Philippians 3:13, 14 - Thanksgiving: A Story of Persistence.

Philippians 3:13, 14 (NLT) No, dear brothers 
and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but 
I am focusing all my energies on this one 
thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to 
what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the 
race and receive the prize for which God, through 
Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven. 

Philippians 3:13, 14 (CWR) I certainly don't 
consider myself as having reached perfection. 
However, this one thing I do: I forget the things of 
the past and press toward the goal to win the 
heavenly prize God is calling me to receive through 
Jesus Christ.  


   Here is a part of the Thanksgiving story 
you may not know. While the first Thanksgiving 
was celebrated in October of 1621, it was not 
until October of 1777 that all 13 colonies 
celebrated Thanksgiving, for the first time. At one 
point, our first president, George Washington, 
proclaimed a National Day of Thanksgiving, but conflict 
and difficulties among the colonies put an end 
to its observance. 
   It was a magazine editor, Sarah Josepha 
Hale, whose work led to the celebration of the 
Thanksgiving holiday we observe today. Hale wrote letters 
to governors and presidents, and editorials in 
magazines, books and newspapers, promoting the 
observance of Thanksgiving. In 1863, after 40 years of 
letter writing and campaigning (thats not a 
typo, she really wrote letters for 40 years), 
Hales persistence paid off and President Abraham 
Lincoln proclaimed a National Day of Thanksgiving. 
Since then, every president has supported 
Thanksgiving. Forty years of dedication, persistence and 
passion, all to make sure that this country would 
celebrate a National Day of Thanksgiving each year. 
   We can learn from Hales perseverance. 
It took her 40 years to accomplish what she set 
out to do. Just like her story, the Christian 
faith is often described as a marathon, not a 
sprint. Each day of our life is another day to 
choose between right and wrong, to help someone in 
need, to read our Bible and pray. As Paul reminds 
us in Philippians 3:12-14, Christians are 
called to persevere, to press on. Sometimes it can 
feel like an unrewarding task. It is hard, but 
important, to look to God for the BIGGER plan. What if 
Hale had chosen to give up after one year or ten 
years? Her goal would have been left unfinished. 
Press on towards the call of Christ! Endure! But 
be forewarned, just like Sara Josepha Hale, it 
may take 40 years to see the fruit of your 
labor! by Kelly McFadden HomeWord.com. 


Our most important goal should be getting to 
know Christ better. Paul says that his goal is to 
know Christ, to be like Christ, and to be all 
Christ has in mind for him. This goal absorbs all 
Paul's energy. This is a helpful example for us. We 
should not let anything take our eyes off our 
goal--knowing Christ. With the single-mindedness of an 
athlete in training, we must lay aside everything 
harmful and forsake anything that may distract us 
from being effective Christians.  [Life 
Application SB] 


The Scriptures plainly show that the work of 
sanctification is progressive. When in conversion the 
sinner finds peace with God through the blood of 
the atonement, the Christian life has but just 
begun. Now he is to "go on unto perfection;" to 
grow up "unto the measure of the stature of the 
fullness of Christ." Says the apostle Paul: "This one 
thing I do, forgetting those things which are 
behind, and reaching forth unto those things which 
are before, I press toward the mark for the 
prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." 
Philippians 3:13, 14. And Peter sets before us the steps 
by which Bible sanctification is to be 
attained: "Giving all diligence, add to your faith 
virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge 
temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience 
godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to 
brotherly kindness charity  If ye do these things, 
ye shall never fall." 2 Peter 1:5-10.  {GC 


   When Danielle's car hit a patch of black 
ice, it skidded into a ditch and flipped upside 
down. Though her hand had been crushed in the 
impact, she was able to console her two little girls 
and call for help. It was clear, however, that 
she would lose her hand. She later wrote, "We 
have a new norm here, and it unfolds daily." We 
all face "new norms" after tragedy hits. It 
could be the loss of a job, a lingering illness, 
an unwanted divorce, or the death of a loved 
one. Yes, life moves on, but no, it's not the 
same. In today's Scripture, Paul writes, "One 
thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and 
straining toward what is ahead, I press on  to win 
the prize for which God has called me heavenward 
in Christ Jesus." Moving forward in Christ and 
pursuing His will for each new day are new norms we 
can all embrace. 
   Lord, I am so very thankful for the focus 
You bring to my life. In the words of T. S. 
Eliot, You are "the still point of the turning 
world." No matter how many changes sweep across my 
world, I can fix my eyes on You, pursue You, and 
find all the purpose for living I need. [A 
Spectacle of Glory by Joni Eareckson Tada and Larry 

