Philippians 1:12 But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel;
13 So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places;
14 And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
15 Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will:
16 The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds:
17 But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.
18 What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.

Introductory Thoughts

Because of Paul’s imprisonment, many more people were moved to preach the gospel of Christ. Some did so from a pure heart with pure motives, but others did so “of envy and strife” (Philippians 1:15). The Bible also points out that some preached Christ “of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to” Paul’s bonds (Philippians 1:16). Paul did not want to waste his time concerned with determining other men’s motives. Instead, he simply rejoiced that Christ was being preached because the lost could be saved which was Paul’s chief concern. Was he happy to see men preach out of spite? No. Yet, he was not going to allow other men’s perceived motives to rob him of the joy he knew from hearing that Jesus Christ was being preached.

Devotional Thoughts

• (For children): Paul loved to preach. This was his calling (Acts 20:22-24). He preached Christ (Acts 9:20; 2 Corinthians 4:5-6). Even in jail he was encouraged (2 Timothy 2:2, 8-9). He knew God could use the message of his enemies (Psalm 76:10; Romans 8:28).
• (For everyone): Were those who preached “of envy and strife” right in doing so? Why would Paul not be overly concerned with other men’s motives? If those men were “brethren in the Lord” (Philippians 1:14), to whom would they have to give an account?
• Are there some brethren of which you do not approve? Are they preaching Christ? Do you rejoice in that truth?

Prayer Thoughts

• Thank God for those who are preaching Christ.
• Ask the Lord to give you wisdom like He gave to the apostle Paul.