Pay attention to the tension in your body. Let go of it and any expectations to do anything other than God’s will today. Prepare yourself to hear God’s word.
Philippians 3:17-20 (NRSV)
Brothers and sisters, join in imitating me, and observe those who live according to the example you have in us. For many live as enemies of the cross of Christ; I have often told you of them, and now I tell you even with tears. Their end is destruction; their god is the belly; and their glory is in their shame; their minds are set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
It might strike some as very egotistical for Paul to declare to fellow believers, “…join in imitating me…” But if you study Paul’s life, it was the opposite of what he described in verses 18 and 19. Paul was faithful to the cross, Christ was his glory, and his mind was set on heavenly things. Paul’s intent was not for the Philippians to focus on him per se, but for them to join him in humble, radical dependence upon Christ.
As Paul said in verse 20, “Our citizenship is in heaven…,” which means that we should look to Christ, and not anything of this world, for our model of behavior. Our allegiance is to God, but all too often we turn to the world and accept the world’s ideas of right and wrong, of acceptance and love. Are we really committed to imitating Paul, or even more so, Jesus? Or will we continue to follow the world?
God, forgive us when we go the world’s way and not yours. It’s so easy to agree with what we hear on TV and read in the papers, and forget that you preach a radical love and acceptance. Help us to be radical! Amen.
Go with God.