Closer to the Other Side
   For me in this wheelchair, shampooing my 
hair requires parking in front of my bathroom 
sink, leaning forward, and letting my friend Dana 
'go at it' as she stands to one side and lathers 
my hair. 
   "Joni, would you like me to wash your 
face while you're under the faucet?" she asked. 
"Sure," I gurgled. She took her soapy hands and 
began lathering my cheeks, using the flat of her 
fingers to gently wash around my eyes. I gasped. "Am 
I hurting you?" Dana asked. "Oh, no, not at 
all!" I said. "Please... please keep going!" How 
could I explain? For that brief moment, it felt as 
though her hands were mine! She was rubbing my face 
exactly the way I used to do with my own hands, 
decades ago. Those few brief moments were about as 
close as I've ever felt to being healed! When we 
finished, Dana patted my face and hair dry with a 
towel. She also had to wipe away my tears. But they 
weren't tears of sadness or regret. They were tears 
of joy about the future. I told her, "This was 
a reminder that soon I will be able to wash my 
own face with new, glorified hands!" 
   There is less distance between me and the 
future than me and the past, before I was injured. 
I have come to the place where a memory can 
push me joyfully into the future rather than pull 
me somberly back into a sad past. 
   Because we are believers, the future has 
a happy, magnetic pull on our hearts. Take 
just few minutes today (maybe while you're on a 
walk in the sunlight) to think about the new, 
marvelous, perfect, immortal body that awaits you - 
really, just a few years away on the Other Side. 
   Lord how good you are! The promises you 
have given us for that radiant tomorrow help us 
walk through the darkest of days on this side of 
heaven. [Joni Eareckson Tada Daily Devotional: 

Treacherous Toys and You
   Toys are meant to be fun, but sometimes 
they can be downright dangerous. What were toy 
creators thinking when they put these products on 
   * Disney Princess Racing Trike. This pink 
plastic three-wheeler sold from 2009 to 2011. Was it 
pretty? Yes, its purple wheels and fuchsia 
handlebars were a hit. Was it dangerous? Definitely. It 
probably should've come with a pair of safety 
goggles. For some reason, makers put a pointy castle 
and three small-headed princesses on the 
steering wheel. One quick stop or an accidental trip, 
and kids would end up with a face full of pain. 
Around 10,000 trikes sold in the United States and 
Canada before the toymakers got smart and sent out 
replacement handlebars that didn't feature the pokey 
castle and princesses. 
   * Lucky Star Submarine Stationery Set. 
This little submarine sold in the late 1980s 
and was perfect for helping kids do their 
schoolwork. Just one problem: In addition to the tape 
dispenser, pencil sharpener, and drawers for pencils 
and markers, it also contained a hidden razor 
blade cutting tool. Putting razor blades in the 
hands of little children is definitely not a good 
idea. Fortunately, these subs only sold for a 
three-month period before being recalled. 
   Aren't you glad God created you, instead 
of some toymaker? All of God's creations are 
perfect. Not that we're perfect, but through the help 
of the Holy Spirit, we should be working toward 
   In Philippians 3:12 Paul tells us, "I 
don't mean to say ... that I have already reached 
perfection. But I press onto possess that perfection for 
which Christ Jesus first possessed me" (NLT). Like 
the old saying goes, "Jesus doesn't make any 
junk." But we all have areas where we can improve. 
Maybe you have a bad temper, or you procrastinate, 
or you have a tendency to be selfish. As you 
grow closer to Jesus, you become more like him. 
And he is perfect. 
   You'll never be recalled or need 
replacement parts, but that doesn't mean you should stay 
in your current condition. When Christ came 
into your life, you became "new and improved." As 
God continues his work in you, your goal should 
be to keep improving. [Case For Christ For Kids 
by Les Strobel] 


Keep Your Eye on the Ball
   Awhile back a friend of mine who is a 
very good golfer was trying to teach me how to do 
a proper golf swing. I would miss the ball 
completely, and it was so embarrassing. Then I talked to 
someone who has been golfing for years and asked, 
How long would it take for me to become 
competent enough at golfing where maybe I wouldnt 
embarrass myself out on the course? 
   I dont know, he said. Three, 
maybe four years. 
   I thought, Forget it.
   Certain sports require that you keep your 
eye on the ball. That is true in life, too. In 
marriage, you have to keep your eye on the ball. That 
means constantly doing things to strengthen your 
marriage. Dont merely be reactive; be proactive. Be 
the best husband you can be. Be the best wife 
you can be. Stoke the flames of your romance. 
Dont neglect it. 
   Its also true in ministry. If God has 
called you into ministry, keep your eye on the 
ball. Dont rest on your laurels. Dont go 
into cruise control. Be proactive, looking for 
ways to be even more effective at what you do. We 
take that very seriously at Harvest Christian 
Fellowship. Were always trying to be the most 
effective we can be in this church. And this is true 
of so many things in life. 
   Its true of the Christian life. It 
isnt always sinful things that break our focus. 
Sometimes its choosing the urgent over the 
important, choosing the good over whats best, 
choosing the short-term over the long-term. So be 
careful. The moment you take your eye off the ball 
and start kicking back a little, that could be 
the setup for a fall. Be constantly moving 
forward, growing, learning, and becoming more like 
Jesus. [Greg Laurie from Harvest Ministries; 


Philippians 3:13, 14 - Forgetting the Past 
and Pressing Toward the Goal. 



If anyone has a paraphrase, commentary or 
testimony on this passage of Scripture, either 
personal or otherwise, I would be interested in 
hearing from you.  Thanks in advance and let's keep 
uplifting Jesus that all might be drawn to Him. Fred 


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