Suffering for His Sake

Philippians 1:12-14 ESV

“I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.”

When we go through trials and tribulations in this life which challenge our faith in Jesus Christ, and when we turn to the Lord and not to the world for our consolation and our support, it strengthens us in our faith and in our resolve to keep resisting sin and to keep living for Jesus.

When others fight against us, and they persecute us for our walks of faith, and for our testimonies in Jesus Christ, and because we are sharing the truth of the gospel of our salvation, and we respond in faith, and not in fear, we become more bold in sharing the gospel message.

Sometimes when we are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, it closes some doors for ministry, but then the Lord opens other doors we may not have ever considered if we had not first had these other doors closed in our faces. And, so what seemed bad, at first, turns out to be a blessing.

For example, most of my years of ministry were focused on the local church. But then the church turned into a business, and they followed men instead of God, and then I was told to go someplace else where I would be a “better fit,” and so the Lord put me on the internet.

Now, what the Lord has me share is going out to people throughout the world, and the message of the gospel of our salvation is reaching people of many nations, and the Lord is using this ministry he has given me to encourage the universal body of Christ, not just locally.

Philippians 1:21-26 ESV

“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.”

If we are truly going to follow Jesus Christ with our lives, especially in genuine Christian ministry anointed of God, this has to be our testimony that for us to live is Christ and to die is gain, because we are going to be hated, persecuted, falsely accused, and fought against.

We should all have this thinking in us that our lives here on this earth are to be lived for Christ, and not for self, and that we are to live for the glory and praise of God and for the encouragement of the body of Christ and for the salvation of human lives.

We are not here on this earth to live for ourselves. Jesus died on that cross to buy us back for God so that we would now honor God with our lives, and that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us. And he died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness (1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15, 21; 1 Pet 2:24).

Philippians 1:27-30 ESV

“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, 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. For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.”

This should be our message, too, and it should be what we are living so that we are not being hypocritical when we share this message. Our manner of life is to be worthy (commendable, suitable) of the gospel of Christ.

What this means is that we are daily to be those who deny self, who die with Christ to sin, and who walk in obedience to our Lord’s commands (Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6).

Our lifestyles should be such that how we live is truly for the praise and glory of God, for we are walking in holiness and righteousness, in the power of God’s Spirit living within us. We are not engaging in habitual sin, but daily, by the Spirit, we are putting to death the misdeeds of the body.

Thus, the only way in which any of us can truly strive side by side for the faith of the gospel is if we are first living what we preach. It doesn’t mean we are perfect, but that we are not consciously living in rebellion against our Lord’s commands, but that we are walking by the Spirit so that we do not fulfill the lusts of our sinful flesh.

For, and this is important that we get this, we are not here on this earth for ourselves or to live for our own self-pleasure. We are here to give glory to God and to walk in obedience to his commands. And this is going to involve suffering for Christ, too.

Blessed Are You

An Original Work / August 29, 2012
Based off Luke 6:20-49 NIV 1984

“Blessed are you; blessed are you
Who are poor for God’s kingdom is yours.
Blessed are you; blessed are you
Who are hungry, you’ll be satisfied.
Blessed are you; blessed are you
Who weep now, for you will laugh with joy.
Blessed are you; blessed are you
when men hate and reject you because of Christ.”

“Rejoice in that; rejoice in that day
And leap for joy; great your reward.
But I tell you; but I tell you
To love those who hate you; do them good.
Pray for those who; pray for those who
Treat you wrong and say kind things of them.
Do to others; do to others as you would
Have them do; have them do to you.”

“If you love those; if you love those
Who love you, what praise is there for you?
Because Christ is; because Christ is kind,
Be merciful, just like He is.
Forgive others; forgive others
Their offense against you; be ye kind.
Hear My words and; hear My words and
Put them into practice, then you’ll be fulfilled.”

2 thoughts on “Suffering for His Sake

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