Wouldn’t it be nice if you could simplify life down to just one thing?!
When you wake up, if there was just this one thing you could focus on, everything else would seem easier.
Believe it or not, there is. There is this thing that if you focus on it alone everything else becomes easier.
Too good to be true? Not hardly.
What is it?
In everything you engage today,
only live in a manner worthy of the gospel.
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, 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. 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 (Philippians 1:27-30).
What about all the rest of the stuff in my life?
The Bible does not teach to ignore all the other responsibilities and concerns we have. In fact, as stewards of the grace of God, we strive to glorify God in all those things. We are to fulfill our biblical responsibilities, which means we have priorities at home, at work, in our families, in our churches, in our communities, and in any other arena of life.
But all those things can’t be our first priority. Getting something marked off our list of dos and don’ts today, as important as those things are, is never the goal. Instead, as we engage life, our first priority is to live worthy of the gospel.
What does living worthy mean?
To live worthy means that you live equivalent or equal to (cf. Eph. 4:1; Col. 1:10; 1 Thess 2:12). In this verse, the known quantity is the gospel. The unknown quantity is your living. So the challenge is that regardless of all the other things that make up your life today, your goal is to live up to, equal to, comparable with, of comparable value to, or consistent with the gospel. If you think of a scale, you living is to weigh just as much as the weight of the gospel.
In the previous sentence, Paul wrote, “For to live is Christ” (Phil 1:21). In many ways, this is similar. His goal in living was to magnify Christ in everything (Phil 1:20). To magnify something means to make it larger or bigger. If you are a follower of Christ, as you live, you are to make Christ bigger. You magnify Christ as you live – in personal interaction with others and in personal observation by others.
Therefore, you go about in every way and in every thing making Christ great, Who is the embodiment of the gospel. As you live Christ, you live worthy of the gospel.
Again, what about all the rest of the stuff in my life?
As you go about the rest of your day, your goal is to make Christ bigger as a person, as a family member, as an employee, as a supervisor, as an owner, as a neighbor, as a fellow church member, as a friend, as a coach, as a professional, in every way…in every thing, making Christ bigger. This is your goal.
Think of it this way…regardless of what you are doing or who you are with, magnifying Christ is of utmost importance. If you make the most of Christ in this thing, you will live worthy of the gospel.
The sentence doesn’t end…notice the context of living worthy.
As Paul continues the sentence, he stresses that we do this together as Christians – similar to athletes striving together to win tug-of-war. Regardless of the consequences, regardless of the cost, regardless of the context, we are to strive together to live side-by-side contending for the faith. As this Bible verse was written, Paul was in prison for his faith. He is saying to all the other Christ-followers, live for Jesus first. Live together in unity for Christ. Why? Because in God’s kindness we have been granted both the privilege of faith in and suffering with Christ.
Join the Conversation
What are the places you tend to get distracted, where you lose the focus of living for Christ alone, worthy of the gospel?
Pastor Kevin’s Blog | Walking together through life as friends in Christ sharing wisdom along the journey