DAILY DEVOTION, Oct. 11, 2021
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 (Philippians 3:13-14).
Paul gives a brief picture of what it takes to be a mature Christian. He compares the Christian life to a race. First, he reminds us that none of us have attained perfection. We have not yet apprehended the goal. We are still in the race. We must never throw in the towel and exit from the race thinking that we know all there is to know. The Christian life is like being in school. We keep advancing, but we never graduate until we leave this life.
Then Paul stresses the importance of forgetting the past. So many people allow past hurts to influence the present. The past is what it is, and you cannot change it, so why let the past ruin you in the present? Forget the past.
Then Paul tells us to race toward the goal. He describes it as God calling us to move upward toward Jesus. It’s as though Jesus is at the finish line, waiting to receive those who have run a good race. Many will hear the words, “Well done…” What if you have run a poor race? Many will enter heaven because they trusted in Jesus even though their performance was unfruitful. Scripture is clear. Trust in Jesus and be saved (John 3:16 etc.). Or trust in Jesus and be saved, and run a good race. Which would you rather be?
Father, I thank you that I do not have to earn my salvation. I do trust in Jesus, and I receive the gift of eternal life. But I ask You to help me to run a good race. I don’t want to be just a Christian but a fruitful Christian. In Jesus’ name, Amen.