Plea for Grace August 23, 2022

Philippians 1:12-14 ESV - 
12 I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, 13 so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. 
14 And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.

Perspective . . . .

What do you do when your plans are changed? Not just a minor inconvenience, but a dramatic change that makes the entire previous plan untenable?

Paul was preaching. He was planting churches. He was discipling. He was encouraging believers.

And then . . . .he was arrested and imprisoned. Previous plans of travel are now untenable . . .

Persepective . . . what is the real mission? What actually is Paul’s assignment? (By the way, it is our “assignment” as well)

Matthew 28:18-20 ESV – 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

If Jesus is sovereign over all (and he is) then Paul’s imprisonment did not catch him off guard. Paul now cannot “go” in a physical sense, but he can make disciples of his guards; he is privileged to be given pen and paper so he can “teach these disciples to observe all that Jesus has commanded” by letter if not in person. The truth that Jesus is with him every step of the way is just as true in a prison cell as it is on the road or on a ship or on a stage.

Again, this is not a “fake happy” or denying any hardship. However, it is being humble and submitting our plans to God’s purpose. Paul can have this perspective because

Philippians 1:6 ESV – 6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

Of course we should make plans and have a schedule and keep our to-do list current. I actually have broken the nasty habit of procrastination because of this progressive disease (I had prayed to break it when I was healthier but I just couldn’t seem to get out of that “I’ll do it later” and “but I get so much done in the adrenaline rush”. . .anyone else read rationalization?) If God has granted me the energy and eyesight and brain power to do a task, I must do it now. I have no guarantee that tomorrow will be spasm -free. . . .

This blog is a result of plans changing. I no longer have the energy to sustain even an hour of leading a discussion or teaching a lesson. But I can still “make disciples” and encourage the [sisters] from my computer keyboard. I asked for more time to pray; I have time. . .

If your plans change — whether dramatically or more temporary (car breaks down, child gets sick, etc) sit down for a minute and look at the basic assignment and ask God how you can accomplish His purpose where you are right now. God’s purpose is much more important anyway . . .

Pray for the Persecuted Church–OpenDoorsUSA

Day 2: Pray for comfort and strength for believers in Niger who
have lost family and friends to attacks. Pray that they
will get connected with trauma counseling.

Daily Wisdom
Psalm 23, 53, 83, 113, 143
Proverbs 23

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