“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14
For many years I set a goal to run at least 1,000 miles each year. At about 4 miles per run that meant I needed to run at least 250 times, so I had to run regularly, almost as a habit. The first year I set my 1,000-mile goal I failed to achieve it because I let too many days go by without running. Then I started keeping a log to chart my progress. By paying attention to my progress, I achieved my goal for more than 10 years in a row. Setting a goal and monitoring my progress helped me to become a consistent and committed runner.
The same is true for spiritual goals. We need to be consistent and committed to grow spiritually. The apostle Paul expresses this commitment in today’s focal verse. He had a strong spiritual heritage as a Jewish religious leader but after he placed his faith in Jesus Christ, he said everything else paled in comparison. “I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord…” (Philippians 3:8)
In verses 10-11 he states his spiritual goal: “I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.”
Then he notes his progress and commitment in verses 12-14: “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me… 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, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” May we do the same.
Do you share Paul’s goal to know Christ and the power of His resurrection?
Having begun as a guest speaker in 2005, Dan was appointed Interim Pastor in 2008 and has been serving Maple Root Baptist ever since. As a small group leader and Chaplin for the Connecticut Tigers, Dan has a heart for the lost and the God that saves them.