Focal Passages: Philippians 3:17-21; 2 Peter 2:10b-19
At my new teaching job, when time for the Pledge of
Allegiance to the flag arrived, I was shocked that only two of my 27 students
joined me in reciting the pledge.
I questioned aloud whether any other country would allow
them such freedom; and if so, would they choose to emigrate there?
A student explained, “The pledge is optional here.”
According to Peter, focusing on personal rights can become
freedom to do whatever one wants to do, yet self indulgence did not begin with
Centuries earlier, Moses warned the Israelites, “You are not
to do as we are doing here today; everyone (is doing) whatever seems right in
his own eyes” (Deut. 12:8).
His words were echoed recently by a T-shirt I saw in the
mall that read, “You’re right; it is all about me.”
Peter warned that self-indulgence, when left unchecked, can
become enslavement to sin.
He defined his generation as “those who follow the polluting
desires of the flesh and despise authority” (2 Pet. 2:10b).
Joni Eareckson Tada has observed, “We live today in a world
in which the thing that was once unthinkable becomes tolerable. And then
acceptable. And then legal.
“And then applaudable.”
Every generation must guard against the power of Satan.
Jesus beseeched God, “I am not praying that You take them
out of the world, but that You protect them from the evil one” (John 17:15).
James urged, “Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you.
“Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you” (Jam.
The work Christ left on His workbench for today’s Christians
to accomplish is daunting but within our reach.
He challenged all who would follow Him to “Go and make
disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the
Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have
commanded you” (Matt. 28:19-20a).
Accomplishing this, we will grow spiritually, strengthened
by Paul’s challenge:
“Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the
renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and
perfect will of God” (Rom. 12:2).
To fulfill this command, let us all pledge allegiance.