Whatever Happens….

ephesiansI have been reading and re-reading the letters of Paul. As I was reading through Philippians, one of my most favorite letters. I came across a verse, which just leapt off the page.

It said, “Whatever happens, conduct yourself in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ.” (Phil. 1:27)

Now you have to understand, Paul is writing from prison. If anyone had reason to grumble and complain a bit, it was Paul. Sitting in prison for doing nothing more than preaching Christ.

Yet, while in prison, we find Paul writing to the churches, to encourage and strengthen them. To instruct them, so that they might be pleasing to the Lord.

Thus, he says, “Whatever happens…. conduct yourself in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ.”

This is a hard verse to swallow, right.

I mean really “WHATEVER HAPPENS…”

What about when everything that can go wrong, goes wrong? What about when your kids are rude and disrespectful. What about when your husband/wife says or does something that hurts you? When a friend stabs you in the back? When someone cuts you off while your driving?

Really, whatever happens…Wow!

How is this even possible you might ask, like I did.

Because I can guarantee you this does not come naturally.

When bad things happens, when someone hurts us, when drivers cut us off…. well if we are honest, all thoughts of pleasing the Lord seem to slip out the window.

Yet, one thing I have noticed as I have been reading the letters of Paul is that no matter which church he is writing to, he seems to say similar things.

In Ephesians, Colossians and Philippians, there are some major themes. First, he speaks on who we were and who we are in Christ. He speaks on living in a manner worthy of the Gospel. He teaches us to putt off the old man and put on the new. He instructs wives, husbands, children and slaves. And He prays for the people.

Ephesians 1 tells us that we have every spiritual blessing in Christ, which means we lack nothing!!!

Ephesians 2 tells us who we once were. Explaining that we were dead in our transgressions. We were separated from God. Foreigners and aliens to the things of God. Our focus was ourself and our sinful desires.

But God who is rich in mercy….. even while we were dead, made us alive in Christ. Making us who were once far off have been brought near through the blood of Christ.

Paul understood more than most the amazing grace of God. Remember he was a murderer, a persecutor of Christians. Yet, God chose to open his eyes, to save him and to use him. He couldn’t believe it.

Many times we forget who we once were. We forget that we were God’s enemies.

Oh maybe we weren’t as bad as Paul… but to God, sin is sin!

As I read Ephesians 2, I was blown away at the greatness of our God.

For though I was His enemy, though I was dead in my sin… He saved me! He redeemed me! He forgave me!

Not because of anything I had done or could ever do.

But because He is rich in mercy, grace and love.

And to top it off, I have every spiritual blessing in Christ.

How then can I not seek to live a life worthy of the Gospel of Christ.

Will I fail, absolutely.

Yet, this must be my aim!

So these are my theme verses for this new year.

“Whatever happens, live a life worthy of the Gospel of Christ.” Phil 1:27

“live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” Eph. 1:4

I have been called to be His child, His servant… so may I live a life worthy of this call.

I have been called to be a godly wife to my husband… may I live a life worthy of this call.

I have been called to be a godly mother of my children.. may I live a life worthy of this call.

I have been called to be a missionary in a foreign land… may I live a life worthy of this call.

What has God called you to? Make it your aim to live a life worthy of this calling, and seek as I will seek, that no matter what happens, we will live lives worthy of the Gospel of Christ.

Not appearing like the world… but shining as cities on a hill. Being salt and light, pointing others to Christ.

 

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