Philippians 3:13-14, Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
With God’s help and support from other Christians, we experience joy by remembering our past blessings, looking forward to the new opportunities in the present, and the blessed hope of our glorious transformation.
Long ago, at one of our well-known seminaries, an elderly theologian was asked to recite or give his thought on the meaning of Life. With eager anticipation, the students watched and waited as he made his way to the podium. When he got to the podium to speak, he simply said, “We are born, we live, and then we die.” After saying those words, he sat down. One can only imagine the disappointment the audience felt with such a short summation.
If we think about it, we Christians often like to think of our history in terms of our born again date. We tend to explain away our life before Christ and do not think of how there were many times in our past life that He carried us through. We certainly do not like talking about death as an experience of transition from the “here and now” to the “hereafter.”
In the scripture passage above, Paul is telling us we need to focus on the joy Christ brings to our lives. We have joy in our hearts and a peace that surpasses understanding. Living in the joy of knowing Christ is what the Christian Life is all about! We are to live like we have something to live for in life! Because we do. His Name is Jesus! In our hearts, it should read: “He or She lived in the joy of knowing Christ! Would it be accurate to say that about you today? Wouldn’t you like that to be said of you? Between your “new birth” or “born again” date and today, it should be that you are spending your life living in the joy of knowing Christ!
In scripture, Paul often spoke of living in joy. In doing so, we should forget our past (those things behind us) and look forward to our glorious future. We should:
Live in thankfulness of your God-given ability to forget certain aspects of your past.
Live in the reality of your God-given opportunities to grow and develop spiritually in the present.
Live expecting that glorious change He’s promised us in the future.
First, live in appreciation of your God-given ability to forget certain aspects of your past – Phil. 3:12-14 . . .
Aside from diseases that can come with old age, research shows that to forget the bad stuff in our past promotes better health. But what about our – awards, trophies, credits – things we treasure and share with friends? Isn’t there the temptation to look upon what we have done and think that is enough?
Paul is quick to warn us about the idea of “thinking what we’ve done is enough.” Paul had accomplished a lot in his life before Christ changed his outlook, thinking, and doing. Once saved, Paul realized that all those things were garbage compared to all that Christ had done for him, in him, and through him.
Paul’s goal was to press on toward being like Christ while continuing to trust God with his future. Just as an athlete disciplines himself to reach a goal, we must also let go of any “hang-ups” that might slow down or stop our progress. We should put forth our very best effort to finish the race, the result of which is the prize of a promised place prepared for us by Jesus. Jesus wants us to be His disciples, “to enroll in His school,”; and you have when you decided to follow Him for the most part. Now we must try to get the same way of thinking that Christ had.
You are not a full-grown Christian yet. You have your whole life to grow more like Christ. You must want what is best for yourself too! We all must be careful because we know that the world today is full of people who do not try to live like a Christian or follow the Bible. We Christians should live out what we have learned in the school of Jesus Christ. We are to try our hardest to be Godly and do things His way so that others might see Christ in us and desire to be like us!
Are you living in the past, or are you putting the past to good use?
Go to Romans Road to Salvation and/or Prayer of Rededication