Philippians 3:13-14 - Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
In this text, Paul is an old man nearing the end of his life. His concern is not where he has been or what he has accomplished, but on where he is going for he said "there is a prize to be won".
Paul metaphorically describes the christian life as one of a runner who not only prepares, but runs a race.
In this text Paul says there are 2 things that must be accomplished in order finish this christian race. (1) There must be a forgetting that takes places. Forget all those past hurt and painful circumstances, forget all those past failures. Paul even said he was forgetting all those past accomplishments because they were considered as "dung" in comparison to his relationship with Christ. (2) There must also be a reaching towards the prize that is at the end of this reaching.
Once we have learned to let go of the past, we must keep moving. Keep reaching forth towards the mark for the prize.
This forgetting and reaching is an attitude of the mind that Paul calls us to on today. Our mind, view and attitude towards where we were and where we are going must be changed.
We must keep Christ, who is the finisher and author of our faith, in view as we continue our press forward in this christian race.
Paul's goal was Christ. He knew that everything he had experienced and every accomplishment was nothing in comparison to the mission he was given on the road to Damascus by Christ and the relationship with Christ that he had gained since that experience with Christ.
In vs#12 of this text Paul declares these words: 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.
In other words, Paul was saying that he had not yet fully matured. He acknowledge that he had matured thus far on his christian journey, but that there was a need for continual spiritual growth.
As Christians, we must never think that we have "arrived". We must always pursue spiritual growth to a higher level. Our goal is Christ! No, we could never be Christ, but our goal is to press our way in living the life that He has called us to live in "following' Him. This requires pressing and not looking back!
Driven and committed to be like Christ should be our goal. Of course, this goal can not be accomplished without daily pressing forward in our minds and our actions.
The world offer their athletes all kinds of temporary gifts. I will name a few: trophies, ribbons, metals, fame, cash, status, cars, homes, prestige and on and on.
God's eternal, everlasting promises to the believers is too numerous, therefore, I will name a few. John 10:28 says, "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand."
Galatians 3:29-And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Ephesians 3:6- That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel.
John 6:37 - All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
Indeed it is in the pressing is where the opportunity for an eternal crown of life is won.
If you have been looking back instead of forward in life, I urge you on today to look back no more, but press forward. There is a crown of eternal life that awaits you there in the pressing.
Looking back? No, keep pressing forward.
God bless and I love you all.
See you in Church on Sunday!