Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
If you have school-age children or grandchildren, you know how difficult life has been over the past several weeks as kids try to keep doing school work without the benefit of going to school. It has been hard on students. It has been hard on parents. It has been hard on teachers and administrators. My family has two high schoolers who are pretty responsible with their school work, and it’s still hard. I can only imagine what it’s like for families with elementary age kids or children with special needs. Families are trying to make things work for now, while hoping for a return to normal routines. We are making the best of a tough situation, knowing that it’s not supposed to be this way.
In some ways, that’s also how Paul described life in our fallen, messed-up world. For now, we do the best we can, following any good examples we can find. We honor Jesus and follow God’s word, while living in a culture that so often ridicules Jesus’ followers and rejects God’s truth. We do the best we can in a hard situation, knowing that it’s not supposed to be this way and hoping for something far better in the life to come. For now, we endure the challenges of this world, remembering that “our citizenship is in heaven.” We long for our Savior to return and “bring everything under his control.”
None of this is an excuse to give up or to drop out of society or to treat people who don’t yet follow Jesus as our enemies. Our Lord calls us to live in this world, rejecting what is evil while impacting people in positive ways. So, make the best of what we have to deal with today, and never forget that God has something far better in store for us.
Gracious Father, thank You for giving me strength to endure the challenges of this life and the wonderful hope of eternity in Your new creation. Guard me against danger and temptation. Help me to honor You in all I do. Through Jesus my Lord and Savior, Amen.
Pastor Mike Mirakian