Archive for April, 2011

One Thing

April 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Phil. 3:12-15

There is so much that could be said here, especially since I consider this my “life verse” and have spent so many long hours pondering the meaning and application of this passage. Yet of late, the portion of this passage that seems to stand out to me is Paul’s words in verse 12: “…but this one thing I do…

This statement follows Paul’s declaration that he has yet to attain to perfection in Christ – that is, even the great Apostle Paul still had to grow, still needed to “work out [his] own salvation.” Amen! So, too, we are instructed to take up our crosses daily, to present our bodies as living sacrifices, and to put off the old man. In this life we will never be rid of our need to grow and to mature in Christ. Never. Only in the resurrection will we truly be perfected.

It is in this very idea – that Paul has yet to attain to all things in Christ – that Paul is able to say, “but one thing I do.” That is, despite his areas of weakness, Paul can confidently say that there is “one thing” in his relationship with Christ to which he has fully attained. Apparently there was only one thing he could think of! What he identifies as that “one thing” is so profound. He says…

“Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

Paul’s “one thing” is his determination to pursue God with all of his heart. Paul’s “one thing” just happens to be the one thing that will attain to everything! Paul’s “one thing” will completely revolutionize your life if you will let it. Paul’s “one thing” needs to become your “one thing.”

Are you seeking God with all of your heart? Notice, I’m not asking whether you have attained to sinless perfection, I am simply asking if you are on the way. Are you progressing, or are you stagnant? Can you confidently say that you are closer to God now than you were a year ago? Have you entered into a hot pursuit of God, or did you sit down somewhere along the way. “Perfection” here is not the issue. Growth is the issue. You should be more “perfect” tomorrow than you are today. You should be more in love with Jesus tomorrow than you are today. If this is the case in your life, God expects nor desires anything more of you.

Seek Him today with all of your heart.

Categories: Bible, Life

Not for Ourselves

April 26, 2011 Leave a comment

As I was reading this morning I came accross the following passage in 2 Corinthians 5:

“For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised” (2 Cor. 5:14-15).

And here is the simple thought that it sparked…what if I really lived this? What if I really began to recognize that my life is truly not my own (1 Cor. 6:19-20)? What if I really, I mean really, gave my life completely to Him and let Him do in and through me what He intends? What if I truly shed all my fear, all my preconceptions, all my good ideas of how it should be, and just lived completely for him who for my sake┬ádied and rose again?

I am both encouraged and challenged this morning. I recognize that not one of us has “arrived,” and not one of us is without a need to surrender certain areas of our lives to His total lordship. I also recognize that the “perfect” or “mature” attitude is to be constantly “pressing on toward the goal” (Phil. 3:14-15). So today I recommit to seeking after God with all of my heart. I recommit to intentionally growing in my faith through prayer, bible study, and fellowship with other on-fire believers. I recommit to serving Him in any capacity I can. I recommit to no longer live for myself.

What about you? Allow the Holy Spirit to search you this morning and to shine some light in the dark areas in your heart. Submit to Him. Allow Him to work. There is no condemnation in Christ, but only grace. He is the God who exchanges “beauty for ashes.” Give Him your ugliness, and He’ll give you His glory. Don’t live for yourself today, but for Him who lived and died and rose again for you.

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