DATE POSTED Monday, 2022-12-12
WRITTEN AT: O’Brien, FL
SCRIPTURE FROM: Philippians 3:12-14; 16;
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)
BIBLE TEXT: 12 I have not yet reached my goal, and I am not perfect. But Christ has taken hold of me. So I keep on running and struggling to take hold of the prize. 13 My friends, I don’t feel I have already arrived. But I forget what is behind, and I struggle for what is ahead. 14 I run toward the goal, so I can win the prize of being called to heaven. This is the prize God offers because of what Christ Jesus has done.
16 … we must keep going in the direction that we are now headed.
APPLICATION: No doubt you are very much like me, where we go on a trip for specific reasons, and our spouse was either not allowed, or we couldn’t afford to take them, or they had no interest in going. Even if our trip lasts only a very short time, we become anxious and excited about our reunion when it’s time to travel back to our home. In his former life, then known as Saul, the writer of today’s Scripture was an awful man. Most good citizens were afraid of him, and most wanted to stay far enough away from him. His main crime was persecuting Christians and the church. But one day, Jesus got through to Saul and, after convicting him of his sin, He then invited Saul, under his brand-new identity, Paul, to join Him in ministering to the very folk he was formerly out to entrap and kill. Doesn’t this sound very similar to your story? You may not have intentionally set out to destroy believers, but through various actions, it was probably evident to God that you hated them and was possibly envious of the hope that they had. Yet just like He did with Saul, He spoke into your life through the Holy Spirit, and called you to Himself. But Paul knew that this Christian life is way more than a one-time decision or experience, but a life dedicated to pleasing the One who saved us and is waiting to welcome us to our eternal home. So, it’s like a marathon runner who is chosen to represent his/her country in the Olympics. They don’t just take that invitation and post it on their bedroom wall and gloat over it, but they set a goal for which they can work towards in order to win the gold (the prize). Fortunately for the Christian, there is no rigorous physical exercise each day to strengthen the right muscle group, but instead our mission is to develop our relationship with the Master, and to share the joy of knowing Him with everyone we come into contact with. At our midweek service last night, we studied how God saved the Gentiles, so that the Jewish people might come to their senses and accept the Savior that God gave to the world. For each reader and/or listener who has accepted Jesus as Savior, I believe God wants us to be His representative in our world, where many have chosen to ignore the Gospel and/or accept Jesus into their lives. Is it evident to the unsaved that there’s something different about you? If not, how will they see and how will they know? Oh, that the church will be the church – every day and in every way, for the sake of the Kingdom.
BLESSING(S) NOTED: Without looking back and gloating about past successes, may we set the same goal that Paul spoke of and run the course in a way that the world will know whose we are.
PRAYER: Lord, I am convinced that You didn’t save us to soak and sour. There are many that we come into contact with who are much like the Jews that Paul spoke of in our Scripture text today. They know of the ‘man upstairs’, or the ‘greater power’, or the ‘man in charge’, but because of their lack of commitment and personal relationship, there is no evidence that others will see in them. My sincere prayer is that we might always remember Paul in his desire to keep on striving towards the goal each and every day. I believe that means: live like the man you claim to be in Christ; Stand up for the things taught and commanded by God; Love unconditionally and respond with a compassionate heart just like Jesus did. Many still need Jesus. I pray that the remnant that God has established through His children still here on earth, will be attractive to the lost so they will be reminded of the King of all kings and Lord of all lords – the Savior of the world. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!