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“I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ.” (St. Paul, writing in Philippians 1:12-13)

As you look over the past few days, have you spent more time thinking about President Trump and the NFL or our Lord Jesus Christ and His kingdom?

The apostle Paul had more reason than most to focus on the politics of his day.  For preaching the resurrection of Jesus Christ and teaching His followers to live obedient lives of faith marked by kindness, forgiveness, and self-control, Paul found himself arrested by the political authorities and placed in chains.  Yet look what he says of it: “What has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel.”

The gospel had captivated Paul with stronger bonds than chains, and in that gospel captivity, Paul found himself to be free: free to be joyful and hopeful, humble yet bold, and resolute but forgiving.  He even viewed injustices against his own person in light of God’s decision to establish His Son’s kingdom.

Something immense has struck this world: God has raised a crucified and rejected man from the dead.  Is it enough to occupy our thoughts, and shine new light on our actions, every day?

LET US PRAY: Still my mind and heart, O Lord, that I may not miss You amid the currents of this life.  Help me to perceive, in every circumstance, Your gracious hand at work, for my good, and for Your glory; in Jesus’ name.  Amen

Pastor Steven K. Gjerde

Zion, Wausau