Last Sunday after Trinity – 25 October

Blessed Lord,
who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning:
help us so to hear them,
to read, mark, learn and inwardly digest them
that, through patience, and the comfort of your holy word,
we may embrace and for ever hold fast
   the hope of everlasting life,
which you have given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Philippians 1.12–30
I want you to know, beloved, that what has happened to me has actually helped to spread the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to everyone else that my imprisonment is for Christ; and most of the brothers and sisters, having been made confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, dare to speak the word with greater boldness and without fear.
Some proclaim Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from goodwill. These proclaim Christ out of love, knowing that I have been put here for the defence of the gospel; the others proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but intending to increase my suffering in my imprisonment. What does it matter? Just this, that Christ is proclaimed in every way, whether out of false motives or true; and in that I rejoice.
Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will result in my deliverance. It is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be put to shame in any way, but that by my speaking with all boldness, Christ will be exalted now as always in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labour for me; and I do not know which I prefer. I am hard pressed between the two: my desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better; but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you. Since I am convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for your progress and joy in faith, so that I may share abundantly in your boasting in Christ Jesus when I come to you again.
Only, live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that, whether I come and see you or am absent and hear about you, I will know that you are standing firm in one spirit, striving side by side with one mind for the faith of the gospel, and are in no way intimidated by your opponents. For them this is evidence of their destruction, but of your salvation. And this is God’s doing. For he has graciously granted you the privilege not only of believing in Christ, but of suffering for him as well— since you are having the same struggle that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.

Psalm 119.89–104
      O Lord, your word is everlasting;
   it ever stands firm in the heavens.
      Your faithfulness also remains from one generation to another;
   you have established the earth and it abides.
      So also your judgements stand firm this day,
   for all things are your servants.
      If your law had not been my delight,
   I should have perished in my trouble.
      I will never forget your commandments,
   for by them you have given me life.
      I am yours, O save me!
   For I have sought your commandments.
      The wicked have waited for me to destroy me,
   but I will meditate on your testimonies.
      I have seen an end of all perfection,
   but your commandment knows no bounds.
      Lord, how I love your law!
   All the day long it is my study.
      Your commandments have made me wiser than my enemies,
   for they are ever with me.
      I have more understanding than all my teachers,
   for your testimonies are my meditation.
        I am wiser than the aged,
   because I keep your commandments.
        I restrain my feet from every evil way,
   that I may keep your word.
        I have not turned aside from your judgements,
   for you have been my teacher.
        How sweet are your words on my tongue!
   They are sweeter than honey to my mouth.
        Through your commandments I get understanding;
   therefore I hate all lying ways.