Prayer: Help us, Heavenly Father, to put you first. Amen.
Reading: Philippians 3:4-14 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: I could probably write a book about a friend of mine and his changing his ways a number of years ago to a more Christ-filled life. I’ve seen him go from someone who was focused entirely on himself to a person today is focused on God and how God directs his life. It’s been quite a change to watch happen over these many years.
I thought of him when I read this passage. He truly looks to God and gives Christ the glory for all that happens in his life. Some days, I wish I could be more like that. Yes, I have faith. Yes, I trust in God. But there are times when it is an afterthought for me to pray about an important situation and seek God’s guidance. Sometimes I forget to live in the goodness of what Christ has done for me.
As I read this passage from St. Paul and think about pressing onward toward the ultimate goal of a “heavenly call,” it is a good reminder to get my priorities straight. God should be first, not an afterthought. So, as I continue my journey on earth, I’m going to try to make God more of a first thought than an afterthought. Will you join me? --Chad Hershberger
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