Lucia's Blog: NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION: A LIFE WORTHY OF GOD
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Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Saturday, December 29, 2018

NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION: A LIFE WORTHY OF GOD

“Walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”  
Colossians 1:10


The phrase "Happy New Year" has the sound of hope and second chances. We feel that no matter how badly we may have failed this year, we still have a second chance to do things better in the new year. The reality of walking with Jesus is that when our Lord pardons our faults, He gives us the hope that tomorrow will be better and more fruitful.  And yet, maybe we don't aim high enough to soar to the heights of God.

Sadly our New Year’s resolutions are often shallow and quickly broken after a few days or weeks, for we don’t stick to them perhaps for lack of commitment.  Perhaps, we need to be motivated to not give up too quickly.  The apostle Paul resolved to obey Christ despite the obstacles and stumbling blocks he found in his way, for he was determined to do God’s will all the way to the end.  He did it once and stuck to it!  Without a doubt, Paul’s powerful resolution carried him throughout his life, motivating him to sacrifice all until the very end of his life to glorify our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ who gave everything up for us that we might have the hope of eternal life (Philippians 3:7-11).  What a wonderful way to start the New Year!  Paul’s resolution was to know Christ more and better, for he yearned to finish well the work that the Lord had entrusted him.  He held fast to the Gospel until the end!  My greatest desire for the New Year and of course for the rest of my life is to know Him better and to walk in a manner worthy of Him who called me out of darkness into His marvelous kingdom of Light and righteousness.  I want to walk in a manner worthy of Him that others may see the Light shining brightly and give Him the glory!  I want to walk in a worthy manner of Him and His Gospel, bearing much fruit for His glory:  walking worthily in the home, in a worthy manner of the Gospel, of God, and the calling to which we have been called with all humility, gentleness, patience, tolerance, and love.

As I look back, I am reminded that another year has passed and I that I am drawing closer to the day of reckoning, whether it be the day of death or the day that our Lord returns, that day when we all shall stand before the Judge of all and give account for all our deeds here on earth (2 Corinthians 5:10).  That day when He will either say, "Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."  (Matthew 25:34).  Or sadly He will say, "Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels."  (Matthew 25:41).  Thus, let us reflect on how we have used the past year. May I suggest some resolutions that we may discuss for this new year?  My challenge is to make better and wiser use of the time the Lord has granted us.  Let us use this New Year to dress for spiritual success (putting on the whole armor of God) and walking in a manner worthy of the Lord so that our souls might prosper in all Truth and love.  Indeed, there is only one resolution that all Christians need to hold fast, and that is to walk worthy of our calling and of the Lord, that is, walking in righteousness and obeying the Gospel of Christ faithfully (1 Cor. 15:1-2).


I.   WALKING IN A WORTHY MANNER IN THE HOME:

  • Wives Walking In A Worthy Manner:  (Ephesians 5:22-24; 1 Peter 3:1-7)
"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands."  (Ephesians 5:22-24).

The Gospel teaches us how we must walk worthily of our calling in Christ.  God is very concerned about life in the home.  All Christians are commanded to submit to Christ and His rule and to one another as husbands, wives, and children.  Christ has modeled for us the beauty of submission when He sacrificed for us, doing His Father’s will (John 12:12-26).  The only way we can be pleasing to God as children and as parents is by walking in a manner worthy of God, for the home will be affected when we refuse to obey that command.   We must not exclude Christ and His principles of righteousness from our homes!  In Ephesians 5:22-23, the apostle Paul is urging wives to "submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior."  The wife walks in a manner worthy of her calling in marriage by voluntarily submitting to her husband.  In our twisted society, the word "submission" has become an unpleasant and ugly word.  It presents a picture of being dominated and oppressed.  They have completely corrupted the meaning of the word and the concept of what the Bible teaches.  Jesus has never asked us to do anything that He did not do Himself!  Jesus submitted to the will of His Father and yielded to His Father's interests.  He wants wives to voluntarily submit to the leadership of their husbands.  Husbands, remember that the Lord does not want you to abuse your leadership by forcing her to submit, using punishments or other consequences.  If the wives refuse to yield, I believe there is nothing that you can do but be accountable to God and expect Him to judge the wives if they refuse to repent.  She must voluntarily submit to the husband's leadership without the husband forcing her to do it.  Wives who fear the Lord will submit to the headship of their husbands without force.  Their primary desire will be that of submitting to God's will and that of their husbands.

