People of the City of Detroit, people of God, as we approach the summer months here in the City of Detroit, we look around to see impressions. That which we look at, we focus upon. These images leave an indelible mark in our consciousness. On the newspaper stands we see the image of our ex-mayor in handcuffs. Day after day, we see it because those types of images are headlines, they sell papers. We see images of a young Gary Coleman on the cover of magazines with the tragic follow up story of how this young man suffered throughout his short life, then tragically died.
Deep inside we hear the voices which tend to express to us the uncertainty of it all. What are we here for? Why do we wake up day after day only to struggle in some cases? Why do we become successful in life only to suffer great and tragic loss? Here come the other daunting questions: Does God see me in my painful life struggles? Does God really care? Could I have done something differently to avoid this disastrous outcome?
Know and believe that our life steps and the associated family and friend relationships are divinely ordered by God.
Philippians 3:8-15 (King James Version)
8Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
9And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
10That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
11If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
12Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
13Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
15Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
One of the definitions of the term perfect is: exactly fitting the need in a certain situation or for a certain purpose.
The definition of a mark is: a visible impression or trace on something.
This “mark” was left by Jesus Christ through His life, death and resurrection as a visible impression left upon the world. The legacy or blueprint of faith was left in the world to be traced or “followed” by believers throughout the ages.
Furthermore, Paul called God’s designated purpose for each of us a prize. He also described the calling or purpose of God for us “the high calling” meaning the purpose for each of us is from God.
Paul spoke of a mark, which is an example of a certain person, place or thing to be remembered as leaving an impression. When he spoke of Jesus Christ, the Apostle immediately spoke of “the mark” which can be referred to as “the blueprint to be traced or followed” or “the faith.”
That which is to be remembered is how Jesus Christ left His “mark” in the world. Through the “faith” we can see the greatness of Jesus Christ, His legacy of faith which is left in the world for believers to “see,” for such to be “revealed” to us through faith in Him.
We, as Christians of the City of Detroit, press to leave our “mark” of faith in the world for others to see and glorify our God.
This becomes difficult as Paul attests. Therefore, we press. But to actually “see” Jesus Christ and to know Him, to actually know what He did for us, is excellent.
Paul spoke of willingly suffering the loss of all things (whether it be governmental positions, or a certain level of status achieved in the teachings of the local and affiliate Jewish synagogues) for the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ, the Power of His life, His purpose, His will, His legacy, His death and His resurrection.
This legacy of faith was delivered to the church so that men like Paul may attain the same by following the impression left in the world by The Savior of the world.
What The Great Apostle Paul is telling us is that God has need of His children to leave His mark in the earth, glorifying the Heavenly Father in the process. God has the desire to be KNOWN! He loves glory, honor and praises. God wants us to KNOW HIM together, as a family, in power, in faith, in Spirit and in truth. He desires us to bear His image and His likeness as in the beginning of the world.
We are not made perfect UNTIL we have been found of our heavenly purpose, which is of God’s righteousness, of God’s HIGH calling. Perfection is being found doing what God made us to do.
Let us be the right tool for the right situation.
More than ever men, women, boys and girls of the City of Detroit need to “see” the glorious hope in Christ Jesus, that they may follow or trace the blueprint left by faith in our Lord, to the betterment of the people of the city of Detroit, the United States and the world.