Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Walk Like Jesus – Press On Toward the Goal!

Philippians 3:13-14

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.

IMG_0301Last Sunday – during the sermon – I asked if anyone was perfect. If anyone was perfect they were asked to raise their hand. It was not a surprise to me that no one lifted a hand – not even one – because – on our own – we are nowhere near perfect. Our sin nature – although overcome by the spiritual nature we put on in Christ – still rears its ugly head from time to time in our lives. Even though we want to be obedient to God – we often fail. We do what we do not want to do and do not do what we want to do (so says Paul in Romans 7:15).

During the 21-Day Prayer/Fast – our imperfect nature – or should I say my imperfect nature – surfaced a number of times. I struggled at times with my food intake and at times with my social media fast. It was not easy – and yet I knew what I should be doing and what I should not be doing. The same can be said as I strive to lose more weight – I know what not to eat – yet at times I seem to yearn for just what I shouldn’t have for sure. I know I am alone in this area!

Often when reading the Word of God (the Bible) – or listening to sermons – or even preparing sermons or Bible studies – I am hit over the head with my sinfulness. I am reminded – often – that I am weak and that I am sinful – that on my own I am a fallen person. It is so bad at times that I could easily feel guilty and depressed because of my sins and failures – and at times I have felt that way. Often the Word of God steps all over my toes – I mean – in my imperfect state.

God’s grace is amazing. We’re saved by grace – made whole by grace – forgiven of our sins by grace – grace – this unmerited favor. Ephesians 2:8 – For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. It is grace that allows us – imperfect people – into the presence of a perfect God. God knows our hearts and minds. Psalm 139:23–24 – 23 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Today’s passage reminds us that we are to press on – always – even more as today unfolds. Grace covers our failures – our sins – but – on one hand – we are not to count on grace – but strive to follow after Christ with all we have! Philippians 3:13-14 – 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.

Too often folks fall into one trap or the other – depressed and guilty because of our sin or so relying on grace that we fail to strive to walk with Jesus. We are called to walk as Christ did – to do all that we are able to do – as feeble as that might be at times – and count on grace for the times we fail. It is – at times – a fine line – and one that theologians have tried to walk or obliterate over the centuries. Walk Like Jesus – Press On Toward the Goal – and trust in grace to allow us into God’s presence!

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

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January 27, 2015 - Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Fast, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Very encouraging. Thank you!

    Like

    Comment by Jane | January 27, 2015 | Reply


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