Most anyone who knows me, knows that I have the deepest regard for the Apostle Paul. 

And in Philippians 3:17-21,  Paul wrote, “Join in imitating me, brothers, and observe those who live according to the example you have in us.  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.  He will transform the body of our humble condition into the likeness of His glorious body, by the power that enables Him to subject everything to Himself.”

Jesus wants us to grow into mature believers, but not just for our own good but also for the good of all of those around us.  If we are striving for spiritual maturity then as we grow, new Christians will have someone to look on as a model as they grow.  But if we are lax in our efforts to grow in Christ, we won’t be of any value to His kingdom.
Paul mentioned some who were living as enemies of the cross of Christ.
And we all know that there will always be people who talk the talk but don’t walk the walk.
We also know that Christians are not perfect in their walk every moment of every day.
No, Christians are forgiven, not perfect.
But as true Christians, we are to walk in God’s grace by faith, and set aside the worldly appetites and the sin that so easily besets us.  And it is our position “in Christ” that enables us, by the very nature of our position to do that. 

Every time I see a movie about whales, I consider their lives in the immense ocean.  
And watching a beautiful whale swimming effortlessly following the currents, feeding from the bounty that is in the ocean, my heart over flows with awe.
Such a huge creature yet made of so many intricate details that make it what it is.
As he moves his huge tale flukes, that whale finds little resistance in the water, he is the most graceful of animals.
Yet, beach that whale and he becomes just another huge lump of tissue, rotting on the beach.
And so it is with us. Apart from Him we are dead, but in Christ, we are empowered and that position gives us life. Acts 17:28 tells us that “in Him we live, and move, and have our being.”Without Him we are nothing. Because of the power that enables Him to subject everything to Himself, as we are in Him, we will be transformed into a likeness of Him.We are already citizens of heaven. We may be wearing these earth suits, living on this planet, breathing air and drinking water, but one day, perhaps very soon, we will be able to see His glorious face and be a part of endless worship, in the purist form. There will be no self esteem and no ego.
To grow into a mature believer we must value knowing Christ above all else and we must seek to serve Christ so that our lives help others grow as well.

Gracious God and Father, stir within each of us a deepening desire to not only serve you but to grow in our faith.  For those who are struggling with illness, we ask that You Lord, send Your healing to them.  For those who are troubled in their soul, we ask You Lord to send Your peace and Your comfort.  And as I pray for those on my prayer list Father, let their needs be met today. And for those who might be praying for someone who needs to come to know You Lord, give them assurance that You are hearing their prayers.
Let today be the day of their salvation. (2 Corinthians 6:1-3)

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