Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Pressing On Toward Perfection

Philippians 3:12

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.

profileOK – I confess – my golf game is in trouble this summer.  Between my meniscus tear – my increasing age – my lack of time to work on my game – my ONLY once-a-week game – my scores have suffered.  They are not where I want them to be for sure.  Last summer I was playing much better.  This summer my chipping and approach shots have totaling left me.  Up and down is not in my vocabulary this summer.  It has been less fun playing – but someone has to do it to keep the economy going.  And my friend Dennis is having a good summer beating me most times out and Greg is looking for an opportunity to beat me too.

So what do I do?  Do I blame the clubs and get a new set ($$)?  Do I take lessons ($$)?  I’ve tried changing golf ball brands!  Do I simply accept scores that are 4-6 strokes higher than normal?  Do I even accept normal?  Or do I strive to get better?  I’ve chosen to try and get better.  I will start practicing when time allows (and I may just start making the time to do it).  I have found a place where I can practice chipping and approach shots are practiced in the meadow behind my house.  I will not accept where my scores are today – I will return to where I use to be and try to get even better.  I am determined!  I am focused!  I will not give up!  I will break that barrier in front of me and score lower than I have all summer before the summer is out!  I can do this!

What is it you have passion for in your life?  Where are you willing to make time to do better?  What is it that you think about often – trying to come up with ways to improve?

Oh what God could do with a people who had this heart for their walk with Jesus!  Here is today’s passage in partial context.  Philippians 3:7-14 – 7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.  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. 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.

Paul considered his walk with Jesus to be more important than anything else in his life.  He had just finished listing some of the reasons he had to boast – but says all of them are but rubbish – a loss – compared to his walk with Jesus.  I want to know Christ he says – more and more.  He was a great Apostle yet he knew he hadn’t arrived yet – and so we have today’s passage – 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.

Oh what God could do with a people who wanted to know Him more and more each day!  A people who were not satisfied with where they were spiritually today – wherever that might be for each of us – but striving to be closing to Jesus each day.  Willing to make the time to be drawn into His presence more and more.  Willing to remove whatever hinders us so that we might press on toward this goal!

Many of us are willing to put the time and effort into improving in things that don’t really have significance.  Who will really care if I get my handicap into single digits and stay there?  Will it have any lasting meaning?  But there just may be eternal significance for others if I become more like Jesus and they see Jesus more clearly in me!  Will we press on toward Christ?  Will we press on toward perfection in Christ?

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

August 19, 2013 - Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. AMEN!


    Comment by Jody Noyes | August 19, 2013 | Reply

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