December 31, Saturday

REPOSTToday’s Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend, provided by Pastor Ryun Chang (AMI Teaching Pastor), was first posted on December 26, 2015.

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“The City of God and the City of Man”

Philippians 3:20-2

“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.”

Hebrews 11:10:

“For [Abraham] was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.” 

Let’s be honest: We say God’s word is the most important source of truth for us, but do our core beliefs and values really reflect that?  In the church we say, “Yes, that is a sin,” but as soon as we are out the door, we become politically correct.  We sing these amazing songs about the greatness of God, but are we really all that different from the world?  Are we not as selfish, insecure, and pleasure-driven as those who do not confess Christ?

Yes, there is no escaping the human confrontation with questions of how we are to live and think. We must commit to some course of action, an overarching worldview, a narrative of reality. We declare our answer by the actions and thoughts we enact every day, until our days eventually constitute our entire life, through responding to questions like, “How far are we willing to push our moral boundaries in order achieve our goals? What kind of persons are we becoming by our actions, big and small, from reliance on the latest technological achievement, to how we relate to others, to our career choice from a vast array of options given to us courtesy of our liberal democracy?”

Before our world got super complex and wired, St. Augustine, the great 5th century Church Father, was already talking about the unbridgeable gap between the two cities: the city of God and the city of man.  The city of God stands for eternal and permanent truth that, when fully comprehended and embraced, results in “righteousness and peace and joy” (Rom. 14:17).

However, the city of man gives us different ideas, theories, and tools to respond to such questions. As Christians in the world, we listen to the answers given, sometimes unaware of their good/bad/neutral potential—power to corrupt our minds, strengthen our hearts for ethical action, or choke the life out of our loyalty to Christ through subtle, but deadly influences to commit to vice and viciousness. 

As we are at the cusp of finishing out the year 2022, my one advice to you as you encounter all the things the world has to offer you is this: do not forget your allegiance to the risen Lord, Jesus Christ. His story, His life, His teaching, His word, His person—here lays our foundation and encompassing narrative through which to understand and evaluate what the world has to offer us. We may be citizens of the city of man, but our ultimate and highest commitment is to Christ—the Ruler of the city of God. 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, in the new year, continue to remind me and encourage me and strengthen me to make Jesus Christ as my one and true Lord in my life, overcoming the fear of man. Amen.  

Bible Reading for Today: Titus 2-3

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