Live as Citizens of Heaven (Day 5)

Read Philippians 1:27-30
   Paul encouraged the believers to be unified, as they stood side by side, fighting together for the Gospel. How sad that much time and effort are lost in some churches by fighting against one another instead of uniting against the real opposition. It takes a courageous church to resist infighting and to maintain the common purpose of serving Christ. 
   Paul considered it a privilege to suffer for Christ. We do not by nature consider suffering a privilege. Yet when we suffer, if we faithfully represent Christ, our message and example affect us and others for good. Suffering has these additional benefits: 1) it takes our eyes off of earthly comforts; 2) it weeds out superficial believers; 3) it strengthens the faith of those who endure; 4) it serves as an example to others who may follow us. When we suffer for our faith, it doesn’t mean that we have done something wrong. In fact, the opposite is often true: it verifies that we have been faithful. Use suffering to build your character. Don’t resent it or let it tear you down. 
    Throughout his life Paul suffered for spreading the Gospel. Like the Philippians, we are in conflict with anyone who would discredit the saving message of Christ. All true believers are in this fight together, uniting against the same enemy for a common cause.