Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel  without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God.  For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him,  since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.
Seek the perspective that suffering for Jesus is a privilege and not a punishment.
Two painful pressure points: cultural connection and opponents.
There is pressure to be some way first and Christian second.
Our suffering being a Christian is evidence that we are being saved.
Are you an admirer of Jesus or a disciple of Jesus?
In addition to being given the privilege of believing in Jesus, we have been given the privilege of suffering for Jesus. Suffering shouldn’t be a punishment, but a privilege.
Continue to come back to the cross over and over and over again, God will heal you from the damage sin has done.
A popular Greek phrase used by the Romans: “Life is good.” Paul turned that around and said, “Life is Christ.”
Philippians 1:21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
When Christ is your life, you will possess courage, selflessness, and influence. Kent Brantly exemplified these characteristics in Liberia when dealing with ebola.
Paul was confident that he would be delivered by God. He knew “through your prayers” and “provision of the Spirit.”
Philippians 1:19 for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.
There is strength in prayers. He had courage from the prayers that were happening on his behalf.
Remember the three Hebrew men who were standing before the king of Babylon? They told the king, “We know our God is able to save us from this fiery furnace… But even if He does not…”
Paul gauged success in ministry differently than we do. If he continued [through the suffering for the furthering of the gospel (Philippians 1:12)], it would mean “fruitful labor” — helping others grow spiritually.
In this world, people are fighting for their little piece of the pie.
Grow in joy in the faith — even as you suffer.
God can use our ministry to help the world see the heart of Jesus.
Mark 10:45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Rejoice with those who rejoice. This will help you live in harmony with one another as Paul says. This helps you to honor one another above yourself.
As Jesus was on the cross, bless those who persecute you and do not curse was being shown. Blessing is to wish well or ask God to do good to someone. Blessing is offering forgiveness because they don’t know what they are doing.
The OCOC fellowship creates trusting relationships to serve God by blessing our community and our church family.
Love must be sincere. Stop being an actor in creating relationships; we must be genuine. We have to hate evil, and cling to what is good. We have to hate gossip, division, slander, and competition.
Be joyful in hope (someday your tomb will be empty as Jesus’ was), patient in affliction (Charlie and Judy have been a good example to us on this), and faithful in prayer (keep a conversational relationship with God).
Make a high priority to helping the needs of God’s people.
You may know that the hotel industry has taken over what was once Christianity’s signature act — caring for travelers, strangers and friends. But it’s not too late — invite a neighbor over for dinner for example.
Hollywood teaches us on a regular basis that vengeance is ours, that we can repay. Do not repay anyone evil for evil; do not take revenge. If your enemy is hungry, feed him/her — show hospitality to him/her!