(Video) (voice) (outline)
2. Striving side by side with one mind for the faith of the Gospel (Military image)
3. In no way intimidated by your opponents. (Military image)
What are the alternatives? (a scattered, defeated army)
1. If you water down your witness for fear of rejection or hostility
2. trying to go alone —danger of isolation, vulnerability, lack of accountability, pride
3. If you start tearing apart your own team members
# Our attitude and action should not be determined by anyone who sees us or if no one is watching. Our spiritual battles are fought in our private thoughts. So, don't let a negative, sinful, fearful thought determine who you are. Don't allow the unbelief or hostility of others make you question your faith and life.
# Stay close to Jesus and to others who truly cares about you in Christ's love.
# In those situations ask yourself, "Am I really exhibiting the Gospel in this?
You have received so many blessings from God and from others, gifts of faith, nurture, encouragement, and service. But being citizens of Heaven is not just about getting blessings for yourself. It requires something of you, as well. To exercise your citizenship worthily of the Gospel you must stand firm in your identity as Christians and do so in unity with your fellow citizens, that is the body of Christ. You can’t fulfill your duties alone, and we need one another, both for our sake and the sake of our witness to the world. The purposes and people of the Kingdom come first in our thinking and behavior. This is our shared calling, and this calling is from God.
For self-reflection and discussion
1. What would “exercising my spiritual citizenship worthily of the Gospel” look like in my context and set of circumstances?
2. What metaphor or picture represents the ideal collaborative relationship with fellow Christians in my church? (e.g. sports team, exploration team, fellow gardeners growing vegetables or flowers together, etc.)
3. What attitudes or actions do I need to change in order to work together better with my fellow citizens of Heaven (the Kingdom of God)?
4. How am I handling the trials and suffering in my life? Are they distancing me from God or others, or am I letting them draw me closer to others and to God? Do I believe that my suffering may serve a divine purpose? Do I value sharing in Christ’s suffering as a gift? (See Romans 1:17.)
NLIF is an international church in Yangon. Come and join our English Sunday worship service.
We are an evangelical congregation emphasizing Bible centered and Spirit-empowered living. We hope to be a blessing to you.