12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. 16 Only let us hold true to what we have attained.
17 Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. 18 For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.
As I wallowed a bit in self pity this morning, I was reminded by the Spirit of God (John 14:26) that I had taken my eyes off the high calling of God. That I was allowing the spirit of the world to bring me down. The news is not great, people beating each other over shoes. Greed. Bombings. Worldly junk. Then there are my personal remembrances and regrets. Wasted life opportunities. Ghosts of Christmases Past.
Paul screams in my spiritual ears as he writes to the Church at Phillipi. I will imitate him. I will set aside those regrets. I will press forward. I can't unring the out of tune bells in my life. I can just try to make the new bells I ring sound better.
I must not allow myself to be conformed to a world I find so foreign. (John 15:18-19)
At some point in our Christian faith we must draw the line and stand for something that will infuriate people. It is happening now in India, Malaysia, China, Iraq, Iran and, at a lesser level, even in the United States. But this is the path that Jesus took and He calls us to follow him. He chose us to break the holds of worldly conformity and to bring us into significance. We are chosen out of the world into our true citizenship; the Kingdom of heaven. Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor, GraceNYC.orgI know that if I become so earthly minded I will be of no Heavenly good. I resolve to cut it off now. This word was for ME...and maybe one other.
Pressing on ...Merry Christmas