New King James Version (NKJV)
Striving and Suffering for Christ
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.
- Let’s start with (v. 27) we read “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,”
- “Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ” walk as Christ walked, love as Christ loved and pray as Christ prayed.
- “Whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs” Paul has looked forward to seeing the Philippians for some time, but this is not to be he still gives them written counsel.
- “stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel” Paul is telling them to sand fast in their faith, in one spirit. On our own we are not strong enough to fight the evil ones. But as a church standing in one accord the Devil and his henchman will not prevail.
- In (v. 28) we read “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.”
- “And not in any way terrified by your adversaries” a good man with God on his side need not worry about the numbers of his adversaries.
- “which is to them a proof of perditionbut to you of salvation” the fact that the church was not terrified but what was going on, only went to prove the destruction of their enemies not the church. God has control of everything and they knew that the unrighteous would be call to judgment.
- Let’s finish with (vv. 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.”
- “but also to suffer for His sake, having the same conflict which you saw in me and now hear is in me.” Nowhere is it written that being a Christian was to be easy. It is not the things of this earth that dwell in the hearts of a Christian but the promise of an everlasting life.
- From the apostolic times onward, Christians have been glad to suffer for the master’s sake. Paul shows them that their struggle was very similar to the one he had borne and borne successfully, what he had endured, they, in Christ’s strength, could also endure
Thought of the Day
The following poem written by Paul Gilbert is intended to encourage us as Christians to be persuasive, flesh-and-blood testimonies for our Savior.
You’re writing a “gospel,”
A chapter each day,
By the deeds that you do,
By the words that you say;
Men read what you write,
Whether faithless or true;
Say, what is the “gospel”
According to you?
Sometimes, however, our writing is done with scratchy pens. Maybe it’s badly blurred and so illegible that God’s message can’t be deciphered.
Hannah More, an outstanding witness for the gospel in 19th-century England, sometimes felt discouraged about the quality of her spiritual penmanship. Although she organized schools for the unevangelized poor and wrote many tracts and hymns, she had a low opinion of her effectiveness. This was her self-appraisal: “God is sometimes pleased to work with the most unworthy instruments–I suppose to take away every shadow of doubt that it is His own doing. It always gives me the idea of a great author writing with a very bad pen.”
Yet we need not be discouraged. God, the great Author, is able to use even scratchy pens like you and me to communicate His message to people around us. Regardless of how we appraise our penmanship, let’s prayerfully keep on writing. –V C Grounds
Remember this one thing
“We’re not called to work for God,
but to let God work through us.”
Personal Reflection and Discussion
- Compare (Acts 5:41; 1 Peter 3:14; 4:12-14). What are your thoughts?
- Is your faith strong enough to stand up and say “I have found my Messiah”?
- What other things do you see in the text?
- Call your Partner and discuss this devotional.
- Continue to have a prayer list and continue to praying for them.
- Pray with them and ask for the following;
- For God to help you stand strong in your faith.
- For God to strengthen your prayer life.
- For the individuals on your pray list.
- Let’s use (Habakkuk 2:4) for today’s prayer verse.
I am Seventh-day Adventist pastor in the Texas Panhandle
There was a time when I was a baby christian that I was embarressed to admit it out loud. I have since grown and now have no problem telling someone what I believe, when I am asked. Unfortunately, I need to continue to grow and I pray that the Holy Spirit continue to work in me. I love my Jesus and I am not ashamed to admit it. I always feel sooo bad when I inadvertenly say or do something to hurt someone else. I also pray that I can, through the Lord love people like Paul. The love he had for Jesus shown through to the people he came in contact with day by day. Also, as the bible says “If God is for us who can be against us” Yes we have trials, we have tribulation, but we must rejoice inthese things for our greatest gift is not of this earth. We must give the Father all the honor and glory.
Truly being Christian is not about going to church every week but how we walk in Christ during our daily lives. I see examples everyday living in a small town. People see us and look at what we claim to believe and how we really are. We must walk our faith, because people are watching.
I hear so many who wish and pray the end times, with it’s persecutions, would not happen in their lifetime. We should be praying instead that the end will come so we could be with our Lord forever more. I’m looking forward to the events of the last days, only because I am confident that the Holy Spirit will pour out His power on us and make us bold, and on fire for Him. What an exciting time that would be! What a priviledge it would to be live like Jesus in power and truth, and witness to others our love and devotion for Him. It’s so hard for us to see our potential and strength in Christ now in this luke warm state. We’re pratically sleeping, how can we imagine having the energy to walk and not grow weary, run and not faint. We not only can, but will strive and gain the victory. We need to claim it in faith even now, and rejoice when we see it happen. Whether we live in the final days or not we all would have an opportunity to stand up for Christ one way or another, may we be fearless in the face of our adversaries and give the glory to God.
I agree we must all be willing to stand up for Christ. Pastors cannot do it alone we are all called to service and we must stand up for our faith.
I know the end times will be exceedingly hard but I for one want to be here till the end. I pray for my Jesus to come. I pray we will all be ready but oh what exciting times.
We think about the end times and how things will be, and yes, it will be heard but it just means that Christ will be coming soon.