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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Circumstances and Motives"

July 25, 2006

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What has happened to me has really served to advance the Gospel. Philippians 1:12

"I just can't figure out what God is getting at!" wailed one friend to another. "Just what is He trying to accomplish?"

Perhaps we have uttered a similar cry when our carefully laid plans and objectives have had to be modified because of unexpected circumstances. Sometimes it seems to us that God is intervening in a way that is counterproductive to His own stated objectives.

Saint Paul may have thought so when his work of proclaiming the Gospel was curtailed by his arrest and imprisonment. Yet he discovered that God's objective of advancing the Gospel message was being met in two ways: (1) the soldiers who guarded him came to know the Gospel through his witness; and (2) other Christians, encouraged by Paul's example, stepped forward to take a stand for Jesus also. Although their motives were mixed (some were self-serving), God's objective of advancing the Good News of salvation in Christ Jesus was still accomplished.

Today, perhaps one step at a time, one encounter at a time, one person at a time, let God have His way in advancing the sweet message of the Gospel -- in any way He chooses.

PRAYER: Father, use me as part of Your plan to bring others to faith in Your Son, my Savior, Jesus. Amen.

(Devotions from "The Abundant Life" copyright 1998, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time e-mailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at

Today's Bible Readings: Psalms 93-95    Philippians 4

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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