Ladies, if you do not desire to submit and follow a man's leadership, then you must not marry, but you cannot escape your obligation to submit to male authority even by remaining single.  To please God, you still must learn to submit your will to the divine will. Period!  Remember, submission does not mean you are inferior.  Do you suppose Christ was inferior when He submitted to the will of His Father?  I don't think so!!  Why?  Because submission or yielding shows strength and godly meekness. Wives, when you submit to your husband, you are showing reverence and service to the Lord.  That is, you are serving Christ by yielding (submitting) to your husband's will and not your own.  For the husband is the head of the wife.  There is only one head in the marital relationship.  God created both, husband and wife, as one flesh to function together under one head.  They are not to be autonomous but live together.  God has made the marriage relationship to be as beautiful as Christ is to the church.  Wives, submission is not doing what you always want to do. Submission will not allow you to get your own way.  Submission is choosing to submit or yield your will and desires to the will of your husband.  This is walking in a manner worthy of God and of course in godliness and love.  It is devotion to the Lord!  Submission honors and affirms the husband's leadership and encourages him to carry it forward.  Submission is not begrudging and does not undermine the leadership of the husband (1 Peter 3:1-2).  Wives, you are obeying Christ and submitting to His will when you submit to your husband's leadership or headship.  Remember, you will be rewarded for your yielding and loving service to your husband and the Lord.
  • Husbands Walking In A Worthy Manner:  (Ephesians 5:25-31).
"Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 'Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.'"

Husbands, to walk in a manner worthy of your calling means to love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her.  Loving your wives means giving up your interests and desires for those of your wife.  To love your wives is to do everything for the benefit of your wives.  This is the love of Christ for His church!  He did not do what He thought was best for Him but for us.  Husbands, you must love your wives in all circumstances and not just when it is convenient for you.  You are to love your wife as your own body.  The husband is commanded to take the headship of his household.  He is accountable to God for the welfare of his family in all aspects, but especially spiritual matters.  When husbands love and submit to the headship of Christ and His rule, then they will lead their family properly (in a godly manner worthy of God).  It is vital that we stress the importance of leading them with love in a godly way.  Paul stresses the kind of love husbands are to have toward their wives in Ephesians 5:28-29. They must love and cherish them, for she is his body and the two are one flesh.  Thus, if he indeed fears the LORD, he will not lead her in a nasty, spiteful and bitter way.  Instead, he will cherish her since they are one.  Therefore, the husband must see his marriage relationship in a godly way, a godly manner worthy of God, treating his wife with care and love.  There is no other way to be pleasing to God!

In 1 Peter 3:7, husbands are to treat their wives with understanding in a considerate way, showing honor to her as the weaker vessel.  That is, to treat her with respect for she is not inferior and because she is a partner of the Grace of life with him.  It means that he must treat her as equal since she is an heir with him and not a slave under him.  Husbands, when you mistreat your wife and fail to show honor, you are not showing understanding and compassion, for you are not walking in a manner worthy of God.  Thus, you're running the risk of hindering your prayers.  God will not listen to you, and you will not have a relationship with Him.  This is extremely serious!  You cannot treat your wife as a slave, mistreating her, and still expect to commune with God.  When you behave in such an ungodly and unworthy manner of God, you are separated from God, for you are in sin.  Therefore, it is vital that you show her honor and kindness to walk in a manner worthy of God.  Show respect, understanding, and compassion in your actions and words toward her!  Treat her as an equal heir in your walk with Christ so that your prayers are not blocked or hindered.
  • Children Walking In A Worthy Manner:  (Ephesians 6:1-4).
"Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 'Honor your father and mother' (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3 'that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.' 4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.'"

