Not that I have obtained all this. Or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Forgetting what is behind:
Paul had reason to forget what was behind before his conversion (where he was known as Saul). He was the ringleader of the movement to make Christianity extinct by imprisonment the norm and death the ideal. He also had held the coats (meaning he was in approval and part of) those who stoned Stephen, the first Christian martyr. We have all done things for which we are ashamed, and we live in the tension of what we have been and what we want to be. Because our hope is in Christ, however, we can let go of past guilt and look forward to what God will help us become. Most importantly, REALIZE and BELIEVE that you are FORGIVEN! You are free indeed! Thank you Jesus! Are you jumping for joy yet?
Paul says that his goal is to know Christ to be like Christ, and to be all Christ has in mind for him. This is an awesome example for us. We should not let anything take our eyes off our goal---knowing Christ.
What an amazing prize we have in Christ, to know Him and to be called heavenward for ETERNITY! Jesus paid the price so we could receive this. His love is so intense and amazing. It is my prayer that we may try to grasp the reality of His forgiveness and love for us.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”
These verses are so rich with love and promises for us. The above scripture says, “I am going there to prepare a place for you, and “I will come back”. We can LOOK FORWARD to eternal life because Jesus has PROMISED it to all who believe in Him.
Lots of LOVE, JOY, PEACE, & HOPE to you ALL today and always!!
Angela lives in Oconomowoc, WI with husband Christian, son Christian Tyler, and the cutest Bernese puppy (Winston), and kitty (George) ever! (=