Reading: Philippians 3: 10-14
Verse 12: I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
There is great power in today’s passage. There is great hope. There is great promise. There is great encouragement. Pail is fully rooted in Christ and in His love. He has given his all for the gospel and is willing to suffer and even give his life if that will advance the gospel and bring glory to God. Paul opens today with a clarion call for all believers: “I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection”. Like Paul, we also want to know these two things. We want to know Christ for this earthly life so that we can love and serve others as Jesus did. We want to know the power of His resurrection for this life and the life to come. In this life, the power of Jesus’ resurrection brings us victory over sin. Jesus’ resurrection power defeats the guilt and shame and chains of sin so that we can be made holy and pure in this life. It is a power we call on again and again. Jesus’ resurrection power also looks to the future – His resurrection power enables us to defeat death and to live eternally with Jesus in heaven.
Knowing all of this is what allowed Paul to be sold out for Jesus and the gospel. It is what allows us to have the faith and the courage to live as sold out, all in Christians. If we believe in the power of Jesus Christ and His resurrection, we too can live as Paul did: willing to do anything and willing to face anything to advance the kingdom here on earth. This is what Paul is talking about when he writes, “I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me”. Christ took hold of Paul to give him a hope, a love, a promise, a future. Paul did not take hold of all this and sit on it to keep ut for himself. He gave his all and eventually his life so others would gain it too.
Paul concludes today with these words: “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God had called me heavenward in Christ Jesus”. Hear these words – straining ahead, pressing on, the prize, called, in Christ Jesus. Paul’s life reflected the fact that Jesus Christ was his all in all. May our lives and faith reflect this as well, all for God’s glory and the building of His kingdom here on earth.