' lives? Check your motives.
Do you think you are right in how you do things and others are wrong? Check your motives.
Do you ever feel like someone "stole" something or someone from you? Check your motives.
At the beginning of this post, I shared an intimate confession. The Lord used Phil 1:15 to reveal an area of sin in my life. This sin broke my heart. And as a fellow sojourner in Christ, my heart is to help others avoid the pitfalls along the journey.
My prayer is that our goal and aim would be One. My prayer is that all believers in Christ could be joined together in unity rather than me-nity, focused on others and the Kindgom of God rather than self.
It starts with each person doing a heart check and walking in love with one another. It starts with me. It starts with you.
Father, cleanse my heart and renew a right spirit within me. Lord, may my only motive be Christ and Christ alone. Forgive me for times I have been envious of my fellow sisters and brothers in Christ. Forgive me Lord and rid me of pride and selfishness. Lord, I pray that as Your children, we would love each other and encourage each other along this journey. In Jesus' Name, Amen.