So, I've been reading this book to help me prepare for preaching this Sunday. I'm preaching from Philippians 2:1-11, and this book is Matt Chandler's exposition of Philippians. This book is incredible. I would highly recommend it.
Philippians 1:27 says, "Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel." Paul makes this command, then through 2:18 explains how to live a life worthy of the gospel. Chandler comments on the passage. It's a long quote, but oh is it good:
"So what does it look like to live a life worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ? It looks like walking with, loving with, and doing life with those who are different from you. What binds you together is Christ. It looks like striving together to make Christ known. What motivates you is Christ. And it looks like standing with courage against all oppressors, natural or supernatural. What secures you is Christ.
To live is Christ, and to die is gain.
Christ is all. Looking at it that way, the implication becomes rather simple. Not easy. But simple. If a mature Christian life, or a life worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ, is a life where you are living deeply with others, regardless of external differences, if you strive for a deeper faith and grow your faith together, pressing into Christ together, chasing him together, and if it is fearlessness in faith... how are you doing?
Fearlessly face that question.
Are you living a life worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ? Have you found Christ worth living for, worth dying for, worthy casting all away for his sake? Examine your own heart. Do you just hang out with people who are like you? Are you timid and fearful when it comes to any opposition to your faith? In the end, are you growing in God, or are you stagnant and cold?" (p. 46)
I hope this question reverberates into your heart as powerfully as it did into mine. I'm still wrestling with the question. It challenges me personally. But it also affirms what we are doing with Discipleship Initiative, Girls Bible Study, and the Breakout Groups. The concept is simple... but difficult. It's easy to have kids show-up once a week and pretend to listen. To "live deeply with others," striving for a deeper faith together, that's an intimidating challenge. But it's simple. And it's Jesus' method.
So press on my fellow warriors! This week do two things:
- Cherish Christ more deeply than ever. He is everything.
- Cherish those who have been entrusted to you more deeply than ever. Sharing life may be messy and difficult, but that's the only thing that will lead to lasting life change.
- Leadership Team Meeting this Sunday the 6th at 8:15am, we'll be talking about the Redneck Christmas Party (woot woot... or yee yee!... whatever rednecks yell). Reply to the text message with your biscuit orders.
- Breakout Leaders brainstorm lunch, following church services this Sunday the 6th.
- Redneck Christmas Party Sunday December 13th.
- Winter Retreat February 12-14th, if you want to be a leader or chaperone, be sure to sign up.