DAY ONE | UNDERSTAND THEIR STORY
Read Philippians 1:12-18, and underline or highlight any reference to Paul (eg. highlight “I, me or my”)
- What does Paul want the Philippians to know?
- What is Paul’s situation? Where is he?
- Why is he in this situation?
- What is Paul’s response to the fact that the gospel is being preached?
Pray today in thanksgiving, for the fact that the Holy Spirit has continued to advance the gospel for 2,000+ years despite the fact that it has often been opposed.
DAY TWO | UNDERSTAND THEIR STORY
Read Philippians 1:12-18, and underline or highlight any reference to the ‘brothers’ (eg. the words ‘brothers/ some, others, latter, former’ etc).
- What has been the result of Paul’s imprisonment for most of the brothers?
- Reflect: Does this surprise you? Why do you think Paul’s imprisonment would cause others to become more confident and bold in the LORD?
- Paul categorizes the brothers into 2 groups. Why does each group preach or proclaim Christ?
- Reflect: Have you ever been in a situation (or have you ever participated in a situation) in which Jesus is being preached for the wrong motives? Why do you think this happens?
Pray today in Confession and Supplication. Are you confident in the LORD, and bold to speak the gospel? What could you confess, and ask for when you think about your own heart and actions?
DAY THREE | CONNECT TO HIS STORY
In Philippians 1:12-18, Paul notes that he is imprisoned for Christ three times. Today we’ll investigate how and why he is imprisoned. If you have time, read Acts 21-23 which tells the first half of the story! If you want to spend less time, focus on the texts identified below:
- Read Acts 21:17-36.
- Where is Paul in this chapter?
- Who stirs up the crowd and what accusations do these people bring against Paul?
- Read Acts 23:11-34.
- Why is Paul transferred by military guard from Jerusalem to Caesarea?
- The Roman official in Jerusalem (Claudius Lysias) sends a letter to Governor Felix. In the letter, what is his analysis of the charges against Paul?
Pray today in Adoration. Although he was imprisoned, God protected Paul and reassured him that He was with Paul and had a plan. Praise the Lord for his sovereignty and care for his people (which includes you!).
DAY FOUR | CONNECT TO HIS STORY
Today we’ll learn more about Paul’s imprisonment. If you have time, read Acts 24-28 which tells the second half of the story! If you want to spend less time, focus on the texts identified below:
- Read Acts 24:27 – Acts 25:12.
- Paul has now been in prison in Caesarea for over two years. Why does he ask to be sent to Rome rather than return to Jerusalem?
- Read Acts 28:17-31.
- What does Paul explain to the local Jewish leaders regarding the reasons he is in Rome?
- How does he conduct his life while he is in Rome?
Pray today in Supplication. Acts 28:23-24 reminds us that some hear the gospel and are convinced and others disbelieve. Pray for perseverance in speaking the gospel despite a mixed response!
DAY FIVE | APPLY TO OUR STORY
Read Philippians 1:12-18.
- Reflect: How has reflecting on Paul’s commitment to the gospel, and his attitude towards his imprisonment challenged or convicted you this week?
- Reflect: Paul says that his imprisonment has caused many to become more confident and bold in their witness. It’s interesting that reading about how others have been courageous and have persevered DOES actually encourage us to do the same. The biographies of people like John Paton, Helen Roseveare, or Dietrich Bonhoeffer remind us that ordinary people can be given extraordinary strength as they trust in the Lord. Consider reading one of their biographies this winter!
Pray in Supplication today! Pray that God would strengthen people who are imprisoned for the gospel all over the world. Pray that the Spirit would strengthen you to share the gospel and proclaim Christ.