For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which I prefer. I am hard pressed between the two: my desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better; but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you. Since I am convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for your progress and joy in faith, so that I may share abundantly in your boasting in Christ Jesus when I come to you again. Only, live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that, whether I come and see you or am absent and hear about you, I will know that you are standing firm in one spirit, striving side by side with one mind for the faith of the gospel, and are in no way intimidated by your opponents. For them this is evidence of their destruction, but of your salvation. And this is God’s doing. For he has graciously granted you the privilege not only of believing in Christ, but of suffering for him as well— since you are having the same struggle that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.
Food For Thought:
The line that sticks out to me in this passage is “Only, live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.” What do you think that this statement means? The apostle Paul encourages the congregation at Philippi to behave the same as they would whether he was with them or not. He is encouraging them to be authentic and to truly live out the Gospel message. What part of this Scripture challenges you? Calls you to change something in your life?
Lord God, friend of those in need, your Son Jesus has untied our burdens and healed our spirits. Guide us this day to faithfully live out your call on our lives. Give us courage to address the needs of our neighbors and help us to not be myopic in our worldview. In your sacred name we pray. Amen.