Reading: Philippians 1:27-30, Ephesians 4:1, Colossians 3:23
be still and know:
"Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ..." Philippians 1:27a
drink deep from the well
Most of life is spent walking. Walking to the next place. Walking around the store. Walking to pick up your child. We put one foot in front of the other and walk forward. Our steps lead us in new directions. They move us to the next destination. The way we walk determines how we live. Years ago I was challenged by a teacher to memorize "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost. These lines still stir my heart - "Two roads diverged in a wood - and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference." The road less traveled is the road that leads to Jesus. It is narrow, it is long, and it is rough, but it is worth it. When we choose to walk with Him on this path, our lives make a profound impact for the gospel. Paul walked the road less traveled and his testimony bears witness today that Jesus is worth following.
Walking worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ is not just a public display. It is private. It is behind the scenes. It is in secret. Who you are behind closed doors is what matters to the Lord. Would your life be a credit to the gospel if people saw how you live at home when no one is looking? Walking worthy of Jesus is striving to be like Him in His humility, obedience, and desire to love the Father. Walking worthy of the gospel is praising God for His never-ending grace when we mess up each and every day. Walking worthy of the gospel is being unified with our brothers and sisters who are different than us, yet have one thing in common - Jesus.
The literal translation of Philippians 1:27 in the Greek text is "Let your walk as citizens of a heavenly state be worthy of the gospel of Christ" (italics mine). We walk different than the rest of this world because our home is not here, it is in Heaven with the Father. We don't live for the transient present, we live for the eternal future. We walk with a purpose and a heavenly goal to make much of Jesus because that is what we will do forever in the kingdom of God. Our life on earth is merely a practice run for the incredible, soul-filling, joy-abounding worship that we will do the day we meet Jesus face to face. We walk for Him, with Him, and because of Him.
In your daily walk, people are watching. Whether it be your spouse, your child, your co-worker, or your neighbor - your actions not only affect your life but those around you. Today, examine who might be on the fringes of your life looking in. What do they see? Do they see someone who worships their own identity, fame, and acceptance? Or do they see someone who worships Jesus and wholeheartedly follows Him along the narrow way? Who you are in secret matters. Your hope is not in your instagram following, your newest outfit, or your paycheck. Your hope is in Jesus who has done all that you could not do so you could become a citizen of Heaven.
Walk worthy of the cross that purchased your soul for good. Walk worthy of Jesus who bore that splintered cross on His back along with the weight of your sins so you could live free. Walk worthy of the gospel that saved you from a wasted life to a life of abundance and purpose.
Your kingdom is not here. Your home is in heaven. You represent Christ to a lost world in search of eternal hope. Walk worthy, friends. He is with you on this road less traveled.
"Meanwhile, live in such a way that you are a credit to the Message of Christ." (The Message Version)
"We are the Bibles the world is reading. We are the truths the world is needing. We are the sermons the world is heading." ~Billy Graham
ask and apply
- Is your life a credit to the gospel or a hindrance? Take time to examine the way you work, speak, dress, and act. In every aspect of who you are, is Jesus magnified or set aside?
- Paul challenged the believers in verse 27 to be unified in "one spirit with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel." Are you unified with your brothers and sisters in Christ? Are there any relationships that need to be reconciled?
- Paul rejoiced that he could suffer for Jesus. Suffering gives us eyes to see Christ more clearly. In what ways does this give you hope?
- I once heard a quote that said "Refuse to let your public passion exceed your private devotion." What does this mean to you?
today I learned
Walking with Jesus means following Him to the cross. It means dying to myself so that I can live true life in Him as a citizen of Heaven. My home is not here. Live for the eternal one to come.
today I will
Today I will walk worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Father, I can walk worthy of the gospel because Jesus paid the price for my sins that separated me from You. Direct my feet as I walk the road less traveled. It will be hard, but it is worth it. Thank You for giving me strength to live for You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.