In HOPE 9.21

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David Timms

 Prayer for Today

Lord Jesus, help me to live worthy of the gospel. Grant me such a confidence in resurrection and eternity that it dispels my fears. Teach me to trust You more and to honor You fully with my choices this day. Amen.

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“Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.” ~ Philippians 1:27



Few people conduct their lives worthy of anything beyond themselves anymore.

We may act with civility, decency, and generosity to enhance our own reputation. It feels good when folk compliment or praise our good behavior. So, we lived in a manner worthy of people’s praise. Thus, the vast majority of us conduct our lives much of the time with our own interests in mind.

The apostle Paul, however, calls us to an entirely different life-focus and motivation. "Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ." (Philippians 1:27)

We’re tempted to let civility and decency do double-duty. Nice people surely reflect a nice Jesus. But niceties don’t cross Paul’s mind. In the context of Philippians 1, he’s thinking of service, sacrifice, and suffering.

To live worthy of the gospel of Christ is not to be sweet and friendly, nor to be kind and thoughtful – honorable though such actions may be. No. “Worthy of the gospel of Christ” means something else. 

Part of our difficulty today lies in our murky definition of the gospel. Ask ten believers to define it and we’re likely to hear ten different responses; promises of prosperity, assurances for eternity, assertions of forgiveness, invitations to the Kingdom, and more. And while Paul would not dismiss the significance of these, he would reduce the gospel to something we rarely discuss; resurrection.

The gospel of Christ is the guarantee that death produces life. His resurrection and our promised resurrection renders all threats null and void. Death has lost its power. Fear of the grave is no fear at all for followers of Jesus.

Therefore, to live worthy of this good news is to demonstrate utter devotion to Christ, even in the face of apparent sacrifice and suffering.

These terms – sacrifice and suffering – generally intimidate us. We don’t even care for inconvenience and discomfort. But the gospel, fully understood, transforms these words. We will speak instead of privilege and honor when we face hardship for the cause of Christ.

Let's consider, in fresh ways, what it might mean to live a life worthy of the gospel of Christ whatever happens and wherever we are.





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You can find back issues of "In HOPE" (2005-2009) at .

David Timms serves in the Graduate Ministry Department at Hope International University in Fullerton, California. "In HOPE", however, is not an official publication of the University and the views expressed are not necessarily those of the Administrators or Board. "In HOPE" has been a regular e-publication since January, 2001.