Feb. 25: Don’t be fooled
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Each time the news breaks with another story of a pastor that has stolen a large amount of money or an evangelist that has broken their marriage vows, it saddens me. I’m sadder for the person, their families, the people that believed in them and those who strive to stand firm in the Lord. I’m sad that it will now take more work and healing to bring those that are struggling with their decision on which way they want to pursue life to get past their wrestling with the story of someone that proclaimed to be a follower of Christ.
Stories of behavior contrary to the ways laid out for us by Christ are not new to my generation. They have been happening since that famous story of Adam, Eve and the apple. The good news for us is that Paul’s words to the early church are as relevant now as they were then. In today’s Scripture, he is warning the Philippians to not be fooled or misled by people around them that appear to be following the ways of the Lord but who are only doing so in order to achieve riches and gains for themselves while here in earth.
What do I hear these words saying? Stand firm in the Lord. Be careful of those that seek to misrepresent or lead you away from Christ. Find someone that is truly living in the way put forth for us by Jesus and use them as a model. I also hear the questions that I need to answer for myself every day. What am I rigorously pursing? What prize have I set my eyes upon?
The season of Lent always heightens my thoughts that each day I have the opportunity to remember that I am a citizen of heaven. That my savior is Jesus Christ and that he is working to transform me so that I am continuously pursuing knowing Christ.
SCRIPTURE: Philippians 3:17-4:1 (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 Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will transform the body of our humiliation so that it may be conformed to the body of his glory, by the power that also enables him to make all things subject to himself. Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved.