Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News.
Philippians 1:27, NLT*
I’ve always taken the first part of this verse as a call to live like I believe the good news of Jesus—not to live cranky or fearful or hopeless, overwhelmed by circumstances as if they’re bigger than God.
Yes, Paul is clearly speaking in the plural, but I thought he was telling each of us how to live as individuals. Likely he is, but there’s more.
He’s speaking to the church at Philippi, to the body of Christ, called to live in unity. Called to be standing together.
I don’t know about you, but my church is a group of nice people, especially when we all have our “church faces” on. Is that all that unites us?
The believers in Philippi were united by passion for God in a sea of paganism.
In our churches, our gatherings with fellow believers, if we’re looking to Christ first and foremost, not looking to please ourselves or at one another, won’t this unity grow? Won’t it draw us together in this common struggle, so we’ll overlook our differences?
God our Saviour and our Hope, captivate us with Your beauty and majesty. Fill our hearts with longing to be closer to You—and to know You better and to see Your kingdom grow on earth. Let our selfish desires and our fears and opinions of others fade until You are our one desire, the most important thing in our lives.
*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.