[Yes I realize it is no longer Jan. 16] Today I am thankful for my small group. We’re doing a study on Philippians, following Matt Chandler’s video study guide ‘To Live is Christ, To Die is Gain’. We just did the first chapter of Philippians tonight and had a great discussion about its contents. Chapter 1 is where Paul writes the verse that the study is named after (Phil 1:21, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.“), and yet this wasn’t the part that struck me. Later on in v. 27-28 it says,
27 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, 28 and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God.
Lately I’ve been struck with just how difficult the Christian life is. Like, living my life in a manner worthy of the Gospel? To strive with my fellow brothers and sisters for the faith? To balance time for family, work, hobbies, ministries, personal time, supporting and challenging Christian friends in their individual walks whilst also fulfilling the great commission… and in all of it, allowing the Holy Spirit to sanctify me, giving up self and control over my life for the glory of God. Like… my entire life, every part of it, living in a manner worthy of the Gospel. My mind has been exploding just trying to wrap my head around all of it. Thank God that He is the one helping us through this life, because with Him, it would be impossible. It would be so much easier to live out my own little existence in my own comfortable bubble of friends and family.
And yet, despite all these difficulties, I know why I do all these things. I am eternally grateful that the Lord of the universe would actually lay down His life for me, an undeserving sinner, pluck me out of darkness and allow me to see Him and be saved. It’s out of love for my Saviour that I do these things, not out of obligation. So although I am constantly struggling against my lazy, selfish self, who would be perfectly happy to live in a fun little bubble for the rest of my short life, my prayer is that God will continually change me, to strive for a life that pleases Him because He has done immeasurably more for me.