THE FURTHERANCE OF THE GOSPEL
Philippians 1:12-13 But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel;  So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places;
Luke 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
Everything that comes into our lives, whether by the hands of others or as a result of our decisions; good or bad, have the potential to advance the Gospel when viewed from God’s perspective. God’s design is such that when we fail or if we suffer at the hands of others, we CAN approach God with the request, not for ourselves or our situation, BUT for the furtherance of the Gospel and the advancement of God’s Kingdom. Have you ever thought…how in the world is God going to get glory out of this mess I have made? Maybe you have failed the Lord in some way and you think there is NO WAY God will ever bring any good from this or maybe you are in a trial just like Paul in our text. My friend, God’s mighty hand is always at work, even when we don’t see it. Can you imagine how Brother Paul COULD have responded to being put in prison in our text in (verse 1)? Praise the Lord that we see Paul’s perseverance and my goodness, what an example he gives us! Brother Paul decided in that prison in Philippi to dig down deep in his soul and be persistent, NOT to quit, but to continue to shine forth the glorious light of the gospel that Jesus would be glorified! Hallelujah!
God is seeking the souls of men in everything HE does and in Luke 19:10 of our text we see Jesus left heaven to seek and to save that which was lost. The Lord has left us here as HIS children to further the Gospel and promote Jesus in every trial, in every valley, and in every aspect of our lives. Life is full of hurts and disappointments but they all come with opportunities to be used for good or for bad. The good is what God seeks after in our lives, even if it comes through the bad. What happens to us can be a powerful force God can use through us to show to the world that Jesus is Lord of all; through IT ALL, the good and the bad. We must look at each and every situation through eyes of faith with our God lenses. God lenses view everything through the scope of HIS providence and grace, which allows the viewer to lay all things upon the altar of sacrifice for HIS glory.
This was a secret that Paul had come to know through his walk with God. How could Paul write such words of confidence and hope in his darkest hour? Because he wasn’t looking at his circumstances but rather he was looking through the lens of absolute trust and confidence that God was going to use this trial in his life to bring many to Christ. Paul’s faith in this truth, though written almost two thousand years ago, is still furthering the Gospel, and possibly making a difference in your life today even as you read the words he wrote long ago.
God’s Words to us are still just as true today as they were in Paul’s time. God can and will use every situation to promote Jesus Christ HIS Son so the lost can be saved. My friend, the Lord is still seeking to save souls and further the Gospel through your life and mine and HE may be using a trial or circumstance to do it. Today, would you surrender yourself completely into HIS hands that HE might use you to rescue someone who needs Jesus? All things under heaven have a purpose and that purpose is that the God of the universe would illuminate everything and everyone around us with the Light of the Gospel. Would you let Jesus use you today to further the Gospel and shine forth HIS light that those in darkness may see and that Jesus Christ would be exalted?
Bro. Lawrence Longworth
Isaiah 61:1 “the opening of the prison to them that are bound;”