Philippians on Fridays: Whatever Happens…

Thanks for joining me for our Philippians on Fridays Devotion.  Today we’re moving on to the next verse: Chapter 1 and verse 27:

Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs… 

In the preceding verses, Paul was sharing with the Philippians his personal feelings about his ministry, his future, and the pull of his heavenly reward. In verse 27, he switches gears, turning his attention to giving the church some practical instruction on Christian living.  The New International Version says it like this:

“Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.”

Paul is saying, whatever happens to me – live your life the right way. Whether I am released from prison and come to see you, or if I die in this dank, dark cell as a martyr, conduct yourselves as Christians should.  Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel.

PhilippiansThe Gospel is the Good News – the good news about Jesus changing our lives. Live your life as a reflection of that. Our conduct should be a reflection of how Jesus has changed us. We have been born again of water and Spirit. We are now living epistles known and read of all men (2 Cor. 3:2). Let’s live our lives with that in mind.

I’ve met some “Christians” and after seeing how they live, I’ve wanted to say:

“Please don’t tell anyone you’re a Christian!”

They are giving Christianity a bad name. Their behavior is anything but Christ-like. The way they treat their fellow man, their lack of moral integrity and character, and their angry, bitter disposition is a detriment to the Kingdom of God. Their lives are a testimony, but not one that would make an unbeliever want to be a Christian!

We are Ambassadors for Christ – let’s live like it. We are the Father’s representatives doing the Father’s Business – let’s live like it! Let’s live our lives as a reflection of who we are and to whom we belong. We are the only “Jesus” some will ever see.  May our lives inspire people to want to follow Christ.

Paul said, whatever happens; conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel:  Whatever happens…

  • If you have a bad day – conduct yourself as a child of God.
  • If someone cusses you out – conduct yourself as a living epistle of Christ.
  • If someone mistreats you- remember you are His child.
  • If you lose the ball game – don’t forget you are a testimony of the power of the Gospel.
  • If your service is lousy at the restaurant – remember to whom you belong.
  • If someone isn’t nice to you or says something hateful – remember your response should be guided by, “What would Jesus do?”
  • Whomever you are around – your conduct is governed by Him, not by your environment.
  • Wherever you go – you never “clock out” of being an Ambassador of Christ.
  • Regardless of what happens to you – you are a living epistle, 24-7-365!

Paul told the Philippians, your behavior should be right whether I come to see you or not:

“…That whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs…”

PhilippiansThere are some people who only do the right thing if they know someone is watching or if their behavior will be found out. Some people’s behavior changes when mom and dad are around or when their spouse or friends are around. As a pastor, I know first hand that some people’s behavior changes when the Pastor is around!

Do you do the right things even when no one is around or will find out what you’re doing? That’s the true test of character and integrity. For the Philippians, their test of integrity was whether they would do the right things regardless of whether Paul came to them or not!  We should do the right thing and live the right way regardless of who is around or who is watching. After all, God always sees us!

Let’s live our lives as a reflection of who we are to whom we belong.

Furthermore, Paul said, I’m going to hear about your affairs! In other words, do the right thing whether I’m there or not, but even if I don’t get to return to Philippi, I will certainly hear about how you all are doing.  We may think what we do in secret will remain in secret, but as Moses said, “Be sure, your sins will find you out” (Numbers 32:23).

In all situations and whether someone is looking over our shoulders or not, let us live in such a way that they are a testimony of the life-changing power of Jesus Christ.

~Matthew Ball

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