Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this 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 heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us then who are mature be of the same mind; and if you think differently about anything, this too God will reveal to you. Only let us hold fast to what we have attained. Brothers and sisters, join in imitating me, and observe those who live according to the example you have in us. For many live as enemies of the cross of Christ; I have often told you of them, and now I tell you even with tears. Their end is destruction; their god is the belly; and their glory is in their shame; their minds are set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will transform the body of our humiliation that it may be conformed to the body of his glory, by the power that also enables him to make all things subject to himself. Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved.
Food For Thought:
This is one of my favorite passages of Scripture. In this passage, the apostle Paul talks about the Christian faith like running a race. While I’m not a runner, I love the image that Paul uses. When a person starts running, they start small ― running a few miles ― then they build up to more. Some people develop their endurance so much that they run long distances at a very good pace. The Christian faith is like that; you have to start small and work your way up. There are going to be setbacks (in running it is usually an Achilles tendon or another similar strain), and then you have to give yourself a little time to rest and recover. Sometimes, we need time to rest, recover, and recoup to be the people that God intends for us to be. Today, I want you to think about the running image and compare it to your Christian life. Take a blank piece of paper and draw a timeline of your faith journey. Where you have been and where you are going?
God of compassion, you know our faults and yet you promised to forgive. Keep us in your presence and give us your wisdom. Open our hearts to gladness, support us as we run the race before us, and restore us to us the joy of your salvation. Amen.