“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” Philippians 3:13-14.
As we come to the close of another year, people make resolutions about what they are going to do better in the coming months. Even as they make them, they realize that they will be forgotten within a few days. As followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, how much better it is to set goals for the New Year instead. In the Scripture above, Paul is comparing life with running a race. When the signal is given for the race to start, each athlete forgets everything else but doing his absolute best to cross the finish line, hopefully ahead of everyone else. Winning the prize is the goal.
I like the way these verses appear in the J. B. Phillips New Testament:
“Yet, my brothers, I do not consider myself to have ‘arrived,’ spiritually, nor do I consider myself already perfect. But I keep going on, grasping ever more firmly that purpose for which Christ grasped me. My brothers, I do not consider myself to have fully grasped it even now. But I do concentrate on this: I leave the past behind and with hands outstretched to whatever lies ahead I go straight for the goal—my reward the honour of being called by God in Christ.” Philippians 3:12-14
On this last day of 2022, I trust that each one of us will put the failures and the difficulties of this year behind us and set some goals for 2023. May we determine to press on in a greater way than ever before, letting the Holy Spirit lead us and guide us. This could be the year that Jesus returns and as we wait in anticipation, let us strive to be all that the Lord wants us to be.
I have been asking the Lord to give me one word for the year. Several have been on my mind, but the word “anticipation” seems to be the one. What am I anticipating?
- That the Lord will draw me closer to Himself.
- That the Lord will open the Word of God to my heart in a greater way.
- That the Lord will use my writing to bless others.
- That prodigal family members will be restored.
- That my life will be an example to others.
- That we will see many souls born into the Kingdom.
To see these things fulfilled, I need to take heed to this scripture in Philippians and “leave the past behind and with hands outstretched to whatever lies ahead, go straight for the goal.”
Prayer: Thank you, Jesus, for the goal you have set before us, and your Holy Spirit that dwells within us, giving us the power to run the race.
Devotion by Anne Johnston