“But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.”
- Wow – first go back and read these two verses one more time. Did you notice these things?
- You (insert your name) are a citizen of heaven. (if you are a follower of Christ that is)
- Christ is going to return – until then – we wait eagerly.
- Our human bodies are weak. (praying for my uncle who had surgery today to have several cancerous tumors removed – I despise cancer)
- God will transform these weak bodies into glorious bodies like his own. (praise Him)
- He uses the same power to change our bodies that He uses to bring everything under His control.
- Okay let’s break it down a little. “The ‘our’ is emphatic and stresses the distinction between true believers, whose essential relationships belong to the heavenly sphere, and the sensualists just discussed (yesterday’s devo), who are exclusively concerned with earthly things.” (Expositors Bible Commentary)
- “The Philippians would find this a most apt metaphor, for in a political sense they knew what it was to be citizens of a a far-off city.” Rome was far away and a city most inhabitants of Philippi never would have even visited. They were Roman citizens even though they had never been to Rome. God knows are tendency to get caught up in the here and now and forget about our heavenly home. Peter gave a similar warning in 1 Peter 2:11, “Dear friends, I warn you as ‘temporary residents and foreigners’ to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls.”
- Then Paul ends this chapter talking about Christ’s return when He will transform (metaschematisei) our mortal bodies. This word literally means “change the outward form of.” Our bodies are truly weak. We are susceptible to persecution, disease, sinful appetites, and death. We also struggle relation-ally, emotionally and mentally as well as physically. No one has to convince us that life is hard. We get it. We live it every day.
- So God reminds us that when life is hard – we should remember that we weren’t made for this world. I took great comfort in a book I read several years back that said we were like fish designed for the sea, but this life on earth is like being a fish out of water. We are flopping around on the shore in this world. As we struggle, it makes us long for the day when Christ will return to transform us and experience life as He intended – close to Him. I long for that day – how about you?
Application questions –
- Do your present weaknesses in your body cause you to look forward to the day when God will transform you?
- What temporal, material things of this world most often take your focus off heaven? Ask God to help you remember your true citizenship today.
- Spend a few minutes just thinking about heaven – transformed body, the very presence of Jesus uninhibited by your sinful nature….. ummmm… can’t wait.
Adoration: Praise God that He transforms our weak bodies and with this same power brings everything under His control.
Confession: Repent before your God of the sin that easily entangles you – (materialism, envy, worry, attachment to stuff)
Thanksgiving: Thank God for the privilege of heavenly citizenship.
Supplication: Ask God to help you fix your eyes on heaven today.