Day 8: To live is gospel

A LoveSingapore 40.Day prayer and fast devotional, following 2022's theme of To Live Is Christ: A Journey Through the Book of Philippians.

LoveSingapore // July 8, 2022, 12:01 am

40 Day 2022-08

Bible reading for 40.DAY 2022 |  Philippians 1:15–18

There is nothing Paul would like more than to be out and about preaching the Gospel in Rome – without his chains.

This has been his dream and plan for many years. But when everything goes wrong at the wrong time, Paul has that rare capacity to see God at work in ways that no one could ever dream up or plan.

Now, instead of one man, practically the whole church is out there evangelising the city (Philippians 1:14). And even though some do so with deplorable motives, Paul rejoices.

Those who “preach Christ from envy and rivalry” ought to be ashamed. Then why doesn’t Paul shame them? Because they are not like those self-proclaimed apostles who brand themselves and turn the Gospel into a retail business (2 Corinthians 2:17, 5:12, 10:12, 18). 

“Here is one for whom the gospel is bigger than his personal role in making it known.” – Gordan Fee

These are brothers and sisters in Christ. And even though half of them behave like half-spoiled kids, Paul doesn’t let it rankle him. Hopefully they will all grow up sooner rather than later.

Meanwhile, Christ is being preached in the so-called Eternal City, the origin and centre of the Roman Empire, the capital of the known world. And for Paul, Rome was the gateway to the ends of the earth (Romans 15:17-21). How could the Apostle to the Gentiles contain his joy? He could not: “Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.”

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Here is one for whom the gospel is bigger than his personal role in making it known” (Gordan Fee). Paul is like that weaned child in Psalm 131:2. He is rested and contented in the Lord. He is noble and gracious. Magnanimous enough to give those who put on airs the time and space to outgrow their feed-on-demand infancy.

Later on Paul will remind the Philippians to do nothing out of self-interest or vainglory (Philippians 2:3). For now, he merely drops a hint.

Hopefully they will take their cue, not from the negative example of those who preach Christ out of envy and rivalry. But from the positive example of those who do so in love and good will. Like himself and a few others.

Whose example will we follow? May we be moved to advance the Gospel in Singapore, not out of strife and pretence, but in sincerity and truth.

Pray Now

1 Set the right example. Paul eats, sleeps, and breathes the Gospel. For him, life has meaning as long as it serves God’s Mission: “I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24).

To live is Gospel. It’s never too late to rewrite your personal vision and mission statement in keeping with God’s Mission to the lost. “Every saved person this side of heaven owes the Gospel to every lost person this side of hell” (David Platt).

I will declutter my schedule so that I can better live out my calling as your Spirit-empowered witness in my sphere of influence.

Pray: Lord, I choose to “make the most of every opportunity in these evil days” (Ephesians 5:16). I will re-order my life to prioritise personal evangelism. I will declutter my schedule so that I can better live out my calling as your Spirit-empowered witness in my sphere of influence (Acts 1:8). Use me as I exercise my constitutional right and privilege “to profess, practise and propagate” my faith in multi-religious Singapore.

2 Set the right standard. Dear pastor, preacher, evangelist, teacher, and ministry leader, do we preach, teach, and lead out of love and good will? Or vain conceit? Do we self-promote on social media, drawing more attention to ourselves than to Christ? Marketing our names, our memes, our gifts, our resources, our itineraries? Wake up! The Gospel is not about us. The Gospel is infinitely bigger than our personal role in it. Today, in silence and solitude, let’s search our hearts deep within and respond earnestly in prayer:

  • May we have the integrity and humility never to self-brand, self-promote, and compete for popularity.
  • May we have the sanity and maturity never to attack one another, least of all before the public eye.
  • May we have the grace and magnanimity to overlook each other’s flaws and foibles.
  • May we have the childlike capacity to believe and to see that God is still at work in spite of us.

May we have the childlike capacity to believe and to see that God is still at work in spite of us.

3 Set the right posture. As long as it is not heresy, but the authentic Gospel that is being preached in our city, even if by questionable characters, we have reason to rejoice. Pray the truth: Ultimately, it’s the message of the Gospel, not the messenger, which is “the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16). Ultimately, it’s the work of the Holy Spirit, not imperfect preachers, that convicts sinners of sin and draws them to Christ.

3 Set the right goal.Jesus didn’t die on the cross to make preachers famous. Jesus didn’t die on the cross to give pastors a well-paid career. Jesus died on the cross to seek and to save those who are lost. I do not seek applause. I’m not after the honour of men. I’m after souls, nothing more! God wants to save people and He uses you and me for His purposes” (Reinhard Bonnke). To live is Gospel. Pledge your life, your all.

4 Set the right expectations.A church for every people and the Gospel for every person” (AD2000 & Beyond Movement). “A congregation that is not deeply and earnestly involved in the worldwide proclamation of the Gospel does not understand the nature of salvation“ (Ted Engstrom).

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About the author


Founded in 1995, LoveSingapore is a unity movement motivated by love, fuelled by prayer, and inspired by a common vision: God's greatest glory seen through a life changed, a church revived, a nation transformed, and a world evangelised.