Straining Forward

“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. 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, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.

Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly bodies to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.” Philippians 3:12-21

I have to admit too many times I am stuck in the here and now. Not that we can ignore our lives. We are to live them giving glory to God in all things. But with much of the negative news of the day I forget many of these words of Paul.

Press on. Forget what is behind. Strain forward. Press on a second time. Hold true. Keep eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. Our citizenship is in heaven. We are awaiting a Savior. Our lowly bodies will be transformed to be like His glorious body. All things will be subject to Christ.

Again, as I mentioned, this is not a call to ignore today and long for tomorrow. This is a call to remember our future and to whom we belong today. When we do that, that helps us to walk according to godly examples instead of wallowing in discouragement.

Take heart you saints of God. God has redeemed you. He has called you to live differently from the world. Do not give in to sin. Instead, let us strive to live in such a way that others may see our good deeds and give praise to God. Let us not sit still. Let us strive to strain forward. Press on!

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