Scripture: Philippians 3:12-16
Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained.
Insights: This week we have been looking at these verses and the analogy of the race it portrays. It is vital as we review this week; however, to remember the entire context for which we find these verses. Paul started verse one of this chapter with, “Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things again is no trouble to me, and it is a safeguard for you.” The theme of the book and the context for this week’s verses is joy. Paul knows that because of the persecution this church was facing from religiously lost Judaizers that some of those in the body might stop running the race and forsake their joy. It is for this reason that Paul told them all one really needed to retain his/her joy is Jesus. At the same time, however, Paul knew this one thing was not an easy thing to do. In fact, it was as difficult as an Olympic runner winning the prize. Only one of the competitors was going to receive the laurel crown. So, Paul knowing the difficulty these believers faced used this illustration to help them understand the need to press on in the face of opposition and difficulty. Beloved, we need to have that same kind of steadfast stick-to-itiveness. Whatever has happened in our past is irrelevant in comparison to what lies in front of us in Christ Jesus. As a result, we need cling to the joy we have in the Lord and look with grateful and anticipatory hope at His returning and taking His children home. What a day of rejoicing that will be! If we live life like that, we will experience great joy no matter what may come our way.
- Is your pursuit for knowing Christ Jesus fully so fixed that you intend on winning the race?
- Is such a pursuit resulting in the joy promised by Jesus?
Prayer: Lord, so often I stumble in this race for the prize. But, by Your grace and strength, I keep getting up and pressing on toward the prize. Lord, I pray as You look on me, my life pleases You. Be glorified O Lord in me. Amen.