June 04, 2018

What Does It Matter?

Philippians 1:12-18

What does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.

—  Philippians 1:18

If you hear that a former pastor is in prison, you get concerned. What happened? Did he do something terrible? The Philippians had heard that Paul was in prison, so Paul reassured them that he was there because of his mission to share the good news about Jesus.

And to that Paul added an encouragement: the gospel was being preached more as a result of his being a ­prisoner for Christ! That was good news, but there was a flipside: some of those preachers had some very wrong, selfish motivations. For some reason they preached against Paul even as they preached the gospel. Maybe envy drove them to try to turn the spotlight onto themselves. That wasn’t honest or Christlike at all.

But how did Paul respond to that? “What does it matter?” he wrote. Really?! Didn’t it bother him that some were preaching out of selfish ambition? Apparently not. Why? Because Paul was head over heels in love with Jesus and the good news of salvation. So if Christ was being preached and the message rang true, hallelujah!

That jaw-dropping truth is a challenge for us all. Do we love Jesus so much that we can let other concerns drop? Even if we don’t like a certain preacher, are we excited enough about the gospel to rejoice that it is being shared anyway? That’s a tough one. But by grace Paul achieved that mindset. We can too.

Fill us with love for you and for your gospel, Lord. Help us to celebrate wherever and whenever your Word is preached. Amen.

About the author — Scott Hoezee

Scott Hoezee is an ordained minister in the Christian Reformed Church who served two congregations before joining the faculty at Calvin Theological Seminary in 2005 as the director of its Center for Excellence in Preaching. He is the author of numerous books, reviews, and articles, and he is a cohost of the radio program Groundwork, a sister-program of Today devotional. He is married to Rosemary Apol, and they have two adult children and a Boston terrier named Chester.

Start your day with quick daily devotions.

See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!