One of God’s most critical commandments addresses the relationship between the child and the parent.  "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you." (Exodus 20:12).  Who doesn’t know this commandment? Many of us have heard it countless times from our parents. But really, what does it mean to honor your father and your mother?  God has commanded children to listen to their parents and obey them in everything, for this is the will of God.  Honoring our parents is showing respect toward them.  In Leviticus 19:1-3, God commanded Moses saying, “Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy. Every one of you shall revere his mother and his father, and you shall keep my Sabbaths: I am the Lord your God.”  Honoring our father and mother is obeying them and doing what they tell us to do.  Notice what God commands children to do in Ephesians 6:1-3“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 'Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), 'that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.'"  Again, we find a similar command given to children in Colossians 3:20 “Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.”  These commands are not just about obeying our parents, for there is more to this command.  Although we are commanded by God to honor our parents through obedience, we also recognize that obedience can be shown without honor. Why do I say that?  Because we must show reverence and respect to our parents because they are the parents whom God has given to us.  To dishonor our parents is a reproach on us and brings the wrath of God upon us.  "For anyone who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death; he has cursed his father or his mother; his blood is upon him." (Leviticus 20:9).

Unfortunately, we live in a lawless culture where parents are dishonored, disrespected and ignored.  Our people praise children when they disobey and dishonor their parents.  They forget that God has commanded children to honor their parents till deathIsn’t it something that most children, when they turn 18 or 21, act as if this command no longer applies to them?  But guess what?  God did not give an age limitation for honoring our parents.  It is a lifelong command for God’s people!  It is disturbing to see our youth today having contempt for authority, showing no respect for the elderly, having terrible manners and talking nonsense.  Our young people do not stand up any longer when adults enter a room.  They dishonor and contradict their parents without a second thought, talk too much in company, gobble their food, guzzle their drink, lay their legs on the table, and tyrannize their elders.  We have our hands full!  Sadly, parents have failed in the rearing of their children, for they have taught them to be self-centered, allowing them to get their way.  The desires of the flesh rule the family, so they fail to put order. The Lord counsels us to use the “rod,” but we “spare the rod,” and raise spoiled childrenSo what are the consequences of parents failing in our God-given role?  Children who defy all authority and are content with dishonoring their parents.   Parents, have you forgotten that God commands you to raise your children to honor, respect and obey you Deuteronomy 21:18-21?   Children, don’t you know that when you disobey and dishonor your parents, you are committing a crime?   Children, are you aware that a life of sin stems from disobeying and disrespecting your parents?  Children, how can you learn obedience and reverence to God without first obeying and respecting your parents? Do you not know that your parents are the first and foremost representatives of the authority structures of life given by God?   How can you honor and obey the law of the land if you fail to respect and honor your parents?  If our children do not respect and honor their parents, walking in a manner worthy of God with fear, how on earth are they going to honor and respect those who are in authority in their life?  Will they obey God and be faithful to Him?  Children, you must be aware that disrespectful and dishonoring children are an abomination to the Lord, deserving of death by God’s command, for you are not walking in a manner worthy of Him.

Do not mistreat your parents, for that brings reproach to God (Proverbs 28:24; 19:26)!  Be considerate to your parents, for they are providing food, clothing, shelter, and many other luxuries that you don’t deserve!  Remember that the least you can do to honor your parents is to not be lazy while enjoying the privileges of being a child.  Thus, do not wait for your parents to ask you to do something. Don’t make them tell you over and over to do your chores, for you must know what to do when things need to be done.  Pull your own weight!  Watch your friends, for you honor your parents by making the right decisions about choosing your friends (Prov. 28:7).  Bad friends can ruin your good morals and righteousness.  Honor your parents and choose good and godly friends in a manner worthy of God!

