Summary: Paul uses the analogy of a runner to describe the Christians spiritual growth. No living-breathing believer has reached their goal of Christlikeness, but like the runner in a race, you must continue to pursue it. To pursue means to begin to dream, to p
Entering the Race Philippians 3: 12-14
Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Paul uses the analogy of a runner to describe the Christians spiritual growth. No living-breathing believer has reached their goal of Christlikeness, but like the runner in a race, you must continue to pursue it.
To pursue means to begin to dream, to pursue means to change your way of thinking and maybe your lifestyle, to pursue means to prioritize, to pursue means to prepare.
Say this, “Preparation is the key.” An admirer of a famous person said, “So how did you become so successful?” The famous person replied, “About 40 years of training and staying committed.” ( Faithfulness and fruitfulness are synonymous.)
Philippians 3:12a Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on...
The Greek word for ‘Press on’ was used of a sprinter, and refers to aggressive, energetic action. The runner pursued with all his might, straining every muscle to win the prize.
I entered several races in my twenties. Two that I have good memory of- first a Midnight Flight 10K Race. I prepared, stretched, ate good carbs, however, the humidity was 100% and halfway through the race the socks in my shoes were sloshing with water.
The second race was a 10K race, called the Hartwell Dam Race. Near the end of the race I was in second place for my age division. There was a boy about a hundred yards behind me, and I was about 500 yards to the finish line. Suddenly, this boys father begin to yell, “Run, push it, push it, run, run, run, run!” He did, and around 50 yards to the finish line he passed me.
1 Corinthians 9:24-26NKJ Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. 25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. 26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air.
Presently, everything you do spiritually is preparing for eternity. Wow, that’s heavy duty when you think about it.
Jesus Christ chose Paul for the ultimate purpose of conforming Paul into His very own image. Listen to Romans 8:29NLT For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.
Spiritually, what are you training for? Eternity? Sure, but how are you training?
1 Timothy 6:12NKJ Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
* Verse 12 say’s, Fight the good fight of faith, that means there is such a thing as fighting a bad fight of faith.
Not preparing. (Devotions, prayer, study of God’s word.)
No real purpose on this earth. (Something that outlives you.)
No dream. (No Spiritual ambition or motivation.)
Why do we need to fight the good fight of faith? Why not just be satisfied coming to church every week? Is that enough? What about future generations? What about,
“Where there is no vision my people perish”?
What’s going on out in your community?
Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among teenagers.
Homosexuality among teens is the newest shocker.
3. Drinking and drugs are the norm at parties.
Anger and rage is rampant, leading to violence and
Where can our children go; where do our teens turn to for a refuge? (Twenty somethings?)
Listen to Proverbs 29:15-18NKJ The rod and rebuke give wisdom, But a child left to himself brings shame to his mother. 16 When the wicked are multiplied, transgression increases; But the righteous will see their fall. 17 Correct your son, and he will give you rest; Yes, he will give delight to your soul. 18 Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; But happy is he who keeps the law.
Philippians 3:13b-14...forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Listen to the writer of Hebrews 12:1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,