“Morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice”
“A Manner Worthy of the Gospel”
(Please read Philippians 1:27)
Our text was addressed to people who were Roman citizens and knew how to conduct themselves as such. Paul used his Roman citizenship to advantage when he was arrested in Jerusalem (see Acts 16:37-39).
We who read his words now are scattered all over the world and are citizens of many countries, but his counsel is still good. If we consider our heavenly citizenship and conduct ourselves in a manner that will please our King, that will be enough in most cases to make us good citizens of this world as well. Our manner of life as Christians puts us on public display before diverse multitudes of people whom we can impress favorably or unfavorably by the way we live.
Of course there will be exceptions in the nations who are avowed enemies of the cross, and Christians there may undergo persecution. Even so, Paul’s words are still relevant, for he prefaced them with the inclusive phrase, “whatever happens.”
Example is one of the most effective ways to influence human character and conduct. Our conduct in both friendly and hostile environments can, as Paul wrote to Titus, “make the teaching about God our Savior attractive” (2:10, NIV). We can by our manner of life share some of the beauty of God’s will for the human family. Another apostle tells us that “the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit” can win others to Christ (see 1 Peter 3:1-4).
The question is not, “Will I have any influence on others?” but “What kind of influence will I have?” We hope yours is beautiful.