by the Rev. Andrew Kuyvenhoven
Philippians is Paul's love letter. The epistle is also a good instrument for learning the secret of this great man. Paul considered living Christ and dying gain. And, although he wrote from a prison cell, his refrain was "Rejoice in the Lord always."
Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ (Phil. 1:27).
The most difficult kind of Christian living is done today by those who work in schools, offices, factories, or other places where nobody gives a rip about Jesus Christ. And no preacher or teacher can give a simple recipe for wise remarks and smart replies people might use in such godless environments. All we can say is, "Behave in a manner that is worthy of the gospel of Christ." That means, above all, that you "stand firm" (v. 27), whether any other Christian is watching you or not.
Christians will always have opponents. Our way of life conflicts with the way most people make money and live life. Our opponents will pressure us, either subtly or overtly, to conform. Often they will use ridicule, sometimes violence.
We must stand firm with Christian stubbornness. For intellectuals that means refusing to acknowledge that "all religions are really the same," because saying that would deny the worth of the gospel. For teenagers it means knowing when to say "no." For all of us, standing firm means an unbending consistency in our everyday Christian living.
You and I must have the courage to witness to Christ by our words. When we cannot talk about Christ, we still have to be as Christ. Pray and work for a natural, consistent Christian lifestyle.
If this means that you have to face some form of suffering, never mind. We are never closer to Christ than when we suffer with him.
Andrew Kuyvenhoven's Daylight, a modern devotional classic, was originally published in 1994. This edition is copyright by Faith Alive Christian Resources, from whom may be ordered Daylight, the predecessor of Twilight.
A man of many accomplishments, Andrew Kuyvenhoven is probably best known for his contributions to Today (formerly The Family Altar), a widely-used monthly devotional booklet associated with the Back to God Hour. Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations for this edition of Twilight are from the New International Version