In our last few visits we’ve been doing a topical study of joy, based on the book of Philippians, using the “3C” study method: collect, correlate and crystallize. After collecting information from the 14 references in Philippians where the words joy or rejoicing are found we began correlating the information into an outline.
Under the title: “Cultivating a Joyful Spirit,” we amplified the first main point: finding joy through fellowship. Now let’s amplify the second main point: finding joy through service.
In Philippians Paul says something that might be hard to understand. He writes: “But, 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.”
From his prison cell he’s referring to some who were preaching Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. Those who did so out of goodwill showed their love for Paul, encouraging him while he was in prison. Those who preached Christ out of envy and rivalry thought they could maybe get some recognition to satisfy their selfish ambition while Paul was off the scene, in prison. Their actions were intended to hurt Paul.
This could be discouraging for Paul, but he put a different spin on it. Whatever their reason, they were preaching Christ. Their motives were bad. This surely affected how they came across to others, maybe even making the message not as clear. But if Christ was being preached Paul chose to rejoice and pray that some might come to believe as a result.