The Daily Fountain Daily Devotional of the Church Of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) 18 September 2019 – Pressing Towards The Mark
TOPIC: Pressing Towards The Mark
READ: Philippians 3:10-21 King James Version (KJV)
10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,
11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.
13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,
14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
15 Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you.
16 Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.
17 Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern.
18 For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction,
19 whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame— who set their mind on earthly things.
20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,
21 who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.
In this text, Paul’s earnestness of soul was not projected as if he had gained the prize, or was already made perfect in the Saviour’s likeness. He forgot the things which were behind: he was not content with past labours or present measures of grace. He reached forth (that is, stretched himself forward towards the goal which is eternity with Christ) and showed great concern to become more and more like unto Christ. He who runs a race, must never stop short of the end, but press forward as fast as he can. So, those who have heaven in their view, must still press forward to it, in holy desires and hopes, and constant endeavours. Eternal life is the gift of God and must come to us through Christ Jesus. There is no getting to heaven as our home, but by Christ as our Way.
Paul urges the Philippians to follow his example and live according to the Biblical pattern he gave them. Can we like Paul tell our spiritual children to follow us? The way of the enemies of the Cross of Christ who mind nothing but their sensual appetites may seem pleasant, but death and hell are at the end of it. If we choose their way, we shall share their end. Let us as Christians set our affections upon things above, heaven; where our head, home and hearts are and where we hope to be shortly.
Prayer: Father, kindly keep us focused as we press towards the mark.