Sunday, March 17            Phil 3:17-4:1                    Shane Mullin

17 Brothers and sisters, become imitators of me and watch those who live this way—you can use us as models. 18 As I have told you many times and now say with deep sadness, many people live as enemies of the cross. 19 Their lives end with destruction. Their god is their stomach, and they take pride in their disgrace because their thoughts focus on earthly things. 20 Our citizenship is in heaven. We look forward to a savior that comes from there—the Lord Jesus Christ. 21 He will transform our humble bodies so that they are like his glorious body, by the power that also makes him able to subject all things to himself.

1 Therefore, my brothers and sisters whom I love and miss, who are my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord.

Sometimes, as human beings, we are forced to choose between two things that matter to us a great deal – a choice that is much more difficult than simply re-scheduling an event because it conflicts with another. These types of choices may mean struggling to set healthy boundaries with family members we love, or it may mean having to decide between choosing to do something we think is important or damaging our health.  In his letter to the congregation of Christians in the city of Philippi, the Apostle Paul admonishes his hearers to remain firm in their commitment to Christ. These Christians lived in a city that greatly valued their status a Roman citizens, and Paul draws a contrast between those who value their Affiliation with the Roman empire, and those who value their affiliation with Jesus. So, within this church their allegiance to Rome was coming into conflict with their allegiance to Christ. It may seem like it should always be an easy choice to choose Jesus, but if we’re honest with ourselves, we know that our lives and choices aren’t always that simple. This is why Paul encourages the Christians at Philippi to adopt a mindset that is focused upon following Jesus, even if it may seem like it will cost us something we care about a great deal. May we be people who not only try to follow Jesus a bit better today than yesterday, but also people who adopt that as mindset, and not merely a motto.

Take a moment today, and pray that we would be a congregation of people who cultivate a mindset of following Jesus.