One of my biggest fears is that my life not reflect the words that I speak. Don’t get me wrong, I know that none of us are perfect and have studied enough of the “greats” in our Christian faith to know even the greatest of Christian men are flawed. I am also aware of how God’s grace shows brightest on the backdrop of our weaknesses. But I find myself wondering if my biggest hurdle to becoming a world changing man of God is me, myself, and I.
I read these words this morning, “Let your conduct be worthy of the Gospel of Christ” (Philippians 1:27). We live in such a sloppy grace world today that we all to often do not feel the weight of these words. But, despite what many will tell you, they are very difficult words. I mean, “be worthy of the Gospel”? Really? How can I, a man prone to anger, lust, jealousy, apathy, and a multitude of other flaws be “worthy” of the Gospel? What does it mean to be worthy anyway? Is it even possible?
As I thought about these words, I thought about what the Gospel is, not simply what it means but what it is. The Gospel is Jesus and the story of Jesus is…
God loved those who hated him (Romans 5:8)
Am I worthy of the Gospel if I refuse love to those who hate me?
God humbled himself and became man (Philippians 2:8)
Am I “worthy” of the Gospel if I do not humble myself and become like Christ through my actions and thoughts?
Jesus obeyed the Father’s will though it wasn’t what He wanted (Matthew 26:39)
Am I worthy of the Gospel if I willfully refuse to obey God’s will in my life?
Jesus did not fight back while suffering persecution (Isaiah 53:7, Matthew 12:14-15,19)
Am I worthy of the Gospel if I fight back? If I think I am more deserving than Christ to not suffer persecution?
Jesus took the punishment for our sins upon himself (Isaiah 53:5)
Am I worthy of the Gospel if I continue to hold a grudge against those who sinned against me instead of crucifying my flesh and extending forgiveness?
Jesus stood up against religious hypocrisy even though it cost him his life (Matthew 12:34)
Am I worthy of the Gospel if I sit back and say nothing when I see complete misrepresentation of truth in the church? If I cower in a corner while I hear false teaching? If I put my comfort above standing against heresy?
Jesus never spoke indignantly to sinners but did so to those who warped God’s truth (Luke 7:37-47)
Am I worthy of the Gospel if I berate and crucify those who desperately need Jesus while embracing those who twist his words to fit their agenda?
Jesus resisted temptation with the Word of God (Matthew 4:1-11)
Am I worthy of the Gospel if I do not study the Bible and know it’s truths, allowing it to strengthen me and give me the ability to overcome sin?
Jesus refused to get involved in political fights and agendas (John 6:15, Matthew 22:21)
Am I worthy of the Gospel if my life’s passion is to have the right politician in the White House, the right party in congress, the right political ideology in our country?
Jesus refused to exercise his power in order to save himself (Matthew 27:42)
Am I worthy of the Gospel if I am willing to use God’s gifts to my benefit, knowing it will hinder God’s will in my life?
Jesus lived life with a singular passion to do his Father’s work (Luke 2:49)
Am I worthy of the Gospel if I allow God’s call on my life take a backseat to my wants, family, work, friends, dreams?
Jesus lived a sinless life (Hebrews 4:15)
Am I worthy of the Gospel when I allow sin to be in my life without repenting of it? When I do not strive to be “Holy as he is holy”? (1 Peter 1:16)
The truth is, the Gospel is a burden to those who choose to bear it. It is a very difficult way to travel, proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It opens our lives up to persecution, greater scrutiny, as well as, disappointment and hardship. However, we do not have to bear this burden alone, “come unto me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart and ye shall find rest unto your soul. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
We must always ask ourselves, “Am I worthy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?” and not ignore the weight of our calling. But let us never be so full of pride that we think we can be worthy of that Gospel in our own power. That is the curse and the promise of the Gospel!
Peace, Love, and Awakening!
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