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Philippians 3:13-14

A friend of Clark Gable took her young son to his home for a visit. As they were about to leave, the boy pointed to the Oscar that Gable had won and asked, “May I have this?”
“Sure,” answered Gable, giving it to the child.
“Give it back immediately,” shouted the mother in shock.
“Oh, no,” said Gable. “Keep it. Having the Oscar around doesn’t mean anything to me. Earning them does.”
Focusing on the future has many benefits. Paul boldly declared that “I am still not all I should be! But I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead I strain to reach the end of the race.”
Paul had great reasons to want to forget the past – he persecuted Christians and even had them killed. He held them in great contempt creating fear and anxiety among them. But, he also had accomplished many outstanding things for Christ when he wrote these words. In all reality he could have “stayed stuck” for one reason or another: either the wrongs he had done from feelings of guilt or false pride for his service to his Lord.
These are two traps every Christian faces: our failures and our successes. Either one can destroy what God has called us to do. We must always move forward!
PrayerHelp us, Father, not to ruin the present or the future by staying stuck in the past. You have called us to do great things through Christ. May we be faithful. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Philippians 3:13-14 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
WHERE IS YOUR FOCUS?
Karl Wallenda was one of the world’s greatest tightrope performers. In 1978 he fell to his death.
Some time later his wife was speaking of the tragedy. “All Karl thought about for three straight months prior to his death was falling,” she recalled. “It was the first time he had ever thought about that, and it seemed to me that he put all of his energies into not falling rather than in walking the tightrope.”
Paul warned us about focusing on the wrong things. In his letter to the Philippians he advised them to “look forward to what lies ahead. I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God through Christ Jesus is calling us to heaven.”
The future is in front of all of us. And often it is not the future that causes us problems, but the past. We can’t feel sorry about what problems may happen in the future; we can’t become discouraged about mistakes that might occur in the future; and we can’t regret sins we may commit in the future. But we can become overwhelmed with problems and mistakes and sins that occurred in the past.
When we allow the past to interfere with our future we will take our eyes off the “prize” that God has waiting for us. We must never relax our efforts or lower our standards if we want to be all that we can be through Christ our Savior. If we do, we lose the prize.
Prayer: Help us, Father, to keep our eyes upon You and the prize that we have in Christ Jesus our Lord. May we allow no one or no thing to distract us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Philippians 3:13-14 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: 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.
Charlie Brown struck out for the fourth time in the same game. In deep despair he cried out, “Lucy! I’ll never make it. All of my life I’ve dreamed of playing in the big leagues. But I know now I’ll never make it!”
“Charlie,” she answered, “choose an immediate goal. When you go out to pitch, see if you can walk to the mound without falling.”
What’s in a goal?
GUIDANCE: Establishing goals provides a process that enables us to accomplish worthwhile projects in life. Great things can be achieved when we know what we want to do. Goals enable us to make plans, solve problems, make decisions and set priorities. Then, at the end of the day, we can sit, review our progress or lack of it, redirect our steps and move forward.
OBJECTIVITY: We all have days when we feel like giving up. But if we have a goal in front of us, we will be able to see progress and see that the struggle is really worth the effort.
ACCOUNTABILITY: If we truly want to make a difference in this world we can find an accountability partner who will work with us to encourage us to “get where we want to go.” Being accountable is difficult without someone looking over our shoulder.
LABOR: Anything that has value and worth will require our hard work, patience, perseverance and prayer.
Prayer: Father, You have given each of us a reason for living and a purpose to accomplish. May we use the talents You have given us to achieve great things for You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Philippians 3:13-14 …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.
A drill sergeant, wanting to get his recruits in shape, was pushing them harder and harder. Yelling at them loudly he said, “Fall on your backs. Now get your legs in the air. Now, make them go in circles like you’re riding a bicycle. Higher! Faster!” he shouted. But one recruit was lying quietly with his legs in a “V” position.
Walking over to where he was lying, he glared at him and demanded, “What are you doing? You are supposed to be riding a bicycle!”
“I am, Sir,” said the recruit. “But right now I’m coasting downhill!”
Paul once said, “I am focusing my energies on one thing...and...I am straining to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.” He was totally consumed with becoming who God wanted him to be so he could do what God called him to do. This took all of his energies. With the single-mindedness of an athlete in training he set aside everything that would distract him or destroy him from being an effective witness for Christ. There was no place in his training program for “coasting downhill” even if the wind was at his back.
As “saints in training” we, like Paul, must stay focused, be diligent, work earnestly, live obediently and strive constantly to receive the “prize” God has for us.
Prayer: Father, we call upon You to make us alert and aware of temptations that would limit our effectiveness. May we live disciplined, determined lives always. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: But one thing I do: …straining toward what is ahead…I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Jesus Christ. Philippians 3:13-14
Following a hard-fought baseball game, a reporter interviewing Pete Rose said, "You only need 78 hits to break Ty Cobb's all-time record. How many trips to the plate do you think you will need to get those 78 hits?"
"Seventy-eight," came the instant response.
"Come on, Pete," continued the reporter. "You certainly do not expect 78 hits in 78 trips to the plate, do you?"
"If I did not expect to get a hit each time I went to the plate," said Rose, "I have no right to step into the batter's box. It is my positive expectations that have gotten me all of my hits."
Our expectations are the foundations of what we accomplish in life. If we expect little we will no doubt accomplish little. We will never get more than we expect and nothing we do not attempt. Paul said, “I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Jesus Christ, is calling us up to heaven.” Nothing ever stood between God and his expectations of doing all that God expected him to do. We, too, must expect great things from God and attempt great things for God.
Prayer: Father, may we expect to accomplish great things for You because of the calling we have from You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Philippians 3:13-14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
A formal dinner for important individuals was scheduled in Washington. General Jimmy Doolittle decided to invite Charles Lindbergh, the famous pilot, to join him to recognize him for his outstanding accomplishments.
After a moment’s thought, Lindbergh said, “It seems to me that life is full of so many worthwhile opportunities that I do not want to spend a lot of time celebrating the past.”
Paul wisely said to his friends, “I choose to focus all my energies on one thing: I will forget the past…and look forward to serving You until the end of my race when I receive my prize: heaven!”
Too often we look at what we have done or where we have been and neglect to realize where we, as Christians, are going. We all have betrayed, disappointed and abandoned our Savior. However, we must let go of the past. God has forgiven us, so we must keep focused on our relationship with Him now and do what we can do to serve Him faithfully and lovingly until He greets us in heaven.
Prayer: Help me, Savior, to realize that the past is gone and that the life I live now is to please You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Philippians 3:13-14 but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,

