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Journey to Jerusalem Day 38, Philippians 3:12-16

Friday, April 12

 

Philippians 3:12-16

12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. 16 Only let us hold true to what we have attained.

Forward, Always forward, Everywhere forward. Does that sound familiar? This statement is at the bottom of many of Bishop Clark’s letters. I don’t know for sure, but the above scripture could have been his inspiration for his quote.  When we first believed, and Jesus made us one of his own, we begin as babes in Christ, not perfect in any way. Babies grow and move forward striving to improve.  We won’t be perfect until the return of Christ, but that shouldn’t stop us from wanting to become more and more like Christ.

Marathoners, cyclists, players of any sport are constantly working to get better on their times, scores, etc.  We need to be doing the same thing in our spiritual life.  The attitude is for the long haul, it is a life-long process, not quick fixes or easy answers.  The Greek word translated as “to think” or “be minded” (3:15 “have this attitude”) is used 10 times in Philippians out of 26 New Testament passages. One would gather from the repeated use of this word that this concept of being mindful of what we have in Christ, thinking upon our calling, and having right attitudes is very important in our spiritual walk.

We need to ask ourselves: Do I devote myself to knowing Christ and being like Him in the same way an athlete devotes himself to winning his event? Is knowing Christ and growing in Him the most important thing, or do I just do it when it’s convenient? If you want to grow, you’ve got to do things that promote growth such as prayer, reading the Bible, fellowship with other believers, worship with others.

So, pressing on and growing every day is what life is about. The follower of The Way will press on knowing that the ultimate prize of eternal life in the presence of God awaits. A football player who stops training will lose strength, a runner who looks back at where he has gone can stumble. So, it is with you.  Hold true, stay on course, set your mind on heavenly things and move forward. 

Heavenly Father, Thank you for our new life in you.  Give us the strength, the attitude and the desire to strain forward and press on knowing what is to come.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.