Summary: To "reach forth" is a progressive action, one which continues even as we gain rewards because the ultimate is not yet in our grasp!
Text: Phil. 3:13.
To "reach forth" is a progressive action, one which continues even as we gain rewards because the ultimate is not yet in our grasp!
This kind of "reaching" keeps us going even when we stumble or slip. Remember....Keep Reaching!
Solomon said, The end of a thing is better than its beginning (Eccl. 7:8).
Is that the way we feel about life itself?
If so, in what sense do we believe the end of our lives is to be better than the beginning?
Much of the quality of life is determined by the metaphors we choose to represent life’s experiences to ourselves.
As a basic metaphor for life, many people choose between the following:
Life is a problem: it is a burden to be laid down.
Do we look at life as a burden, an unpleasant business that has to be gotten through?
Do we anticipate the end of life as merely the end of the struggle, the time when finally we will be finished with the difficulty of life in this world?
Life is an opportunity: it is a growth process leading to a goal.
Do we think in terms of a growing season during which we work toward a harvest?
Do we think of life as a good thing that moves us ever closer to something even better?
Which of these two perspectives we choose has a big impact on the quality of our lives.
The Bible speaks about the importance of our attitude toward the end of life.
One especially important passage is Phil. 3:13,14.
This passage teaches several things.
I. FOR THE CHRISTIAN, LIFE IS MOVING TOWARD SOMETHING WELL WORTH REACHING FOR
Several New Testament passages use the word telos = goal, end, outcome, culmination, the purpose toward which something moves.
"But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life" (Rom. 6:22).
"But Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end" (Hb. 3:6).
"For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end" (Hb. 3:14).
"Receiving the end of your faith -- the salvation of your souls" (1 Pt. 1:9).
"But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers" (1 Pt. 4:7).
"And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations" (Rev. 2:26).
"I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last" (Rev. 22:13). Cf. Col. 1:16,17; Hb. 2:10.
By nature, we strive to grow, to make progress, to work toward goals.
We need to have significant goals in the daily living of life as Christians.
At times our goals are inadequate.
Often our goals are not big enough -- we underestimate what is possible and have too little vision.
At other times our goals are too general and vague -- we do not break down our goals into specific, doable actions.
Most often perhaps, we are merely dreamers who do not keep commitments to ourselves in regard to our goals.
We have no discipline, no integrity.
We do not work to reach our goals.
Time spent improving the quality of our goals is time well spent.
It is very important that we grow in our understanding of the glory of our ultimate goal as God’s people.
Heaven is our most important goal, and it is very real: "the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 3:14).
Nothing else matters if we lose heaven - Mt. 16:26.
We have no adequate idea how wonderful are the glories God has for us - 1 Cor. 2:9; 1 Jn. 3:2.
A major part of Christian growth is growth in comprehending our goal - Eph. 1:18.
The goal of heaven -- eternal life with God -- needs to be real to us.
We need to "reach forward to those things which are ahead" (Phil. 3:13) -- because they really are ahead!
II. IT IS POSSIBLE FOR US TO DIRECT OUR FOCUS RESOURCEFULLY TOWARD THE GOAL OF LIFE
Paul speaks of "forgetting" certain things and "reaching forward" to others.
This means it is possible for us to choose our focus.
We can forget those things which are behind.
Bad things. Cf. 1 Cor. 15:9,10.
Even good things. Gal. 6:9.
Life requires a certain amount of mental self-discipline to keep our focus from hindering us.
It is easy to get "bogged down" in life.
There is an "inertia" that must be overcome.
It can be done.
The imperishable crown is won only by the properly disciplined - 1 Cor. 9:24-27.