September 30, 2013

A Manner of Living

Philippians 1:27-30

Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.
—Philippians 1:27


As humans, we will often struggle to find happiness, but many Christians find it and triumphantly live it. They are committed to the manner of living by the gospel (“good news”) of Jesus—whatever happens.

When Gayle, at a young age, found she was dying of cancer, she still praised God. She set her mind on the hope of eternal life in Christ, and she died with power flowing from her soul to everyone around her.

Mike, Gayle’s husband, agonized over her illness and death but said, “I have decided to press my mind into what the Bible says. That’s the only way I can do this.” The manner in which Mike and Gayle lived set an example for us all.

As a pastor for many years, I have seen the manner in which many people have lived and died. Even Christians lose their grip sometimes and fall into worrying and complaining. Sometimes I do too.

Yet, praise God, I have also seen Christians who face the worst—such as cancer, paralysis, or chronic pain—with the joyful determination of faith in Jesus. They acknowledge their suffering before God; they shed their tears; and they claim the eternal goodness of the Lord, whatever happens.

Today’s verses speak to a community of believers. Today, watch the manner of the triumphant ones around you, and follow their example.

Father, thank you for Christians who show what it means to live with you. Bless them with your power. Give all of us this blessing. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Keith Mannes

Keith Mannes serves as pastor at Highland Christian Reformed Church in McBain, Michigan. Keith and his wife, Alicia, recently celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary,
and they are thankful for their three children—Eben, Charis, and Breanna.

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