Summary: EOLS: The Christ-life is a continuing journey toward the goal; we must pursue with a plan and purpose.
I Press On!
(7) But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.
(8) Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ
(9) and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith--
(10) that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,
(11) that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
(12) Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.
(13) Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,
(14) I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
(15) Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.
(16) Only let us hold true to what we have attained.
(17) Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us.
(18) For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ.
(19) Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.
(20) But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,
(21) who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.
EOLS: The Christ-life is a continuing journey toward the goal; we must pursue with a plan and purpose.
Several years ago I met a fellow who was a rather successful employment recruiter. He was telling me the inside track of his work as I considered the possibility of joining his business. His specialty was the recruitment and placement of engineers in industry.
As he talked about his work, he described how success would tend to come in bursts. One thing that he said has stayed with me to this day: The busiest day of the year, the day he would plan for all year long, the one day when he would have potential to make more money than he would normally make in a month- was the second day of January. A lot of people make the declaration that at the dawn of the New Year, things are going to change!
There’s something about those markers in life. Most of us tend to live our lives by the seasons. We’ll persevere through a situation that we would like to change, knowing that as of some target date we will take action. How many times have I said “right after Christmas I will…” How many times have we all said “on January 1, things are going to change.” I tend to set goals with a future start date, often based on the calendar and what’s going on around me and in my family.
Well, this Sunday we’re on the other side of the Holidays. We’re back to work, school, and the routine of daily life. I’m already thinking ahead to what things should be like at the end of 2011. Will I see the change that God has shown me that I need to happen in my life? A year can make quite a difference.
Last night, Angie and I stood beside the casket of a forty-five year old man, a fellow pastor and minister and we talked with his wife and daughters. Here in our church, we’ve prayed for this man and his family for months. Not long ago, Rick C. was healthy and whole, a guy who seized every moment and embraced life to the fullest. In March of last year Rick’s onset of severe back pain was diagnosed as multiple myeloma, a terminal cancer.
As we talked with his wife, I noticed an open Bible in his casket. I leaned forward and commented that I would like to see Rick’s favorite scripture.
D. explained that the Lord had given her the book of Philippians as place in the Word for her family to go and dwell for a time. Rick and their girls had taken the challenge and Philippians remains a sort of home-base in the Scriptures for them for the next year. The Bible was turned to Philippians Chapter 3, and through her tears, D.C told us how this particular passage had brought such comfort and healing during the darkest hours of the night.