Tag: pressing on

Declaring the Word!

Scripture reading for May 31st:  2nd Chronicles 16-19, Acts 20

Key Scriptures: Acts 20:24-27  “But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.  And now, behold, I know that none of you among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom will see my face again.  Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.” 

Paul was giving his farewell to the Ephesian elders.  He told them of his mission to declare the gospel of God’s grace in Jesus.  He had not held anything back and now was pressing on to complete the task given him by Jesus.

2nd Chronicles 19:4  “Jehoshaphat lived at Jerusalem.  And he went out again among the people, from Beersheba to the hill country of Ephraim, and bought them back to the Lord, the God of their fathers.” 

Prayer:  Father God, thank You for Your calling on my life.  May I press on to complete the task you have given me of fully preaching Your Word.  Amen.

Tags : , , , ,

Laying hold of the prize!

Scripture reading for October 2nd: Philippians 3:4-21

Paul liked to use the analogy of a runner in a race.  Runners had to keep focused on the  finish line.  They couldn’t be looking back but needed to be moving forward, even straining to win the prize.  Good runners run to win!  The Christian race is similar to a race and the prize is eternal life in Christ Jesus!

Paul used to boast about all of his credentials and accomplishments in an effort to become a good Jew.  He was a Hebrew of Hebrews, a Pharisee from the tribe of Benjamin.  He was taught in the law and was so zealous for his religion that he persecuted the church of Jesus Christ.  But Paul considered all his accomplishments as rubbish for the wonderful privilege of knowing Jesus Christ.  (Philippians 3:7-8)  He entered the race to know Christ on the Damascus Road and once his eyes were opened, he never looked back!

“That I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ–the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.  I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His suffering, becoming like Him in His death, and, so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.” (Philippians 3:8b-11)   Paul learned that all his works could not earn righteousness.  It was a gift of God’s grace that came by faith in Christ.  Paul got to see Christ, but he wanted to know Him in a more intimate way.  He knew that the message of Christ’s suffering, death, and resurrection had the power to reveal Christ in him and others.

“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. . . .But this 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.” (Philippians 3:12-14)  Paul is near the end of his life and his attitude is one of focused faith on receiving the prize of eternal life with Christ.  He is not looking back, but straining forward!  May we be so focused!

Tags : , , , , ,

Laying hold of the prize!

Scripture reading for October 2nd: Philippians 3:4-21

Paul liked to use the analogy of a runner in a race.  Runners had to keep focused on the  finish line.  They couldn’t be looking back but needed to be moving forward, even straining to win the prize.  Good runners run to win!  The Christian race is similar to a race and the prize is eternal life in Christ Jesus!

Paul used to boast about all of his credentials and accomplishments in an effort to become a good Jew.  He was a Hebrew of Hebrews, a Pharisee from the tribe of Benjamin.  He was taught in the law and was so zealous for his religion that he persecuted the church of Jesus Christ.  But Paul considered all his accomplishments as rubbish for the wonderful privilege of knowing Jesus Christ.  (Philippians 3:7-8)  He entered the race to know Christ on the Damascus Road and once his eyes were opened, he never looked back!

“That I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ–the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.  I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His suffering, becoming like Him in His death, and, so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.” (Philippians 3:8b-11)   Paul learned that all his works could not earn righteousness.  It was a gift of God’s grace that came by faith in Christ.  Paul got to see Christ, but he wanted to know Him in a more intimate way.  He knew that the message of Christ’s suffering, death, and resurrection had the power to reveal Christ in him and others.

“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. . . .But this 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.” (Philippians 3:12-14)  Paul is near the end of his life and his attitude is one of focused faith on receiving the prize of eternal life with Christ.  He is not looking back, but straining forward!  May we be so focused!

Tags : , , ,

Heavenly Citizenship

Scripture reading for December 3rd: Philippians 1-4

Paul is in prison for preaching the Gospel.  He writes to the church in Philippi, thanking God for them and encouraging them!  Paul is confident that the God who began a good work in them will see it through to the day of Christ’s return.  (Philippians 1:6)  Paul prayed for these believers to grow in love for God as they grew in personal knowledge and insight of what was pleasing to God.  Paul prayed that they would be found blameless and pure when Christ appeared. (Philippians 1:9-11)

Paul’s view of life was different after his conversion experience.  He counted all of his old life as rubbish for the sake of Christ.  (Philippians 3:7-14)  Paul’s sole desire was to be found in Christ and be clothed with Christ’s righteousness which came by faith, not by keeping the law.  He wanted to attain to the resurrection of the dead and pressed on to take hold of eternal life by obeying Christ.  He focused on what was ahead, making it his goal to win the prize.  He knew that he was not there yet, but must keep on moving toward Christ.

Paul explained this in yet another way.  “But our citizenship is in heaven.   And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body.” (Philippians 3:20-21)  Although Paul had appealed to Rome because of Roman citizenship, he viewed heaven as his true home now.    Citizens have rights and privileges, as well as responsibilities.  A responsibility of a citizen of Heaven is to be watching for his heavenly King to come!   When He comes, there will be an instant transformation of our lowly bodies!  We will put off this earthly body and receive a glorious body, like our Savior’s !  We will also receive rewards for living a life of faith.

Christ had the power to lay His life down and the power to take it back up again.  He rose again, defeating death!  In His victory, we are promised victory!  He has given us His promise and power in the person of the Holy Spirit living in us.  He enables us to focus on the goal and prize–eternity in Christ’s heavenly presence!   Lift up your head, Redemption is drawing near!

Tags : , , , , ,