Our theme for this month: “Change is good for you”
Our Bible verse for today: “They are focused on earthly things, but our citizenship is in heaven, and we eagerly wait for a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.” Philippians 3:19-20 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Keep your priorities straight”
I’ve learned an important lesson as a result of this COVID 19 pandemic. It’s something I was already aware of and which I had been attempting to practice more and more in my life anyway, but this crisis in our nation has really brought home to me the importance of this particular mindset.
Our nation today is in crisis, and not just from the pandemic and the associated economic meltdown. We are a nation divided in so many ways. There is so much anger and partisanship; so much social dysfunction and even class warfare. We’re a society that is angry, bitter, and divided, and in some respects, we’re finding it increasingly difficult to function at all. The issues associated with the pandemic have only served to amplify all of that.
As Christians this situation creates a dilemma for us. On the one hand, we are supposed to be active and engaged in the society in which we live. Therefore, we should be part of the political, social, and economic discussions, and we should attempt to influence those issues in good ways. But on the other hand, we have to be careful we don’t become so deeply involved in the debates that we lose sight of our higher calling. We’re citizens of heaven first, citizens of a country second. We’re to be on-mission with Jesus in this world first, and proponents of a particular political, social, or economic agenda second.
Unfortunately, as I listen to and observe all that’s going on in our society today, it often seems as if many Christians are more focused on advancing a political, social, or economic point of view than they are about advancing God’s kingdom on earth. They think about, talk about, and engage in the issues of the world much more than they do the issues of God. And please don’t misunderstand me, the political, social, and economic issues are important; they’re just not the most important. We need to keep our priorities straight.
Personally, I’m more grateful than ever for my calling as a pastor. It helps to keep me focused on what matters most. My job first and foremost (and therefore my primary focus) is to preach the Gospel, teach Biblical principles, care for God’s people, and look for opportunities to bless others by meeting their needs in the name of Jesus. And that needs to be true regardless of whatever else is going on in the world at this time. I am aware of, concerned about, and engaged in the political, social, and economic issues of the day. But all of that is, and must remain, of secondary importance. Kingdom issues must come first.
What’s true for me as a pastor is also true for all of us as Christians. We’re citizens of heaven first, citizens of a country second. The issues of the world do matter, but they don’t matter as much as our Father’s business does. We should be engaged in the current issues of importance in our society, but we should be about our Father’s business first. The current issues of the day can be used to advance our Father’s business of course, there is a connection, and we can be a positive force for good as we deal with those political, social, and economic issues, but we do need to be careful to keep our priorities straight. We have a higher calling.