Getting in trouble is a part of growing up. We will continually hit road blocks and detours as long as we do not focus ourselves toward a prize that is truly fulfilling. In the letter from Paul to the Church of Phillipi, Paul writes to the Phillipians telling them to join in his example and “press on toward the goal”. While reading the next passage, take note on what that goal is and how Paul expects the Phillipians to fulfill that goal.
Pray: for a spirit of humility. Sanctification can only come if we humble our souls to strengthen our hearts.
Read: Phillipians 3:12-4:1
Questions: In verse 13, Paul talks about not looking to the past, but instead straining forward. Do you often dwell on the past? Do you agree with Paul?
What would the life of someone who makes their goal “…heavenward in Christ Jesus” look like? (v. 14)
Define sanctification. How does this compare to the transformation mentioned in verses 20 and 21?
Application: Do we always put all our faith in God? Seriously, he has everything we could ever want or ever need, but why don’t we put our God first. Paul mentions that in maturity, we should begin to view God with reverence. As Him with our prize, our we should not have our minds on earthly things (v. 19) What is most admirable is Paul submits that he is not perfect and he still struggles forward trying to obtain this prize. “…But I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” Jesus’ sacrifice was a final protection for us. We focus so often on what has been left behind when in reality our goal should be set in heaven. Paul cries out dearly saying that now our last step would be to take what has already been given (v. 16). Our whole lives are a testament and a process of sanctification. Growing in faith and in Christ until we can be accepted into the kingdom with open arms. Our trials will never cease, and our troubles never short circuited, but can we put all our eggs in the only basket that matters?
Pray: Sanctification is a daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, lifelong process that will never cease. But, even so, we should not be discouraged when we are troubled. Pray for perseverance and courage for our trials and our hard times.