Friday, October 02, 2009
Worthy of the Gospel
27 Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel, 28 and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that from God. 29 For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, 30 having the same conflict which you saw in me and now hear is in me.
Philippians 1:27-29, New King James Version
Worthy of the Gospel
The verses shown above immediately follow the verses from yesterday's devotion. If you have not had an opportunity to read that devotional, you might want to do that first.
Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ.
Whether we realize it or not our conduct is visible to everyone around us. As Christians, we should think about that. So what rules of conduct do we follow?
I have observed through the years that rules of conduct for Christians tend to vary from person to person, or from church to church. Everyone has an opinion, and those opinions do not always agree. So, what are we to do? The easiest answer that I know is, follow Christ! No matter where we are, no matter what we are doing, our life, and even our thoughts are visible to God. As we pray for grace to be obedient to Christ, as well as for wisdom to understand, in each circumstance, the will of God, God blesses us and causes us to grow more and more like Christ.
There is so much freedom in that answer. I have stopped, a long time ago, trying to please people. It is impossible to do! So, when I obey my employer, I am not really doing it for his benefit, though that may be the outcome. Rather, I do it to please the Lord.
Is that all that Paul is speaking of in these verses? Look at Philippians 1:29-30.
For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, having the same conflict which you saw in me and now hear is in me.
I know that in my country, these verses tend to lack the importance they deserve because Christians here have not experienced a great deal of persecution. That is not true, however, in many other countries.
My son and I are reading a history book by Eusebeus covering the time period of approximately 30 - 350 AD. The amount of persecution suffered by early Christians was truly horrific! It seemed that they would have several years of peace, but as the Christians became apathetic in their service for the Lord, and began fighting among themselves, God would allow another period of persecution. We should take note of that, especially in the United States! The day of persecution will come.
Often, churches fight with other churches over doctrinal issues (which are important) while neglecting the lost around them. Rather than just blame churches, however, it is important to note that the responsibility to live worthy of the Gospel is given to each and every believer.
Think about that as you go about the duties of this day, and pray that God will help you to live worthy of the Gospel. And, if the time comes when you must deny Christ or suffer unbelievable persecution and/or death, pray that you will walk worthy of the Gospel, and not deny the only true God, remembering that heaven awaits.
To live is Christ, but to die is gain.
God Bless You,