Prepare to listen. Remember today: The LORD has done great things for us, and we rejoiced. (Psalm 126:3)
Read Philippians 3:12-16
12Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14I press on towards the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus. 15Let those of us then who are mature be of the same mind; and if you think differently about anything, this too God will reveal to you. 16Only let us hold fast to what we have attained.
Salvation isn’t a matter of saying a ‘sinner’s prayer’ and no more. After you believe is even more crucial than the moment you consciously believe and confess Jesus as Lord. Paul understood he hadn’t achieved perfection (attained the resurrection of the dead). There was a life in Christ to be lived, a life to be looked forward to, a goal to strive towards—‘the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.’ Paul isn’t advocating a ‘this world is not my home, I’m just a passing through’ mentality, where life now doesn’t matter much. No, we live now pressing on, that is, working, for a greater prize, becoming whole and holy, bit by bit. The past is behind us, we can’t change it, we can only receive healing for its pains and hurts and mistakes and then keep ‘straining forward to what lies ahead,’ pressing on in trust and hope, one step at a time.
What habits are you now developing to ensure that you keep pressing on to what lies ahead; to becoming whole and holy?
Respond to Jesus in prayer
Lord Jesus, help me follow Paul’s example of holding fast to what I have attained in you and pressing on towards the perfection that awaits me with all your people. Amen.
Go and live obediently in the world, pressing forward not backward.
Reading the Bible has always been essential to followers of Jesus. I've been reading, studying, teaching and writing reflections on biblical texts for as long as I can remember. I invite you to read the Bible with me during the Lent and into Easter Sunday.