Philippians 3:13, 14 - Forgetting the Past and Pressing Toward the Goal.
Philippians 3:13, 14 - Forgetting the Past and Pressing Toward
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.
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]
Many people use the word know to cover the loosest possible
connections. Someone might say, "Sure, I know Joe," when in fact, Joe is a
friend of a friend. Or someone might say he knows about a product
because he happened to see a commercial for it the other day. Knowing
about people and things hardly means anything more than having heard
The meaning of the word know was different for Paul. It did
not mean having a casual acquaintance or hearing a passing
reference. In this passage, Paul explains what it means for him to know
someone. And that someone he knows is Christ...
Paul accomplished a great deal, and most who know anything
about him consider him a great man. But he regarded all his
accomplishments to be "garbage" when compared with the greatness of knowing
Christ (Philippians 3:8). One personal relationship mattered more to
Paul than anything else. That's why he endured so much suffering,
rejection, physical abuse, and hardship - to stay close to Christ
Many priorities clamor for our time - family, job, friends,
and certain goals and plans. But our relationship with Christ
matters more than all of them. To know Christ is the ultimate
achievement, the first priority, the best option, the highest goal. A crowded
schedule in order to set aside a few minutes each day for prayer and
Bible study, a friend's disapproval, a sacrifice of plans or pleasures
are small prices to pay for such a reward.
Spend time getting to know your Savior. Make "knowing" Christ
your highest priority. [The One Year Through the Bible Devotional by
Put The Past Behind You
One of the main hindrances that keeps people from becoming
what God wants them to become is their past. People often struggle to
overcome past hurts and patterns of behavior.
Don't let your past distract you. Your past is past. Today is
a brand-new day. Maybe you've had some setbacks. Maybe you've been
knocked down dozens of times. That's normal. You can still get back up
and keep going. That's what winners do: they get back up and run for
the finish line, no matter how many times they stumble. They're
Consider talking out your memories with a friend who will
listen and not judge. Ask them to pray for you. Then, if you feel stuck
on something in your past, think about how God sees you now: he
forgives your past, calls you his beloved, and promises to complete the
good work he has begun in you. Don't let your past keep you from your
You are a new creation in Christ, and God has called you to a
heavenly prize. [The Daniel Plan 365-Day Devotional]
A Dream With A Deadline
Long-term goals keep you from being discouraged by short-term
setbacks. Everybody has setbacks. Most of us have them every day. But if
you have a long-term goal and you're focused on it, then short-term
setbacks don't slow you down.
A goal is a dream with a deadline. A goal says, "By the end
of this year, I'm going to have this job, I'm going to weigh this
amount, I'm going to have read this number of books..." It's specific;
it's measurable; it's timely.
What is your dream? What has God put on your heart? Spend
some time reflecting, as long as it takes, to put words to your
dream. Then give it a realistic deadline. Don't make it "someday;" give
it a date. Then you can ask God for the wisdom and steps to reach
that deadline. Remember, this isn't a dream you can fulfill on your
own; it's something God wants to fulfill.
Turn your dreams into goals, and let God help you fulfill
them. [The Daniel Plan 365-Day Devotional]
Focused On The Goal
World-class sports stars such as tennis champion Venus
Williams, and golfer Tiger Woods have been the subjects of research by
people who are trying to determine why they win championships against
other athletes who have just as much talent and skill. What is their
secret? It's not just that they set aside distractions and make personal
sacrifices in order to practice and hone their skills. It was their ability
to stay focused under stress. This verse tells us what the supreme
and heavenly prize is and what our focus should be: it's not winning
Wimbledon, the U.S. Open or an Olympic gold medal. It's the greatest prize
of all--knowing Christ Jesus and following him as he calls us upward
from glory to glory. Let us forget the past, ask for the endurance
and strength to finish the race, and focus all our energies on this
one thing, this eternal prize!
LORD, help me to keep my eye on the goal, where you are
beckoning me upward and onward to Jesus. Keep me from being distracted by
the past --my sins and wrong choices have been washed in the blood of
Christ. Therefore, grant me grace and strength not to turn back, and
even under great stress help me to keep my eyes on the eternal prize--
unending life in your glorious presence! [Praying Through The Bible By
Frozen in the Starting Block
A runner jogs in place, warming up for the big race. He
places his feet in the blocks, poised to shoot forward. He shakes one
hand and then the other, getting loose before positioning his fingers
on the track before him. He listens for the announcer's words -
Ready! Set! - and then the starting gun fires! The other competitors
shoot forward, but he is frozen in his spot and can't move. He never
even starts the race. What a tragedy that could be!
When we allow ourselves to be consumed with the past, it's
like we're frozen in the blocks, unable to run our race in the
present. I spent many years wishing my past had been different, going
over it and over it in my mind. That rearview perspective kept me
from living out my present and investing in my future.
The problem facing the frozen runner is pride. It's the
reason many people never start the race and many others never finish.
They are too proud to admit they need help. Instead, they rehearse
the past, hoping to find a way to blame someone or something else
for their trouble.
Letting pride keep us in denial is a costly exercise that
shuts us out of the race. But God tells us that if we humbly bring our
past to him, he will take our past and forgive it, renew it, and
restore it. Then we can run our race to win!
Thank you, Father, for providing all that I need to move
forward with my life. In Jesus' name, Amen. [Celebrate Recovery Daily
Devotional by John & Johnny Baker re Isa. 43:18]
Hiram and Mary lived in the Great Smoky Mountains, but their
homes were about four miles apart. They had, nevertheless, been
sweethearts their entire lives. Hiram often walked the four long miles
through the mountains to call on Mary at her log cabin, where she lived
with her mother.
