East Martin CRC
Our Plans, His Plans
Verse 22 All God’s people here send you greetings, especially those who belong to Caesar’s household.
Paul continues his closing remarks with an interesting mention. A mention that may have meant a great deal to his friends in Philippi.
Paul was a Roman citizen by birth. This was all part of God’s plan to use Paul in missions outside of Jerusalem. Paul also had teaching by the Jewish religious leaders meaning that he was doubly prepared. He had the knowledge of the Jewish religion more than the average Jewish young man, had the Roman citizenship that would enable his moving about freely and gave him the opportunity to learn more than one language.
Though it wasn’t his chosen way of traveling to Rome, Paul made the most of his imprisonment there. Paul had come to understand that one more way God had made for him to minister was in a way that he hadn’t planned, nor would he have chosen. To make his desired trip to Rome as a prisoner instead of a free man would seemingly hinder Paul’s ability to preach Christ, but as had happened more than once in Paul’s time as a missionary, God had people for him to reach with the Gospel.
We probably all have had situations like this, times where things didn’t go as we had planned but then we see that God had plans that we weren’t aware of. Paul’s mission had not ended but changed. His mission field went from being all over the world to his place of confinement. He went from preaching in the town square to preaching to those who came to him, whether for teaching or through their jobs as guards.
It is these guards that Paul mentions in our key verse for the day. Paul is passing along greetings from the converts on his current mission field to his friends from an earlier mission trip. This is important. It connects believers in various places as a single body of believers. For the believers in Philippi to know that there are Roman guards that are a part of the body of Christ should have warmed their hearts. And the same should be true in our lives too. We should be encouraged when we hear of the Gospel going out to others. Even those who are not like us and maybe even some who seem to be our enemies.
Making It Personal
When is a time that God has changed your plans? What was the result? How do you react to the knowledge that there are believers who are not like you?
Making It Personal Kids
Have you ever had something not work out like you wanted it to? Did Jesus help you learn a lesson though it? Do you know any other Christians that aren’t like you?
Father, thank You for interrupting our plans to lead us to something that will be of greater use to You. Help us do everything You ask us to do to bring You glory and honor. In Jesus’ name, amen.