Philippians 3:12-16 – Pressing On Towards the Prize

Here is [Paul] who starts right away with an object in life — something to strive for, something to achieve, something worth achieving. He has a goal to which his whole existence tends. And that goal is Jesus Christ. His ruling passion is to get nearer to Jesus Christ, to be more like Jesus Christ, to grow up into Jesus Christ, to do the work of Jesus Christ. That is his dominant purpose. He aims. He gives his life a centre. He strives to bring everything — all his faculties and powers, all his experiences and activities — into relation with that centre.

Now Paul had “seen the Lord”; and henceforth for him “to live was Christ,” and to die “gain.” Christ was to him both the end and the way — that is to say, his heart’s desire was that he might have Christ’s mind, Christ’s affections, Christ’s joy, for his own. If even the sight of a good man, in any field of work to
which we are invited, can humble us to lift us up, how much more a true sight of Jesus Christ, in whom was no sin, in whom was all goodness. If our standard of what we should attempt, and what we would become, can be altered by our view of our neighbour’s character and course, how greatly can our standard be altered and raised by our view of One who is “above all,” to be blessed for ever by all? To Paul, Jesus Christ presented both that glorious moral Image to which he would be likened, and that potent moral Help by which he could attain to it. The Apostle had seen in Him the beauty and the power of God.

The Apostle’s gaze was not only onward but also upward. What attracted him was the prize of the upward calling of God in Christ Jesus. He saw the crown, the crown of life that fadeth not away, hanging bright before his eyes. What, said he, shall tempt me from that path of which yon crown is the end? Let the golden apples be thrown in my way; I cannot even look at them or stay to spurn them with my feet. Let the sirens sing on either side, and seek to charm me with their evil beauty, to leave the holy road; but I must not, and I will not. The end is glorious; what if the running be laborious? When there is such a prize to be had, who will grudge a struggle?

James Hastings

Heart Preparation
Read Philippians 3:12-16. If we have established that all else is loss compared to knowing Christ, then what prevents us from pressing on towards the upward call of God in Christ Jesus? How practically can we begin to run this race with greater perseverance?

Song for this Week
Jesus Lives by Sovereign Grace

Posted on: May 14, 2015 - 10:00PM

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