Philippians 3:17 - 21

"Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us. For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things. For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself." Philippians 3:17-21 NIV

In the scriptures leading up to these, Paul speaks of the joy to be found in the Lord, Philippians 3:1 "...rejoice in the Lord". In Philippians 3:8, Paul writes of the glories found in following Christ; "More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord...". Then, in Philippians 3:14 Paul tells us of the prize to be found in heaven; "I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus".

As Paul continues in verse 17 we are reminded that we must do more than just profess with our mouths to be Christians. We must also live our lives in a way that professes we are Christians. Admittedly, this is where it can get tough -- despite the fact that we are Christians, we are also humans and as humans we do not always follow thru as we should on our beliefs. Sunday in church our pastor shared some statistics from a poll that TIME Magazine did a few years ago regarding the nation's views on Christianity. I don't remember the exact percentages, but approximately 75% of the nation believed there was a God and attended church. However, the percentage dropped to around 30-35% when these same people were asked if their belief in God played a role in the way they lived their lives.

It is easier to live IN the world and follow what others around us are doing instead of following what God wants us to do. As Christians, though, we are called to follow the road that isn't always easy. Follow God. Not just say we follow God, but REALLY follow God -- show his love in our daily lives, follow his leadership and guidance as we make choices and decisions for ourselves and our families. As James 1:22 states, "But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves".

No, we have no promises that this will make our lives easier, that we will live longer, that we will have more earthly possessions, or more friends. What we are promised is that God will always be with us and that we will have eternal life in Him. Verse 20 tell us "For our citizenship is in heaven...". I recently ran across this phrase -- "This world is not my home, I'm just passin' through". Isn't this so very true for us as Christians? We're just "passin' through" on our way to our eternal home in heaven. And once we reach that home God will "... transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory...(vs21)". What a promise if we choose God first and show the world the God we know by living our lives for Him as we pass through our earthly home and on into heaven!

2 Thoughts Shared:

Tonya said...

Melanie, I love your post today! You said,

"As Christians, though, we are called to follow the road that isn't always easy"

You are exactly right. As a matter of fact the Bible tells us to expect trials and persecution. I hate it when I hear some "TV Preachers" telling that if you just follow GOD and set your mind on "good things" that everything will go well with you. That's just not the case.

GOD'S GLORY is EVIDENT when are weak and do things that we alone can't do without HIM. GOD DOES put more on us than we can bear - It's then that we realize that we CANNOT "do it" without HIM. I say that because we were told over and over that the Bible says GOD won't burden you beyond what you can bear - but it doesn't say that at all. It says you won't be TEMPTED beyond what you can bear.

1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

Again... we've been in a place (losing our son) that I KNOW I couldn't do without HIM. It was when I was most burdened that I COMPLETELY gave it ALL to HIM.

THANKS SO MUCH for so BOLDLY sharing the gospel!


PS.. THANKS for your prayers while we waited on little Allie Grace. It's such a BLESSING to see her with her new family. (They've waited SOOOO LONG)

Deborah said...

Melanie, thanks for stoppping by. This is a great post.

Blessings to you today!