We’re still in the book of Philippians for Monday School. After Paul urged the church there to shine like stars in the universe in chapter 2, he urged them to press on in chapter 3.
“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead. I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12-14 ESV
Paul admitted his imperfection and tendency toward sin. But he didn’t stop there. What he wrote next is one of the most beautiful phrases in the Bible. ….”but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.”
Paul struggled, but he moved forward because he was Christ’s. On his way to Damascus years earlier (Acts 9), Paul encountered Jesus and he was never the same. Jesus took hold of him and Paul pressed on to take hold of Jesus. More than anything else, Paul desired to know Jesus and the power of his resurrection and to be like him in every way (verses 8-11).
He used his own life to to show the Philippians how to grow in their faith. He told them to look forward and not rely on past achievements. Our good work today doesn’t take away the need for our good work tomorrow. We press on and grow and strain forward, like Paul urged the Philippians.
Even when it feels like we labor in vain. We press on toward the goal. We fight the good fight, run the race, and keep the faith.
When you feel like you have nothing left. When it feels too hard and it’s taking too long. Press on, sister. Keep going, brother.
We have a lot to look forward to.