Wednesday 11 August 2021

Bible Book:

Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on towards the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus. (vs 13-14)

Philippians 3:12-16 Wednesday 11 August 2021

Psalm 37:12-29


This week we are reading several passages from Philippians,  a letter written by the apostle Paul, who also wrote several other letters. Although Paul’s letters were addressed to specific churches, often dealing with issues pertinent to a particular context, they can be applied to present-day situations, bearing in mind that our world view is very different from the time of Paul.

This passage is preceded by Paul emphasising the importance of a relationship with God through faith, rather than through outward signs. It is followed by Paul highlighting the transforming power of Jesus.

The 'goal' in verse 12 is the goal of becoming more like Christ which Paul says he has not yet attained. Verses 13 and 14 remind me of an athlete. Those who take part in the Olympics and Paralympics cannot achieve success by focusing on their past achievements or failures: they need to make an effort to attain their goal of winning the prize, that is, a medal. Paul’s reference to the 'heavenly call' does not refer to some future 'pie in the sky when you die', but to something deeper and more eternal: living in the present in the light of the future. Paul’s point is that the Christian faith is a continual striving to become mature and grow in faith: it is a dynamic, rather than a static, faith. It requires courage and discipline but it is possible through God’s grace.


To Ponder:

  • How does the thought of forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, challenge and encourage you?
  • How does the analogy of an athlete striving for the prize speak to you in your daily life?
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