CITIZENS OF HEAVEN
In Christ, we are connected with believers all across the world. Spend some time praying for Christians you know who live far away.
Read Philippians 1:27–30
Life Worthy of the Gospel
27 Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel 28 without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God. 29 For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him, 30 since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhose “jersey” are you wearing?
The New Zealand All Blacks rugby team is, statistically, the most successful sporting team in history. One of its mantras is “leave the jersey in a better place.” Each player knows that he follows many great players and represents his country to the next generation. Understanding this responsibility creates a compelling sense of higher purpose. It’s a good lesson for us all: if we play with a bigger purpose, we play a more effective game.
Christians represent heaven: “as citizens of heaven,” live in a manner worthy of the Gospel (27). Philippi was a Roman colony and many of its citizens were retired soldiers. Although a long way from Rome (at least six weeks’ journey by foot), the population was fiercely Roman. The Philippian church was to live as a colony of heaven, pulling together with discipline and purpose, not easily intimidated; determined—like Paul—to “leave the jersey in a better place.”
For the All Blacks, bruises are part of the game; just so, suffering is part of the Christian life (29; Mark 10:28–31). This was true for the Christians at Philippi, for Paul (30), and is also true for us. But it’s worth it, just to wear the jersey!
You represent your country (heaven!). How will an awareness of this truth affect how you live this week? How will it affect your relationships? How will it help you to face hardship for Christ?
Ask God to help you in each of these areas as you live out the Christ-life.
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