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Philippians 3:12-4:1 (ESV)
Straining Toward the Goal
12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. 16 Only let us hold true to what we have attained. 17 Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. 18 For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. 4 Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.
What does it mean to you to be a citizen of heaven?
Lord, I know that there will be a day when we will be released from this isolation and will be free to go back out to live our daily lives again. As I return to society, I want to leave behind the old way of life and press on to what has been made new in me. I pray that I don’t leave behind what I have learned during this time of crisis. I have realized how family time is a thing to be cherished. Making time in my schedule to spend with You increases my faith, strength and my hope. That I have been blessed with dear friends who love me, check on me and care for me even when I can’t be with them. That possessions in times of crisis are not what really matters. That prayer is a strength and a power that works and that Your Holy Spirit connects Your church family through Your Word, even when not meeting face to face. I have learned how selfish people are that they hoard and fight over things for themselves and leave shelves empty for others who may also need it. I have seen how power, deception, and lack of integrity can and will change lives as we know it and how quickly life can change. I need to respect the forces of nature, including viruses, but I can’t live afraid because You are the creator and King, and You are greater than all things. I have learned that no matter what happens, and no matter how my life changes, that it is temporary and should be viewed as such. What is permanent is Your heavenly kingdom. Nationality is important and I thank You for where You allow me to live. However, through adoption into Your family, my primary allegiance is to You. Help me to continue to mature to think this way and if the evil desires of the world slip in, please reveal it to me. Help me to press on to focus on Your eternal kingdom and to live by heaven’s rules and value system. I look forward to the day when I will live in with You in Joy in Your heavenly city, where there are no tears, no death, no sin or destruction, but eternal worship, community, and endless love. Transform my sinful, worldly desires into those that glorify You. Amen.