Saturday, March 31, 2018

Pressing On

Today's Reading:
2 Chronicles 8:11-10:19
Philippians 3:4-21
Psalm 114:1-8
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Focus Verses: Philippians 3:12b-14
12b I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But    one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

For the Christian who is growing and maturing, nothing comes before Christ. The center and priority of life is to know him and all he has for us--experiencing the transformation and purpose he brings. This requires  effort.

Paul says he "presses on" and "strains toward what is ahead." Implicit in these words is the idea that Christians face pressures and resistance as they endeavor to move ahead in their pursuit of Christ. Paul also says that in order to move forward he "forgets what is behind." The habits and burdens from  the past can also drag Christians down and hold them back.

Response and Action:
If knowing Christ and taking hold of his plan for me is my greatest desire and priority, I must fix my eyes on Jesus and direct my energies toward him and the purposes he has for me. I must let go of the past and be prepared to face challenges in the future. I do this in the confidence that his grace and power will sustain me.

Dear Lord, help me to keep my eyes on you and to desire you more than anything else in life. You are my life. I want to know you and the power of your resurrection. Lead, teach, transform, shape, and strengthen me. Help me to let go of the past, to break free from old patterns and habits, and to shake off the sin that so easily entangles. Help me to press forward through the challenges and pressures that would hinder me from knowing and serving you. Help me to mature in Christ and give me confidence in your grace and power to help me win the prize of my upward calling. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses: Hebrews 12:2-3
2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

The Life You've Always Wanted
by John Ortberg

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