Children, especially teenagers, you are walking in a manner worthy of God when you obey your parents showing honor and respect toward them.  Obedience to your parents is your way of service, submission to His will, and worship of Christ, for when you are doing this you are waking in a worthy manner of God.  You must obey your parents in the Lord, for in doing this, you are serving the Lord through your obedience.  It is pleasing to the Lord!  When you rebel against your parents, you are rebelling against your God.  You are commanded to honor your father and mother until death (Ephesians 6:2-3).  When you honor your parents, you are reflecting your relationship with God.  And whether you like it or not, your parents are probably wiser than you are.  Your life will be better when you follow their counsel and instructions.  Remember, they're giving you rules and instructions that are for your own good. Such instructions will keep you from many headaches in life that might destroy your soul.  In Matthew 15:1-6, Jesus condemned the Pharisees for breaking the commandment to honor their parents.  They failed to take care of their parents financially, saying that their money was given to God.  They failed to show respect and honor for a lifetime, forgetting that it never ends.  And though your parents might not be worthy of honor, because they have behaved dishonorably toward you, you are still commanded by God to show respect and honor toward them.  It is God's will that we honor, care for and respect them! God wants to keep us from behaving sinfully toward them.  God will judge us in the end.  Take heed!

So children (grown and adult children as well), if you feel the need to apologize and repent to your parents for not honoring them and for not walking in a manner worthy of God, the way God has commanded you to do so, now is the time to do it. Now is the time to start showing appreciation, honor, and respect to them, for God will judge you!  You must repent if you want God’s approval!  God has commanded you to honor and obey your parents, and not to mistreat them or speak against them.  Remember that your parents give you rules because they seek your best interests. Obedience to your parents pleases God.  Remember, you are not in charge in your father’s house during those years when you are still living with your parents. Your parents are in charge!  You are not the head of the house. Your parents are.  So start walking in a worthy manner of God!


II.   WALKING IN  A WORTHY MANNER OF OUR CALLING:  (Ephesians 4:1-3)
"I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."

We Christians have been called to live in a manner that is godly and holy, for our purpose on this earth is to show God’s glory and wisdom.  Why?  Because we have been chosen, redeemed, predestined, adopted, and we are heirs, saved and reconciled to God to show His wisdom and glory.  God is glorified through us, the church, and through Jesus throughout all generations.  Paul urges Christians to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which we have been called (Eph. 4:1).  We choose to walk worthy because of all that God has done for us. He has redeemed us.  We must refuse to walk as we please, for we have been bought for a very high price, the blood of our Lord and Savior.  So we must walk in a manner worthy of Christ, reflecting our new identity!  We are not walking in a worthy manner of our calling when we walk the world’s unrighteous path, the way of Satan, the desires of our flesh, body, and mind.  We must not continue walking in our former way of life, the old man full of corruption!  We must choose to walk the path of righteousness. That is to say, we must choose to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which we have been called.  But walking in a manner worthy is costly, for the world will reject us!  Walking in a manner worthy of our calling is counter-cultural! 

God has commanded us to walk in a manner worthy of the calling (Eph. 4:2-3).  To be able to do that we must have the right attitude of heart that will maintain Christian unity.  Some believe that we can have unity on doctrine alone.  That as long as we agree that there is one Lord, one baptism, one body, one Spirit, one hope and one God and Father of all, it does not matter how ugly and rude we treat each other, devour and attack one another.  Indeed, these are deplorable attitudes of heart!  Can God be glorified this way?  What good is it to defend the Gospel and the Truth and still show the works of the flesh, the old man (anger, slander, malice, deception, angry words that provoke one another, pride and many sins such as these that bring shame to Christ and bring His wrath)?  Many seem to forget what the Lord urges us to do for Christian unity.  “With all humility and gentleness with patience, bearing one another in love.”  (Eph. 4:2).  There can be no unity without this attitude of heart!  It doesn’t matter how much doctrine one might think he knows, because if he lacks humility, gentleness, patience, tolerance, and love, he is missing the power of the Gospel altogether!  When Jesus came to earth and lived among sinful men, He defended the Truth and the power of God without being ugly and hateful, for He was meek and lowly in heart.  Thus we must walk in Christ’s footsteps of humility, gentleness, patience, and love!  We must bear with and endure one another patiently and without bitterness and anger because we love each other. We must love each other’s souls!  So we must first think before we speak to one another. We must behave kindly toward one another especially when we disagree (Eph. 4:3).  We must be eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  We must keep the unity of our calling, for we have been joined together in Christ.  Our unity is shown in our behavior, in our marriage, in Christ, and in the church.  Peace is the bond that will hold us in that unity we must strive to maintain.  There can be no unity without effort, participation, and involvement.  The more we feed our souls with the Word of God and prayer, the easier it will be to exhibit humility, gentleness, patience, love and come to unity.  We are to dig into the Scriptures and discuss them together without getting upset when there is disagreement!  Yes, we can disagree without being hostile to one another, keeping the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.   Wouldn’t it be wonderful!  We must not despise it!  We must grow up to the stature of Christ with all gentleness, humility, patience, bearing with one another in love!  Walking in a manner worthy of this glorious calling demands effort and eagerness to maintain the unity.  Unity is not accidental, for it demands that we merge ourselves in prayer and in the Word of God always.


