“Their end is destruction; their god is the belly; and their glory is in their shame; their minds are set on earthly things.” –Philippians 3:19
Years ago when Carol and I were living in Boise, we made connections through the local Habitat for Humanity affiliate with a recently established Shia Muslim congregation. We received frequent invites to join them at their services, especially if some big event was taking place. The food was always amazing! One time we were invited to join the congregation in welcoming a visiting Imam from Texas, and I was given a place of honor next to him during the celebratory meal. As we were talking about our respective Abrahamic faiths, I remember turning to the Imam and saying, “You know, both Islam and Christianity share a similar threat: materialism.” He quietly nodded in agreement. Like Paul’s exhortation to the Philippians, the Imam’s message to his congregation was also to stand firm in the Lord and to not set their minds on earthly things.
Lord, my god is too often the belly, but with your help, I will never live as an enemy of the cross. I do believe my citizenship is in heaven, and that I will ultimately be conformed to the body of your glory. Amen.