It is hard to believe that it's already September! School has almost been going a month, Halloween is right around the corner (Fall Family festival is coming up October 31), then Thanksgiving (can’t wait to eat turkey and take a nap), Black Friday Shopping, Christmas, and then finally New Years! WoW. It is amazing how time flies! One thing that God continues to teach me is that I need to keep His perspective on life. Often when I am busy running from spot to spot, it's easy for me to lose focus on what is important. I feel pressure to be a good spouse, good dad, good youth pastor, etc. and it's easy for me to feel overwhelmed with life. This verse out of Phillipians helps me remember what kind of perspective on life I need to have. I have have added italics, bold lettering, and underlines to help us understand the passage.
"Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel." - Philippians 1:27
Only... let our lives be worthy of the Gospel.
no one or nothing more besides; solely or exclusively
Does this definition describe our relationship with Christ? Do we follow him and nothing else? This must be how we evaluate our lives - when we reflect on the picture of the Gospel, God’s redemptive plan from the beginning of Genesis to the end of Revelation, how He came to seek and save that which was lost, to breathe life into what was dead and separated from Him, and how God took on skin and became fully human so we would have the opportunity to experience the forgiveness and grace of God!
Then I begin to look at my ordinary life and wonder "How in the world can my life be worthy of all of that?!"
It is impossible on my own strength and determination to live this type of life; it is only possible through God’s grace and work through me.
There are several points in this passage that encourage me. The visual of standing firm in this passage is a military term used for Roman soldiers standing back to back protecting one another while resisting the enemy. As the church we must have this attitude among ourselves that we aren’t meant to do life alone; we need each other. For most of us, many of our temptations and failures come when we isolate ourselves from other believers.
So how has the Gospel changed your life?
Where do you see the power of the Gospel at work in your life today?
Are there areas in your life that you need God’s power to stand firm in?
Do you have anyone that is in your life to help you stand firm? If the answer is no, as the Church we need to figure out how to fix this!
- Brent Metcalf, BCC High School Pastor