One fall day, Hiram came to see Mary, and because Mary's
mother was taking her typical afternoon nap, they decided to go for a
walk so they would not wake her up. They finally returned to the
front porch, where they sat quietly for a long time on a rickety, old
wooden bench. There they watched the sun slowly set and the big, golden
harvest moon rise. Soon the old devil moon worked its magic, and Hiram
slid a little closer to Mary.
He patted her hand and said, "Mary, y'know I got a clearin'
over thar and a team an' a wagon an' some hawgs an' cows, and I allow
as how I'm gonna build me a house this fall an' ..."
About that time, Mary's mother, who had just awakened from
her nap, interrupted Hiram and asked, "Mary, is that young man thar
Mary responded with a giggle, "No, Maw, but he's agettin'
Sometimes, when I think of heaven, I just wonder if I will
ever get there. It seems so ethereal and far away at times. And yet,
I know I am on my way, and some sweet day I will pass through that
golden gate and be gathered into the arms of the Lover of my soul for
all eternity. I'm agettin' thar!
Dear Lord, sometimes life seems long and hard, but I know
that someday I will be at home and at peace with you. Thank you for
adopting me into your family and for loving me so. Amen [The One Year
Devotional of Joy and Laughter by Mary Hollingsworth]
Where Are You?
When I worked for H. L. Hunt - then the world's wealthiest
man - he once said to me, "Sometimes I wish I could just give all my
money away and see if I could make it again. It's no fun having the
money; it's only fun making it."
Twentieth-century missionary and theologian E. Stanley Jones
wrote about a fictional person who lived out a fantasy life. All he
had to do was think of something, and - poof! - it happened. So he
stuck his hands in his pockets, leaned back, imagined a mansion, and -
poof! - he had a fifteen-bedroom mansion with soft-footed servants to
wait upon his every need.
A place like that needs fine cars, so he closed his eyes and
imagined the driveway full of the finest cars money could buy. He sat in
the back of one of them as a chauffeur drove him wherever he wished
There was no other place to travel, so he returned home and
wished for a sumptuous meal - and there it was in front of him. But
always there was something more he "needed."
Finally he grew bored and unchallenged, and he whispered to
one of his attendants, "I want to get out of this. I want to create
something. I want to earn something. I even want to suffer some things
again. I'd rather be in hell than here."
The servant replied, "Sir, that is where you are."
It's the goal that makes life interesting. And that is why
heaven is the perfect goal - it's just out of our reach, calling us
ever upward. As poet Robert Browning said, "Ah, but a man's reach
should exceed his grasp. Or what's a heaven for?"
For a life worth living here, focus on life hereafter.
Heavenly Father, I want my eternal home to be with you in
heaven. Help me to stay focused on that goal and to finish the race
well. Amen [The One Year Devotional of Joy and Laughter by Mary
Child of mine, This journey we are on together is forward
looking. The destination is ever before you. You have not arrived, but
you are on your way. Press on. Take hold of that glorious purpose
for which Jesus Christ has taken hold of you. His purpose is that
you know him, that you become like him, that your life become a
channel through which his love can flow to others. His purpose is that
you spend eternity enjoying me, starting now!
Many have traveled this road before you, and you can learn
from them. Consider Paul. Suppose he had taken time out from his
journey to dwell on past failures. He could have looked back and become
paralyzed by the guilt and shame of a life spent persecuting the church of
Jesus Christ. Why, Paul even held the coats of the murderers who
stoned my servant Stephen! He stood by watching in approval. But once
he was forgiven, Paul did not waste time or spiritual energy
looking back. He knew that the past had been put under the blood of
Jesus, and he was free to press on toward the goal.
Do you know these things about your past? Come be forgiven,
once and for all, and then look back no more. Instead, look ahead to
the glory that lies out before you. And press on! God [Postcards
from Heaven by Claire Cloninger]
Take hold of the hope that I offer to you - and be greatly
encouraged. The hope of heaven is your birthright as a Christian. Many, many
blessings flow out of that glorious promise into your present life in this
world. Notice, however, that take hold is an active verb - requiring
effort on your part. As the apostle Paul taught, you need to press on
toward the goal and live up to what you have already attained. This
requires you to exert yourself - grasping onto the heavenly hope from
which so many blessings flow.
One of those blessings is encouragement. Be encouraged is a
passive form of the verb. You receive encouragement as a free gift from
Me when you make the effort to hold on to your hope - focusing on
what I've already done (died for your sins), what I am doing (living
in you); and what I will do (take you home to heaven). I love to
give good gifts in generous proportions. So cling to hope, beloved,
and you will be greatly encouraged. (Heb. 6:18, Phi. 3:14-16, Gal.
2:20) [Jesus Today by Sarah Young]
To find Joy in this day, you must live within its boundaries. I
knew what I was doing when I divided time into twenty-four-hour
segments. I understand human frailty, and I know that you can bear the
weight of only one day at a time. Do not worry about tomorrow or get
stuck in the past. There is abundant Life in My Presence today. (Psa.
118:24; Phi. 3:13, 14) [Jesus Calling by Sarah Young]
LINK FOR FURTHER STUDY:
LINKS WORTH CHECKING OUT:
Most Important Decision in Life:
Importance of Choice:
http://creationhealth.com/CREATION-Health/Choice [click on video]
Seeking God Made Real: http://vimeo.com/31489782
Music Devotional On Christian Living:
LINKS FOR BIBLE STUDY:
Lifting Up Jesus Bible Studies: http://www.liftingupjesus.net/
Amazing Facts Bible Studies:
Discover Bible Studies: http://studies.itiswritten.com/discover/
LINKS FOR PROPHECY SEMINARS:
Revelation Today by Pastor John Bradshaw:
Prophecies Decoded by Pastor Ron Clouzet: