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A New Standard of Living

February 6, 2020

Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News. Don’t be intimidated in any way by your enemies. Philippians 1:27-28 NLT

Traveling abroad fairly frequently makes me aware of the too-common perception of “the ugly American.” Americans are said to frequently be rude, act superior, and not value the people and places they visit appropriately. I don’t know if that’s an accurate perception, as I have not seen anyone behave that way. But I love my country and try to be certain that when people see me and think “American,” they think well of all of us.

Same way with my family. I consider it a great privilege to carry the names “Mason” and “Young.” We tried to pass on to our children the blessing of the heritage they received, and like us they have tried to live up to the name we’ve been given.

When you know and value who you are, it changes how you live. Knowing Jesus Christ gives us a new heart and a new purpose. Along with that comes a new standard of living. Paul tells us that now we are not primarily citizens of a country or part of a family, but we are citizens of heaven. As such, our new standard is to live in a manner that is worthy of the Good News about Jesus Christ. The Good News is that He paid the debt for our sins, a debt we could never pay, and then came to life in power to be our constant strength, help, and hope. Living worthy of that means staying in close daily relationship with Him, living joyfully but not casually. We live with care and intentionality.

Paul says when we live that way, our personal witness and the reputation of our lives will communicate the truth of the Good News. Our lives and our voices are far more effective when they are together. When we as followers of Jesus have one voice, one spirit, one purpose, and we fight together for the faith, the Good News advances powerfully.

Then Paul tacks on an encouragement that is vital: “Don’t be intimidated by your enemies.” We are on a mission so important that there will always be enemies. Just don’t be intimidated. We follow the Victor.

  • Thank God for the privilege of carrying the name of Jesus. Ask Him to show you if there’s any area where you could better represent Him.