Paul in his letter to the church at Philippi encouraged them to “stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.” (Philippians 1:27) Striving is an energetic word and can be either good or bad depending on how we strive and for what. Paul in this passage teaches us two important things about Christian striving.
First, we are to be striving “together.” There is a world of difference between striving against each other and in striving together. We have all seen a skilled basketball team working together to move the ball down the court and score – five players working together as a unit. We have also seen how kids sometimes play. Everyone wants the ball for himself, dribbles as long as possible, takes the shot even though a teammate is in better position. They are all striving – playing hard – but not together. In the church we are to strive together as a team.
Second, we are to strive together “for the faith of the gospel.” What we strive for is of utmost importance. It must not be for our own personal opinions or favorite programs but rather for “the faith of the gospel.”
Here at the North Main Street Church of Christ let each of us always make sure that as a team we are all “striving together for the faith of the gospel.”
Eastern European Mission provides the Bible to the people of Russia, Ukraine and Eastern Europe. On average, EEM translates, prints nd delivers 160 Bibles every day. Every month, Every year. To the field. And this does not include the thousands of Bibles placed in the public schools. EEM needs Field Partners to make this happen.
Please consider becoming an EEM Field Partner and join hundreds of other individuals and churches that are already committed to a monthly gift. Your monthly gift of $20, $50, $100 or more will not only provide Bibles, it will help EEM better cover expenses as they occur. EEM begins printing Bibles early in the year to meet the needs, but as is typical with non-profits, their gifts come in later in the year. This inverse correlation puts an added strain on the ministry. A monthly gift helps alleviate that issue.
EEM thanks you in advance for your partnership. Visit www.eem.org/give/field-partners to sign up.
The Book of Proverbs is a book of wisdom – wisdom on how to live one’s life. One of its early pieces of advice is this: “My son, if sinners entice thee consent thou not.” The passage then continues to warn against joining with thieves and murders. But the principle applies more broadly. We must not let a sinful world seduce us to do any kind of evil. Exodus 23:2 says, “Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil.” In Psalm 1:1 there is a blessing pronounced upon the man that “walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.”
What we see and hear can have a tremendous influence on our lives. We must therefore always be on guard that the world does not draw us away from God’s standard. In speech we must not imitate the world’s profanity; in dress we must not follow society in immodest apparel. We must beware that we are not caught up in the world’s emphasis on material success. We must not let our secular society steer our eye away from heaven and things eternal.