Scripture – Philippians 3:17–4:1(NRSV)
17 Brothers and sisters, join in imitating me, and observe those who live according to the example you have in us. 18 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. 19 Their end is destruction; their god is the belly; and their glory is in their shame; their minds are set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. 21 He will transform the body of our humiliation 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. 41 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.
Paul says that enemies of the cross of Christ have the following characteristics.
Their end is destruction.
Their god is their belly.
Their glory is their shame.
Their minds are set on earthly things.
The cross of Christ, however, invites us to live within the world much differently. The cross of Christ asks us to focus on God’s will and not ours. It seeks those who are willing to suffer, or to join in the suffering of others, rather than seek comfort. It directs us to be connected to the transcendent plan of God even in the face of short-term doubt and anxiousness that exists all around us.
Jesus said that the way of narrow that leads to life eternal. Many choose other paths not because eternal life hasn’t been tried and found good but rather it is seen as difficult and left untried.
Almighty God who chose death on a cross rather than comfort on a throne, Help me to see today where is am choosing my own desires over you. Point out the places where my focus is mired in earthly things rather than your will.