Press on – A Word from Dr. Mike

My life’s verses are Philippians 3:13-14: 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, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 

These two verses are appropriate for the start of a new year! Paul exhibits the right attitude of humility you and I should also display as we enter a new year: “I do not count myself to have apprehended,” that is, “Dear brothers, I am still not all I should be.” Warren Wiersbe was right when he declared, “A divine dissatisfaction is essential for spiritual progress.” 

In verse 13, Paul says, “but one thing I do.” In the original language, it says, “But one thing.” Paul was a man of singular focus. Paul possesses one aim and one ambition. 

Just what does Paul focus upon. He says in verse 13: “Forgetting what lies behind.” In Philippians 3:13-14, Paul uses analogy to compare the Christian life to running a race. Too many times Christians are hindered in running their race because they lose focus of the one thing and they look behind at things that occurred in the past. 

Adrian Rogers once said, “Satan binds us to the past, but JESUS frees you for the future. Satan would like to keep you in the past.” Warren Wiersbe once said, “You do not move ahead by constantly looking in the rear-view mirror.” 

Just what do we forget about? Past accomplishments. Past sins. Past grief. Past injustices. Past conflicts. 

Paul continues in verse 13, saying, “and straining forward to what lies ahead.” 

Paul continues the running analogy: You are running your race. It is neck-and-neck. You are nearing the finish line – the goal. You expend every ounce of energy as you stretch out to the maximum every nerve and muscle in your body in order to cross the finish line and receive the prize. A T Robertson once said, “The goal continually moves forward as we press on, but yet never out of sight.” 

Verse 14 reminds us of the goal of verse 13: “I press on toward the mark for the prize of the upward call of GOD in CHRIST JESUS.” 

Here again is the analogy. A person does not become a winning athlete by merely listening to lectures, watching techniques on running videos, or reading books. The winning athlete chooses to enter the race, train for the race, and seek with every ounce of energy to win the race and receive the prize. 

In this life, the prize is CHRIST-likeness. We continue to pursue the goal of becoming more like JESUS in 2024. 

In the next life, the prize is heaven, where the rewards will be handed out. 

2024 has begun. Let’s pray for this year to be the greatest year of spiritual growth in our lives! Let’s pray for this year to be the most effective year of ministry in our Christian lives! Let’s press on!! 

Pastor Mike

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