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“One thing I Do!”

Philippians 3:1-21      

Wednesday, 27 December 2023

“... but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”  -Philippians 3:13-14

Coming to the turn of another year, many of us would like to reflect on the year gone by--while some of us dwell on accomplishments, others think of disappointments. Though it is good to realize our mistakes, it is appropriate to learn something from Paul’s approach.

Now Apostle Paul wrote this letter to thank the church at Philippi for the gift they had sent him and to strengthen these believers, by showing them that true joy comes from Christ Jesus alone.

In today’s reading Apostle Paul starts with -Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe (V.1). The world has just celebrated a special day in which many try to find happiness and joy through various mode of festivities. In pursuit of happiness most spend a good amount of money, time and effort just for a single day! Is a Christian’s happiness, Joy or rejoicing displayed on some special seasons? And later it fades??  If so, the “joy” you are experiencing is not the kind described in the Word of God.  Real Joy comes from Christ alone, totally free of cost; it does not require any special time or season and it’s readily available for those who earnestly seek Him! The confidence of God’s love, His work in our lives and His assurance will give us the real joy, whatever be the situation or circumstance we are in until His return. The greatest Joy for a child of God is the marvellous hope which sustains him/her to strive through the toughest paths, darkest valleys, to face persecutions, even death with a smile of assurance in Christ.

After cautioning the church against false teachers and renouncing his own former privileges, Paul by his own example, encourages them to press forward (Phil.3:13-14). As a servant of God, he has encountered and come through tough terrains more difficult than we would imagine today. Even though he has climbed several steps towards the perfect life in Christ, Paul still feels it’s further away. In our daily Christian walk with rejoicing in the Lord, let us practice three aspects of this, “One thing I do” which Paul speaks of:-

1.      Forgetting those things which are behind:- Everything which is past and which is not beneficial— our sins, hidden lifestyles, fleshly desires even the so-called successes – all are included in this list of  those things which are behind. We need to make a conscious effort to forget them so that without any “baggage” and in the newness of His mercy, we can run our race.

2.      Reaching forward to those things which are ahead:- A looking forward shows renewed hope. With much eagerness, like an athlete who runs forward with all the strength, we need to pursue the Christian virtues which are kept before us.

3.      Press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus:- In every race, there is a set goal and a prize kept for the winner. With great zeal toward the higher calling from God through Jesus Christ, we need to press on to become more and more like Him! The more we are approach Him, we can understand how much further we need to strive on.

A year is passing by, let us take time with the Lord to confess and get rid of those baggage of sin or failures that pulled us down. Instead let us receive the Lord’s grace to plod on and decide to press toward the greater call of God on our lives.


Meditate on “…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” Hebrews 12:1-2[NIV]:




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