|Volume 19 Number 3 March 2017||
In Philippians 1:27 Paul wrote, “Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ…” Paul desired that the Philippians act in a certain way. He wanted their behavior to be as a Christian’s should be. It does not make much sense for Paul to tell the Philippians that they needed to act a certain way if there was no way to know how to act. The word “conversation” refers to a duty as a citizen. Duty implies responsibility. It also implies that a rule of some kind must be involved.
The word ‘becometh’ is from a Greek word meaning weighed. It means one thing’s weight equals another’s weight. The inspired Paul was saying that the Christian’s manner of life should be in equal weight to the Gospel of Christ. This means that the Christian’s life will be compared to the Gospel.
There is a device known as a balance. It has a place on one side to put weights. On the other side one puts an item for which he wants to know its weight. It is necessary to keep putting weights on the opposite side until it balances with the item. Then, you add up the weights to know how much the item weighs. Paul was giving such a picture of a person’s life. One’s life is on one side and the Gospel is on the other side. Paul said the child of God’s goal is to equalize his life with the Gospel.
This was not a new teaching. We have references in the Old Testament about this. We read in 1 Samuel 2:3, “Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.” The great prophet Daniel told King Belshazzar that the writing on a wall by the finger of God said, “Tekel; thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting” (Daniel 5:27). Job told his friends in Job 31:6, “Let me be weighed in an even balance, that God may know mine integrity.”
Study your Bible. Learn what God wants you to do. Then, obey Him. Live your life as it becometh the Gospel of Christ. If any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.
Be with Me Lord
(Lloyd Otis Sanderson 1901-1992)
Donald R. Fox
Have you ever experienced a brief encounter with someone you never met before and throughout the years you remember the encounter? Strange experience, is it not? It was a bitter cold February, and I was attending a lectureship at Freed-Hardeman College. The year I cannot remember, maybe in the 1970’s. I was walking on the campus grounds, and there were very few out at that time. About ten yards away I started to approach a tall, elderly gentleman. As we met each other, he smiled and said something like, “You would think the college would have these lectureships during warmer months.” Smiling, I verbally agreed as we passed each other. I recognized this Christian gentleman as L.O. Sanderson. Brother Sanderson has written some 500 songs and hymns, a wonderful and lasting achievement.
“Be With Me, Lord” has been noted as the most popular of his songs. It is also one of my favorites. It strikes a chord of human weakness as one faces the ordeals of this life, to include the closeness of one’s own death. Following are the lyrics of this beautiful Gospel song.
Be With me Lord
By T. O. Chisholm and L. O. Sanderson
Be with me, Lord—I cannot live without Thee,
I dare not try to take one step alone,
I cannot bear the loads of life, unaided,
I need Thy strength to lean myself upon.
Be with me, Lord, and then if dangers threaten,
If storms of trial burst above my head,
If lashing seas leap ev’rywhere about me,
They cannot harm, or make my heart afraid.
Be with me, Lord! No other gift or blessing
Thou couldst bestow could with this one compare—
A constant sense of Thy abiding presence,
Where’er I am, to feel that Thou art near.
Be with me, Lord, when loneliness o’er-takes me,
When I must weep amid the fires of pain,
And when shall come the hour of “my departure”
For “worlds unknown,” O Lord, be with me then.
“…and he went out to meet Asa, and said unto him, Hear ye me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: Jehovah is with you, while ye are with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you.” (2 Chronicles 15:2 ASV). NOTE: L.O. Sanderson’s son, Leon Sanderson, wrote a timely autobiography about his father (http://www.therestorationmovement.com/sanderson.htm).