"ONE THING I DO!"
Wednesday, 26 December 2018
Philippians 3 : 1-21
“... 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[NKJV]
The letter addressed to the Church in Philippi is one of thanksgiving, written by Apostle Paul during his imprisonment in Rome. This was the First church established on the European continent on his second missionary journey (Acts 16:11-40). He wrote this letter to thank them for the gift they had sent Paul 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 (Phil 3:1). The world has just celebrated a special day in which they themselves try to find happiness and joy through various mode of festivities in the worldly context. In pursuit of happiness most of them 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 for a child of God; it does not require any special time or season and it’s readily available for those who really 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 Philippian church against Judaizing false teachers and renouncing his own former privileges, Apostle Paul by his own example, encourages them to press forward (Phil.3:13-14). As a servant of God, he has climbed many tough terrains much more difficult when we look at it now. But after climbing several steps towards the perfect life in Christ, the servant of God 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:
Forgetting those things which are behind: Everything which is past and which is not beneficial, our sins, hidden life styles, 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 kind of baggage and with the newness of His mercy, we can run our race.
Reaching forward to those things which are ahead: With much eagerness, like an athlete runs forward with all the strength, in the the same way we need to pursue the Christian virtues which are kept before us.
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 eagerness towards the higher calling from God through Jesus Christ, we need to press toward to become more and more like Him! The more we are approach Him, we can understand how much further we need to strive on.
Let us meditate on Hebrews 12:1&2[NLT]: “…And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.”
“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.” (v.20-21)
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