III.   WALKING IN A MANNER WORTHY OF GOD:  (1 Thessalonians 2:1-12).
"For you yourselves know, brothers,that our coming to you was not in vain. 2 But though we had already suffered and been shamefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we had boldness in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in the midst of much conflict. 3 For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive, 4 but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts. 5 For we never came with words of flattery, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness. 6 Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others, though we could have made demands as apostles of Christ. 7 But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. 8 So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.  9 For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. 10 You are witnesses, and God also, how holy and righteous and blameless was our conduct toward you believers. 11 For you know how, like a father with his children, 12 we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.

Paul’s central message in the book of Thessalonians is how to live godly and holy in view of eternity.  The Thessalonian brethren had an amazing faith despite their great affliction and hardshipThey had an amazing faith, labor of love and steadfastness of hope, for they placed their eyes on eternity, waiting for Christ to return (1 Thess. 1:3, 10).  You see when we fix our eyes on Christ and His kingdom of heaven, our lives change and are transformed into the likeness of our Lord.  It gives us hope, courage, and strength to face whatever difficulties we may have because we love our Lord and His kingdom.  In 1 Thessalonians 2:12, Paul is urging us to walk in a manner worthy of God who called us into His kingdom and glory, for this must be our purpose in life.  We must embrace this newness of life!  So what does it mean to walk in a manner worthy of God?  We have the answers in 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12To walk in a manner worthy of God, one must have boldness (2:1-2).  In Acts 16:19, 23 the crowd seized and dragged Paul and Silas before the rulers, attacked them and beat them with rods, throwing them in prison.  And though they had been severely and shamefully treated, they still had the boldness to declare the Gospel in the midst of so much turmoil.  It got so bad that the Jews attacked Jason’s house since they wanted Paul and Silas.  You see walking in a manner worthy of God is to have boldness in the face of much opposition, affliction and difficulties as did these Thessalonian brethren.  We have been warned by God that we will experience persecution and difficulties because of our faith (1 Peter 4:12-14).  We Christians must not be surprised when facing trials and afflictions that test our faith when we suffer because of Jesus.  Instead, we must rejoice that we were counted worthy to partake in Jesus’ sufferings.  Our eternal view helps us to rejoice in our sufferings and various trials.  But we must remain bold to continue proclaiming God’s Word, the Gospel even in the face of opposition and persecution (2 Tim. 2:12; Matt. 10:33; Lk. 12:9).  Isn’t it true that we are most likely to be tempted to deny Jesus when facing opposition and resistance?  Jesus commands us to remain bold and steadfast in God!

To walk in a manner worthy of God, one must be pure as he presents the Gospel (1 Thess. 2:3-6).  God stresses the concept of purity a lot throughout the Scriptures.  Walking in a manner worthy of God demands pure hearts and pure motives.  And this is precisely what Paul demonstrated to the Thessalonians as he walked with God proclaiming the Gospel.  Paul exhibited purity in his walk with the Lord, and we see this in chapter 4Paul and Silas walked in a manner worthy of God because they had pure hearts and pure motives.  They spoke boldly to please God rather than men, for God tests our heartsThose who walk in purity of heart do not please men, for they’re concerned with pleasing God.  God will know when we are trying to please Him rather than other people, for He knows our hearts!  We are meant to live a life that pleases God, a life that is worthy of Him.  By doing this, we can rest assured that our motives will be pure, knowing that our God tests our hearts.  Moreover, we walk in a manner worthy of God when we love others.  In 1 Thessalonians 2:7, Paul speaks of his love for these brethren as a nursing mother taking care of her own children.  Indeed, this is true gentleness and compassionWalking in a manner worthy of God is caring genuinely for one another, for God cares a lot about our relationship with one another. (1 Thess. 2:8).

