The Apostle Paul wrote, “No, dear brothers, I am still not all I should be, but I am bringing all my energies to bear on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God is calling us up to heaven because of what Christ Jesus did for us.”
This ONE thing?
It is a daunting challenge—bringing ALL your energies to bear on just one thing.
I mean, think about it.
Think about how fragmented our lives have become—how fragmented our focus. Think about the broken things in your past, the divided attentions of your present, not to mention the veiled mysteries of your future, try to take in all of that, and then bring it all down to JUST ONE THING.
There’s Paul’s challenge.
And may I submit to you—there is Christ’s challenge to every Believer who calls himself or herself—a disciple.
Jesus Christ, first and preeminent.
And me, focused, singular, and without excuses.
The book of Hebrews says,
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; [vs. 1-2]
I submit to you, laying aside every weight is a very costly proposition. You will have to leave many treasures behind. You will have to surrender ones you dearly cherish.
Yes, to take up His cross is very costly.
But what else can you do when you finally realize…
You can’t run—with them?
And He is the One calling you to leave all, and follow.
But all these things that I once thought very worthwhile—now I’ve thrown them all away so that I can put my trust and hope in Christ alone. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have put aside all else, counting it worth less than nothing, in order that I can have Christ, and become one with him, no longer counting on being saved by being good enough or by obeying God’s laws, but by trusting Christ to save me; for God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith—counting on Christ alone. Now I have given up everything else—I have found it to be the only way to really know Christ and to experience the mighty power that brought him back to life again, and to find out what it means to suffer and to die with him. So whatever it takes, I will be one who lives in the fresh newness of life of those who are alive from the dead.
I don’t mean to say I am perfect. I haven’t learned all I should even yet, but I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ saved me for and wants me to be.
No, dear brothers, I am still not all I should be, but I am bringing all my energies to bear on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God is calling us up to heaven because of what Christ Jesus did for us. Philippians 3:7-14Philippians 3:7-14
English: World English Bible - WEB
7 However, what things were gain to me, these have I counted loss for Christ. 8 Yes most assuredly, and I count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord, for whom I suffered the loss of all things, and count them nothing but refuse, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own, that which is of the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, becoming conformed to his death; 11 if by any means I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already obtained, or am already made perfect; but I press on, if it is so that I may take hold of that for which also I was taken hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brothers, I don’t regard myself as yet having taken hold, but one thing I do. Forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
WP-Bible plugin TLB