It’s true that some are preaching out of jealousy and rivalry. But others preach about Christ with pure motives. They preach because they love me, for they know I have been appointed to defend the Good News. Those others do not have pure motives as they preach about Christ. They preach with selfish ambition, not sincerely, intending to make my chains more painful to me. But that doesn’t matter. Whether their motives are false or genuine, the message about Christ is being preached either way, so I rejoice. And I will continue to rejoice. For I know that as you pray for me and the Spirit of Jesus Christ helps me, this will lead to my deliverance.
Paul felt the attitude from those who were jealous of his influence and talent and tried to become more popular than he was while he was imprisoned. Rivalry and selfish ambition is not without its hurt in the cause of Christ who wanted all His people to consider themselves brothers and sisters, on level ground with other. Still Paul knew that God uses whatever He can, and good was being accomplished. Christ and the Good News of Him were being preached. Getting the word out about Jesus was what was important to Paul, and He was glad that the Gospel was being preached.
Do we concentrate on what is most important and leave other peoples’ attitudes against us with God? Are we more interested in the success of the cause of Christ and the people who are coming to Christ than we are our own personal success and reputation? We must be completely unified with Christ and His cause and He must work His miracle in our hearts so that we are completely sold on the value of what concerned Paul most.
God tried to reach Eve long ago and to win her to His side. She had the same opportunity with her children as each of us with those around us. She could have wanted nothing more than to see the Good News of Hope that God had presented to her and Adam be the ruling influence in her own life and the theme that she always communicated to her children.
Mary could have studied out the role of Jesus on earth in her studies of the Scriptures. She seems to have been willing to do whatever God wanted her to do. As a young girl she felt the cost of serving God in her own life and reputation. As time marched on, she was a concerned mother. Additionally, she was human and not at all perfect. Still through the years in her experience with Jesus, she learned more about God and His wonderful plan. Her entire life was wrapped up in this plan and the Good News.
My dear Father God,
Thank you for the privilege to have even a small part in Your work here in this world. Thank You that I can be a Christian, know about You and the Good News. Lord, I want to really know You and let You be first in my life. Please help me not to be selfish and look out for myself. Help me not to care about what others do or say for or against me. Help me to be motivated by You and the success of Your great cause of Love. I know Your Hope is mine because of Jesus. Amen.