Subscription Lists

Word from Scotland

    by Sandy Shaw

A Further Glimpse of Paul's Pastoral Heart
Date Posted: June 5, 2023

We come to Philippians Chapter 1and verse 27 where we learn that Paul’s main concern is for these people –– this colony of heaven at Philippi could be destroyed by cracking up from the inside, or by external danger. Paul wants to speak to these disciples of Jesus about this. They lived as if they were in the metropolis of Rome itself. That was what made Philippi a Roman colony. Every colony had a ring of crack troops. That was what kept it a colony.

To survive, the character of the citizens was important. The danger was that the Roman citizens went native, and if you go native the whole thing soon begins to crack. When we apply this to our Christian life we soon see what Paul means. You become less of an influence. When that happened – soldiers morale slipped – and they panicked and ran.

You are a colony of heaven, and I am concerned that you are not compromised inside, as far as your way of life goes. As you face the enemy together, do not be frightened of intimidated.

Do not panic – or run – or HIDE! Do not lose your ground. This is my concern for you. If the character of the colony slips, the defence of the colony will slip. Let your way of life be worthy of the Gospel. Never panic. Stand together.

Have we not witnessed that in the church in parts of Scotland over these past years?

That can happen when there is compromise within and it does not matter whether or not I am with you. Stand fast together. Do not lean on any human being – or else your experience is borrowed – and one day that person upon whom you are leaning may move or change or be imprisoned – or die – and you might fall. Be consistent.

Live what you talk about. Live as if you were in heaven. Live as though you were there. No matter how far you are from heaven, you are a colony of heaven. The Gospel is a Gospel of liberty, so do not fall into slavery by compromise.

Live in the liberty of the Holy Spirit. Live as free people – as people who have been freed. The Gospel is a Gospel of life and a Gospel of love. Contend – fight – for the Gospel – fight for the right things and not each other. We are called to preserve the Gospel as well as to spread it.

Verse 28 – Do not become frightened. Frightened – this is a word used of a horse which sees something and shies away from it and stampedes. Do not let fear take hold of you. Do not be intimidated.

Challenge the world at times. These are wonderful words, but when you are aware you are taking on the world it does not seem so wonderful. Stand firm – do not panic – run away or stampede.

They are going to lose. You are going to win. Their opposing you is not a sign of their greatness or superiority – rather it is a mark of their destruction. Was Paul thinking of Asaph in Psalm 73 who saw the temporary prosperity of the wicked?

When you stand for Jesus Christ and the Gospel this is a sign to people and they react in all kinds of ways. You are a sign to them. If people fall or fall away or stampede or just disappear, it is a sign of what is in them rather than WHO is in them. We are called to be filled with the Holy Spirit – the spirit of holiness. We are called to believe and to suffer.

We are back in the small print area again. Nobody tells us that at the beginning and if they did we probably would not hear it. It is all so gloriously wonderful – saved – rescued – forgiven – born again – united with Jesus Christ – speaking in tongues – worshipping the living God and enjoying fellowship. It is all so exciting, but Paul adds that other dimension – it is also granted to us to suffer for Him.

They were going through something – just as he was going through something in Rome. As we go through these seasons we show what we are made of – we reveal who is shaping us and fashioning us and leading us.

Look into Chapter 2 and see something of why he is so concerned.

“Loving Father – we thank You for Pastors who care for us – for those who are so concerned about us – and who want to see us grounded in Your Holy Word and able to stand firm when the going gets tough. Help us never to run away or hide – and remain loyal and faithful and gracious – remembering the many millions around this world who today face severe persecution because of their faith in Jesus Christ.” Amen.

"Voice of Inspiration" from Andy Castro

Stealth Move

Read Article »
Biography Information:

Alexander 'Sandy' Shaw is pastor of Nairn Christian Fellowship in Nairn, Scotland. Nairn is 17 miles east of Inverness - on the Moray Firth Coast - not far from the Loch Ness Monster!

Gifted as a Biblical teacher, Sandy is firmly committed to making sure that his teachings are firmly grounded in the Word.

Sandy has a weekly radio talk which can be heard via the Internet on Saturday at 11:40am, New Orleans time, at

Got Something to Share? is always looking for new writers. Whether it is a daily devotional or a weekly article, if you desire to encourage others to know Him better, then signup to become a contributor.