Week 27

Pressing On

Today’s scripture selection: Philippians 3-4

Key verse: Philippians 3:14

     Over the years I have heard the apostle Paul described in many ways: faithful; dedicated; eloquent.  I’ve also heard him described in less than glowing ways: harsh; un-yielding; judgmental.

     But one word that comes to mind for me when I read this passage from Philippians is: driven.

     “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

     When he said that, he had just finished saying how all his prior accomplishments in life were “garbage” compared to his opportunity – through God’s grace – to “gain Christ.”

     That’s a lot of theological talk that raises some significant questions.  What does he mean by, “press on” or to “gain” Christ?

     But I like to take his words at face value.

     What “drives” you?

     What drives your friends; family; co-workers?

     What drives society at large?

     And, how does all that compare to what seems to drive Paul forward in life?

     This follower of Jesus, who thought he had it all, education – power – prestige, was humbled by the risen Christ that he had zealously persecuted.  And then, having experienced his powerful, abiding, calling presence in life, he was driven to serve Him – above anything else.  He even willingly gave that life up for his risen Lord.  The irony is that by giving it up – he gained eternal life.

     I don’t know what “drives” you.

But I do know that two thousand years ago a Jesus follower with a changed name and a changed life challenged us to be driven by the right things – and the right Lord.

Prayer: Lord, help me to set aside all that would keep me from pursuing the life you offer me in your abundant grace.  Having experienced that love, show me how to invite others to gain it as well.  AMEN. 


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