A devotional thought from Afshin Ziafat for “The Consummation”
Philippians 3:18-20: “For I have often told you, and now say again with tears, that many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction; their god is their stomach; their glory is in their shame. They are focused on earthly things, but our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
In this week’s lesson we learn that believers in Christ are to stand firm in their hope of Christ’s return and reject the spirit of antichrist that dominates the world around us. Here we see Paul echoing this spirit as he talks of those who walk as “enemies of the cross.”
As we learn in the lesson, an opposition to God’s glory, truth, and holiness marks the spirit of antichrist. Here we see Paul talk of those whose end is destruction serving the god that is their belly, and thus, they glory in their shame. They are seeking whatever satisfies self over the glory of God. We see an opposition to truth and holiness as their minds are set on earthly things. They are neither listening to God’s Word nor seeking to be set apart from the world’s desires. Instead, they are chasing the same things as the world.
Self-centered and unholy living is the way of the world. Christians should not be like chameleons that change their color to fit in with their surroundings. As we anticipate the return of Christ, our lives should reflect a standard that is remarkable and unusual to the world. We must be people who submit our lives to God’s Word over the whims of society or our flesh. We should be a people who see everything we do through the lens of whether or not it will bring glory to Christ and not ourselves.
Pause and Reflect
• In what ways do you seek your own glory over the glory of Christ?
• Does your life look just like the world around you or does it stand out as you anticipate the Lord’s return? In what ways? What steps can you take that your life would stand out all the more for God’s glory?