Not only did Paul share the Gospel with them but was willing to love them with all of his heart!  He gave himself entirely to his brethren.  Do you suppose that when we choose to be aloof from one another, refuse to open up to one another, set walls up, refusing to let anyone in, it is walking in a manner worthy of God?  Were Paul and Silas afraid to open up to the Thessalonians after what they had experienced in Philippi?  It is amazing to me to see Paul’s love and care for these brethren to the point of sharing the Gospel and his life with them like a nursing mother would care for her own children after being only there for three weeks, not months or years!  Paul’s motives were pure, holy, righteous and blameless, for he was not there for their money, or to take advantage of them, or to be a burden to them (2:10).  Paul taught them as a father would teach his children: without hostility or intimidation, but rather with gentleness and love.  And though teaching must be firm, it must be done with love and gentleness.

Paul lived his life with boldness as he proclaimed God’s Message.  He likewise showed a life of purity as he sought God’s approval.  He showed his love to the brethren as he shared his life with them.  Thus we must live our lives in a manner worthy of our calling, God’s kingdom and glory (Romans 5:1-2; 8:18).  Our hope in God’s kingdom and glory is what must motivate us to live in purity, love one another and be bold in persecution and suffering.


IV.   WALKING IN A MANNER WORTHY OF THE GOSPEL:  (Philippians 1:27-2:2).
 "Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ."  (Phil. 1:27

Paul’s joy in suffering came from knowing that the Gospel was advancing and that his faith was strengthened to reach his goal, to serve Christ and be with Him in eternity.  He knew very well what it means to live in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ as a citizen in God’s kingdom of righteousness.  Paul stresses the need of living in a manner worthy of the Gospel in Ephesians 4:1; Colossians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 2:12The Gospel teaches us a way of living that is worthy of God.  We must live in such a godly and holy way so that others may know what it is like to live for Christ and the Gospel!  Walking in a manner worthy of the Gospel is to stand firm in one Spirit, striving for the faith of the Gospel, that is, unity.  This is parallel with Ephesians 4 where the Lord demands that we walk in a manner worthy of the calling to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  Hence, to live in a manner worthy of the Gospel is to stand firm side by side together with the same mind, for we are under Satan’s attack and under attack from the world, not from each other.  We are not walking in a manner worthy of the Gospel when we fight and devour one another.  We must learn to fight together for Christ, for the faith and His kingdom of righteousness!  We must be united in our thinking, perspective, goals, and hearts! 

Our lives must be centered on the Gospel of our Lord and Savior and the furthering of His Gospel.  But we must work together in harmony and fellowship for the faith of the Gospel.  A divided church stops focusing on the Gospel and our participation in it.  When we are working side by side for the faith of the Gospel in harmony, we’re willing to overlook our differences and personal conflicts.  We are eager to work together to share the Gospel within our community, build up one another in the faith and strengthen each other during difficult times.  There is no room to focus on ourselves and our problems!  Why not use them for the furthering of the Gospel?  We must refuse to be self-centered, wasting our time away from the fight that is set before us!  We must stand firm together side by side with eyes fixed on Jesus and His Gospel!  We must not be frightened or intimidated by our opponents (1:28).  There is no room for quitting!  We must continue holding on to Christ with a fearless faith.  We must suffer for Christ (1:29-30)!  God is granting us a gift in suffering when we live in a manner worthy of the Gospel.  There is no better honor than to suffer for Christ and for the sake of the Gospel!  It is a sign of salvation!  God, in the end, will decree salvation to those who live in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ.  So we must be united, of the same mind, of the same love, and walking in full accord (Philippians 2:1-2).   The same purpose, goal, love, and agreement toward one another.  We walk in a manner worthy of the Gospel when we stand together in the Spirit of Christ, making the Gospel glorious!


