September 25, 2023 – Monday
Philippians 3:13-14 NKJV
13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13-14 NIV
13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13-14 RGT
13 Brothers, I do not count myself as having seized it. But one thing I do: I forget that which is behind and stretch forward toward that which is ahead; 14 and follow hard toward the mark, for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Taught on these two verses on Sunday primarily from the NIV along with verse 12, 12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me after a quick review of the first eleven verses covered the prior week. You can listen to the message covering the first eleven verses here and listen to the message with the review and the next three verses here.
Now I do not know hardly any of you when it comes to your personal current experiences, but Jesus does. He knows you and knows you personally. He knows your name. And looking at the end of verse twelve in the above paragraph we see what Paul is doing in pursuit of the goal for which Christ Jesus took hold of him, I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
Paul is pressing on for that goal because he has not yet obtained it. And he wants us to do the same. Thinking we would not know how to press forward, he tells us how after telling us, 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. So, he is in the same boat we are in and he shares in the rest of that verse and the next on how he in pursuing that goal, I forget that which is behind and stretch forward toward that which is ahead; 14 and follow hard toward the mark, for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Did you get that? He is putting the past in the past, forgetting it whether it was good or bad or both. That permits him to stretch forward toward that which is ahead. How often do we miss what God has in store for us when we are so focused on the past? Not Paul, he is doing his level best to stretch or strain forward to the goal that is ahead. We should be doing the same instead of living in regrets from the past or living in the achievement of the past. Today is what counts and we are able to use today to and follow hard toward the mark, for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
It may help to remember the verse we read at the end of almost every communion, 1 Corinthians 11:26 where Paul writes, 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. We must never forget Jesus is coming back.
Bottom Line: Go forward, put the past in the past and focus on the future by keeping your focus on Jesus.
Prayer: Almighty God, Help us to keep our focus on Your Son and the prize that He has for us in heaven through Your high calling. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor