Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Let's Win the Race for the Royal Prize

Scripture: Philippians 3:14
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

InsightsThe word press found here in today’s verse is taken from a Greek picture of a hunter pursuing his prey.  The hunter is unrelenting in his pursuit of his quarry and will track the beast until it breaths its last breathe at his hands.  Paul was telling us this attitude is the attitude in which he ran this spiritual race.  It did not matter what obstacles confronted him, he was going to go over it, around, under it or even through it if he had to.  Nothing, absolutely nothing, was going to prevent Paul from finishing this race well and receiving the prize.  I often wonder what the church would look like if those attending lived their lives in the fashion Paul described in this one word, press.  Let’s turn our attention to the second part of this verse, the goal for the prize.  This prize Paul was writing about is not to be confused with salvation.  If it were salvation Paul was describing, then it would be a works based salvation and we know that salvation is a free gift from God.  Salvation cannot be earned or deserved.  But this prize is something we can press on towards.  This prize takes us back to 1 Corinthians 3:10-15.  This passage is the picture of the Bema seat judgment of Christians.  If we are truly born again and have been redeemed by God’s grace because we have received Christ Jesus’ work of salvation by faith, then we are going to spend eternity with Him.  Because we have been saved, we face the Bema seat judgment instead of the Great White Throne judgment reserved for those who have not received the gift of Jesus, otherwise known as the lost.  If our running of the race is full of dead works (Hebrews 4), then it is wood, hay and straw and it will be burned up in the fire of judgment at the Bema seat.  This truth is what Paul was talking about in verse fifteen of first Corinthians three.  If, however, our running of the race is full of works of faith, then we will receive the prize.  This truth is what Paul was talking about in verse fourteen of first Corinthians three.  Beloved, I do not know what that reward or prize is, but what I do know is it was a major motivator of the first century Apostles.  Beloved, run for the prize and bring honor, glory and praise to the Lord.
  1. Does your eternal reward help motivate you to run a better race?
  2. Are you unrelenting, like a hunter pursuing his prey, in your obedience to the Lord?
Prayer: Father, I hear Your upward call in Your Son Jesus.  I pray for strength as I run this race.  Empower me to finish well and to bring You honor, glory and praise.  Amen. 

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