Paul is telling us one reason he wrote, “I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel.” Here Paul reveals his top priority is not himself, but the gospel. He is unconcerned for himself because he knows he will, without a doubt, be delivered from prison, either by death into Jesus’ arms, or by acquittal into continued service to Christ. In either way Jesus will be honored, and Paul will be satisfied.
In this week’s study we will identify Paul’s priority, and try to show that it flowed from his trust in and satisfaction with Jesus. We will then examine our own priorities and think through whether our self-concern is a result of failing to experience Christ’s concern for us.
- What stood out to you in Bill’s sermon on suffering?
- Honestly complete the sentence: For me, to live is _________?
- Read Vs 21. What is the priority of Paul’s liflook like for Paul to honor Christ in life? In death?
- What about Paul’s experience of Christ allows him to prioritize the Gospel and Christ’s honor above his own wellbeing? What guarantees does he have from Christ?
- Comment on this statement: “Joy comes from seeing our ‘little stories’ in light of God’s big story”
- How do your priorities in life affect those around you? Do others see the gospel as a priority in your life and become more confident in the Lord?
- What about your experiences of Christ convinces you that to die and be with him is gain? In what ways has Christ captured your heart with the prospect of fruitful labor?
- What changes do you need to make to your lifestyle to demonstrate that the gospel and Christ’s honor are your top priorities?