CONCLUSION:

Living in a world that is not accustomed to teaching and practicing a lifestyle worthy of what Christ expects of them, Christians look like aliens and strangers (1 Peter 2:11).  Someone might say, "Of course, I'm a Christian; I read my Bible; I go to church on Sundays... " Of course, but let me tell you, that those who profess our Lord Jesus and have put Him on, walk in a manner worthy of Christ. Being a Christian is much more than calling yourself a Christian, assembling, and reading the Bible whenever you think it is convenient in your life. Being a Christian is a matter of the heart, the mind, and the soul. To measure up to the stature of Christ is to show it in our faith, convictions, and beliefs. We must set aside everything else until we cannot help but to base everything that we do and say on the will of God!  First, we must start examining our way of living, our decisions and our way of thinking. We have Christ as our example who by the sword of the Spirit breaks down all the walls of our thoughts piercing our soul and spirit and discerning the intentions of our hearts. He builds new thoughts for us. He pours out light where there is darkness by showing us through His Word how to make those changes that are vital, that we may be transformed into His image. God wants us to shine His light in all areas of our lives: our homes, our work, our school, our minds, our hobbies, etc. They must be in harmony with our faith.  But sadly, our faith is often separated from all these things!

Let's never forget that our Lord is life.  So why do we want to separate Him from every area of our lives? So often, God is allowed into only certain parts of our lives. We allow Him only a little bit into our churches, into our hearts, into our everyday walk. We barely allow Him into our decisions, our beliefs, our speech, our homes, the why of our daily activities, goals, and everything that we engage in. As Christians who desire to live "godly," and in a manner worthy of God,  we must start examining our minds, our hearts, and our souls. We must start spending more time in prayer asking our LORD to help us do His will in every area of our lives, and that includes our homes and families. We need to learn that He is not a cookie cutter God but holy! We must allow God to shine His beauty in every compartment of our lives. His Grace and Light must be seen in every area of our lives. Our lives will look very different if we only allow Him, through faith, to make us live our lives in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ. Everyone will see God in us, and they will see the Light shining in a world full of darkness; a light that is so much different from the world's darkness.

So let us be wise and not put Him to shame because He will be ashamed of us on that final day if we don't let Him live through us, walking in a manner worthy of God. Those who want to live godly lives must strive to walk in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ. Remember that our LORD is HOLY! So let us start behaving in a way that glorifies our Lord, living lives that are unblemished and are living sacrifices, well pleasing to Him. And let us be renewed in our spirits and minds by putting on God in righteousness and in the holiness of the Truth. "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." (Romans 12:2).

Let us use our time well and not allow anything or anyone to distract us from serving our Lord, walking in a manner worthy in our homes, our calling, of God and the Gospel. God demands that we put Him first and put self to death, take up our cross and follow Him and His example.  We must strive to live for Christ and not self!  (Gal. 2:20).

The truth is that this will be the last year for many!  Will you be one of those who will stand before God this year, or will you live to see many more years?  Only God knows!  Therefore, let us walk in a manner worthy of God, the Gospel, our calling and our way of living, loving God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength as if each day were our last.

May we as Christians live in a manner worthy of God, God’s kingdom of righteousness and the Gospel.  May we examine our hearts so that we may bring honor to our Lord and glorify Him.  May we work diligently and in a manner worthy of God to further the Gospel and our service in God’s kingdom not only this year but each day of our walk with Him here on earth.  May we reflect upon all that we have done this past year as we begin a new year aiming to achieve an A+ in all that we do for our Lord and the furthering of His Gospel.  May our Lord help us to walk and live in a manner worthy of Him and His Gospel, walking in righteousness and living our lives as a sacrifice well pleasing to Him.
“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called… ”  (Ephesians 4:1-3).
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.”  (Col. 3:23).

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL MY BRETHREN AND FRIENDS!

"The Lord bless you and keep you; 25 the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; 26 the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace." 
Numbers 6:24-26

Luci

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