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February 7, 2024



It’s true that some are preaching out of jealousy and rivalry. But others preach about Christ with pure motives. They preach because they love me, for they know I have been appointed to defend the Good News. Those others do not have pure motives as they preach about Christ. They preach with selfish ambition, not sincerely, intending to make my chains more painful to me. But that doesn’t matter. Whether their motives are false or genuine, the message about Christ is being preached either way, so I rejoice. And I will continue to rejoice.

Philippians 1:15-18 NLT



This passage presents a hard truth about human nature. Even in ministry there are some with wrong motives. Some are in ministry, preaching the gospel of Jesus, with the motive of “selfish ambition.”


I remember early in my ministry struggling with those who seemed to not have pure motives for their ministry. Even today I see some that rub me the wrong way because it appears their motives are wrong. In my early days it almost derailed my own desire to be in ministry. 


I am naturally competitive. It did not take long for me to recognize my competitive nature could be a real problem in ministry. I could lose sight of the purpose of my calling and allow selfish ambition to drive me to say and do things that were more of the flesh than of God. 


This is why I love Paul’s perspective on those with wrong motives. He seems to have a very big view of God. He can rejoice that the gospel is being preached, even if the person doing the preaching has a personal agenda. Paul obviously sees God as capable of handling the imperfect humanity that was preaching the gospel. He didn’t try to correct everyone or name those who were in the wrong. He just rejoiced that the gospel was being preached.


I want to rejoice when the gospel is preached. Even if I struggle with the person preaching, I want to rejoice that the gospel is going forth. 


Let’s face it, if perfection were a requirement for being in the ministry no one would qualify. God wants to work through each of us. If we allow God, He will clean us up in the process. But let’s face it, on this side of eternity none of us will reach perfection. We are all striving to be like Jesus, but the flesh is still present.


This should not be an excuse for failure or sin on our part. It should just help us give grace to others. The same grace that God has given to us.  Let’s be like Paul and rejoice instead of criticizing.



Holy Spirit please work on my selfish ambition and help me to be humble in the ministry You have for me. Help me also to give grace to others in their struggles.

“Scroll down to share what you feel God is saying based on today’s reading.”



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