PAUL -{v 17-18}

Poured out his life in sacrificial service! – {  v 17}. Paul was imprisoned at this stage. Following Jesus and expressing “This Mind…” does not guarantee or keep you from suffering, as some would teach now- a-days, that if you are following Jesus, nothing ‘bad’ will happen to you! But even in the hard place, the difficult place Paul wanted them to know, “Brothers and sisters I want you to know, my circumstances have worked out to advance, {further} the Gospel…” -{v 12}. His circumstances did not hinder nor dampen his enthusiasm to make known Jesus Christ, for he was a man on a mission, he said “I am APPOINTED for the defense of the Gospel. “-{v 16}. The word was used to strategically place a soldier for a specific assignment. He was “set!” He saw he was in these circumstances by God’s design so he may evangelize-{v 13} and encourage the believers to “speak the Word of God boldly without fear,” and this they did, Why? Paul says because of the circumstances he was also in. At times you may be placed by God in a hard place to strengthen some other believers to share. Your being there are opportunities to strengthen them. We are co-workers with Him. HE PICKS THE PORTION OF THE MISSION field we are to co-labor in. Paul had “This mind IN” him that was “IN Christ Jesus…” a submissive mind, a selflesssacrificial serving mind, humility of mind,” that esteemed, valued OTHERS ABOVE AND BEFORE SELF! “… But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all. ” -{Phil 2:17}. And this by the Power of God-{Read Phil 2:13 NLT}.

Paul said “For me to Live is Christ….” –{Phil 1:21}. If you were to remove Christ from the sentence and write in what you live for, long for, what would you place in the gap.”For me to live is  _______. ” Whatever you live for, pursue, this is your “life” and if not Christ, it is idolatry!  Life to Paul was the Person, “Christ” and death was “gain” {v 21} as it would mean being with Christ. If Christ is not life, death will not be “gain!” The LORD Jesus Christ was his Life-{1:21}; his Lord,{2:9-11}; his Goal-{ 3:8,10}, his Sufficiency-{4:10-19}. As a result of his relationship with the Lord JESUS, Paul poured his life out in the service of the LORD. He was mimicking His Lord and  Master!