December 14, 2012
“Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.” (Philippians 1:27) Does Paul really mean “WHATEVER HAPPENS?” Surely he doesn’t mean the most difficult twenty-first century problems I face. He knew nothing about compounding interest, unreasonable work demands, children’s soccer schedules, rotating the tires every 8,000 miles, or nervous breakdowns! I don’t like to hear those all-inclusive statements. I would beg to differ that my situation isn’t covered in Paul’s statement. But the painful truth is……. it is.
Paul admonishes the Philippians to “conduct themselves” or in other words, “walk the Christian walk” in a way that proves the validity of the gospel — to live in such a manner that is worthy of Christ’s sacrificial and painful death on the cross. Wow, that’s a challenge! He continues in this passage to challenge us to be known by those nearby and those far away as those who stand firm together with others for the faith of the gospel. The gospel is only “good news” when it is lived out in a way worthy of its message.
Paul uses an athletic term “contending as one man” – to explain the teamwork necessary for us as Christians to engage successfully in the defense of the gospel. Paul makes it clear that we are not to be “frightened in any way by those who oppose you.” (28). Life is full of uncertainties and hardships and situations which are hard to handle—the boss, the other co-worker, and the impending financial burden. Satan loves to use these situations and people to cause us to fear. It is through sharing and encouraging one another within the community of believers who make up the Body of Christ which enables us to stand firm. It is a privilege to be a part of the Body together with you; may we conduct ourselves worthily in all things and contend together firmly in one spirit and mind.
ACTION POINT: Think about the “whatever happens” today as you experience it, and commit each “whatever happens” to God and bring it to your fellow Christians as a source for prayer and unity building.