Today I’m thinking about September 11, 2001. I remember watching much of it occur in real time on the television. It was a very remarkable time in our country. Something so terrible and so tragic rocked our nation to its core, and brought us together like never before. People poured in to church houses seeking answers, and, we were, for a short time, one nation under God. But it waned quickly; we went back to being selfish and self-centered, we pursued ourselves rather than God, and the trend of the next decade has (and seems to remain) apostacy and “deconstructing” one’s faith. As a matter of fact, there are now so many people who call themselves Christ followers, but do not agree with anything Jesus actually said, that it’s fairly insane.
Yet this extreme example of apostates and deconstructionists isn’t limited to people creating god in their likeness (note the little “g”). Too many people in traditional church houses have forgotten who our God is, and seek tradition, or a god after their own liking. We pick and choose which scriptures we like best, and imagine our own version of Jesus. Our gods that we create, however, even within a church house, are never enough.
God is not moved, as we are, by disaster, or whimsy. He does not change with the times, seasons, and social culture. HE is the same today, yesterday and tomorrow. What He called sin in the Old Testament does not change with the Grace offered through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ. We must follow and pursue God, or we must forever be parted from Him. God will not bow to our whims. He created us in His likeness, not the other way around. We’re either pursuing God, our a god that bows to our will, and the god of your design (and mine) is never enough. So pursue holiness. Pursue God’s will. Pursue Christ-likeness. Then you’ll find true peace as you submit to His will.
Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you.
Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh— though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
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. 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, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.
Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 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.