For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which I prefer. I am hard pressed between the two: my desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better; but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you. Since I am convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for your progress and joy in faith, so that I may share abundantly in your boasting in Christ Jesus when I come to you again.
Only, live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that, whether I come and see you or am absent and hear about you, I will know that you are standing firm in one spirit, striving side by side with one mind for the faith of the gospel, and are in no way intimidated by your opponents. For them this is evidence of their destruction, but of your salvation. And this is God’s doing. For he has graciously granted you the privilege not only of believing in Christ, but of suffering for him as well — since you are having the same struggle that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.
I am confident of one thing:
I am NEVER worthy of your gospel.
I identify more with Paul's writing in Romans 7:24-25:
"wretched man that I am -- who will save me from the body of death!
Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ!"
And that IS the gospel --
though I am wretched and dying,
through the birth, life, teaching, healing, forgiving,
death, resurrection, and ongoing prayers of Jesus Christ,
You choose to save me from my wretchedness, from my deadly ways.
You set me free from such hell
and empower me to carry that very same GOOD NEWS
in my body, in my actions, in my words
proclaiming your love to ALL.
No, I'm not worthy,
but because of your grace
I WILL seek to live my life
"in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ".
Help me do that!
Today, Help me embody your Gospel.