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. [philippians 3:18-19]
there are those in this world who walk as enemies of the cross.
in one sense, everyone who is not a blood-bought Christ follower is an enemy of the cross. they may not know it or think it but the word tells us all who walk only in the old nature, the flesh, are actually hostile toward God and his ways.
for the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. [rom 8:7]
but this passage is talking about those who knowingly oppose God, his ways, and his people. look at the words from paul …
their end is destruction, – their goal is to destroy the works of the cross.
their god is their belly, – they worship their fleshly desires above all things.
and they glory in their shame, – they exalt and are exalted, they are known for their evil.
with minds set on earthly things. – every thought is on the temporary, no view of the eternal.
but what i believe God wants us to pray into this morning is the first words of this passage –
for many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, …
paul had a few people in mind that he knew.
he knew them well.
he had walked with them, worshiped with them, and had helped them walk toward the Lord.
an enemy of the cross.
someone in your recent past is this person. what’s their name? what’s their story?
today, may you and i be moved to tears over those who have walk away from the faith to be an enemy of the cross.
first, may we plead to the Lord that he would help us: drop the anger, the feeling of betrayal, the hurt of a lost friend. may he help us forgive and truly ask for his peace in our heart over what happened.
second, may we pray for believers who are caught in the wake of their evil. may we pray for those being deceived or hurt around them.
third, may we pray God rescues their soul.
o, Lord – hear our prayers …
~ john ryan