Karl Wallenda was one of the world’s greatest tightrope performers. In 1978 he fell to his death.

Some time later his wife was speaking of the tragedy. “All Karl thought about,” she recalled, “for three straight months prior to his death was falling. It was the first time he had ever thought about that, and it seemed to me that he put all of his energies into not falling rather than in walking the tightrope.”

Paul warned us about focusing on the wrong things. In his letter to the Philippians he advised them to “look forward to what lies ahead. I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God through Christ Jesus is calling us to heaven.”

The future is in front of all of us. And often it is not the future that causes us problems, but the past. We can’t feel sorry about what problems that may happen in the future, we can’t become discouraged about mistakes that might occur in the future and we can’t regret sins we will commit in the future. But we can become overwhelmed with problems and mistakes and sins that occurred in the past.

And when we allow the past to interfere with our future we will take our eyes off the “prize” that God has waiting for us. We must never relax our efforts or lower our standards if we want to be all that we can be through Christ our Savior. If we do, we lose the prize.

Prayer: Help us, Father, to keep our eyes upon You and the prize that we have in Christ Jesus our Lord. May we allow no one or no thing to distract us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Philippians 3:13-14 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Charlie Brown struck out for the fourth time in the same game. In deep despair he cried out, “Lucy! I’ll never make it. All of my life I’ve dreamed of playing in the big leagues. But I know now I’ll never make it!”

“Charlie,” she answered, “choose an immediate goal. When you go out to pitch, see if you can walk to the mound without falling.”

What’s in a goal?

GUIDANCE: Establishing goals provides a process that enables us to accomplish worthwhile projects in life. Great things can be achieved when we know what we want to do. Goals enable us to make plans, solve problems, make decisions and set priorities. Then, at the end of the day, we can sit, review our progress or lack of it, redirect our steps and move forward.

OBJECTIVITY: We all have days when we feel like giving up. But if we have a goal in front of us, we will be able to see progress and see that the struggle is really worth the effort.

ACCOUNTABILITY: If we truly want to make a difference in this world we can find an accountability partner who will work with us to encourage us to “get where we want to go.” Being accountable is difficult without someone looking over our shoulder.

LABOR: Anything that has value and worth will require our hard work, patience, perseverance and prayer.

Prayer: Father, You have given each of us a reason for living and a purpose to accomplish. May we use the talents You have given us to achieve great things for You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Philippians 3:13-14 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Read more...)
A drill sergeant, wanting to get his recruits in shape, was pushing them harder and harder. Yelling at them loudly he said, “Fall on your backs. Now get your legs in the air. Now, make them go in circles like you’re riding a bicycle. Higher! Faster!” he shouted. But one recruit was lying quietly with his legs in a “V” position.

Walking over to where he was lying, he glared at him and demanded, “What are you doing? You are supposed to be riding a bicycle!”

“I am, Sir,” said the recruit. “But right now I’m coasting downhill!”

Paul once said, “I am focusing my energies on one thing…and…I am straining to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.” He was totally consumed with becoming who God wanted him to be so he could do what God called him to do. This took all of his energies. With the single-mindedness of an athlete in training he set aside everything that would distract him or destroy him from being an effective witness for Christ. There was no place in his training program for “coasting downhill” even if the wind was at his back.

As “saints in training” we, like Paul, must stay focused, be diligent, work earnestly, live obediently and strive constantly to receive the “prize” God has for us.

Prayer: Father, we call upon You to make us alert and aware of temptations that would limit our effectiveness. May we live disciplined, determined lives always. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Philippians 3:13-14 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Florence Chadwick was the first woman to swim from England to France. When she first waded into the Catalina Channel, the water was cold. Soon after she began to swim, she saw sharks. The fog became thicker and the waves higher. After sixteen hours, she gave up.

“Why?” someone asked her.

“If I could have seen land,” she confessed, “I might have been able to make it.”

Two months later she accomplished her goal. The fog lifted, the waves subsided, the sharks were gone. She was able to see her goal!

One of the writers of the Bible knew the importance of keeping our eyes upon our Goal. He wrote, “Keep your eyes on Jesus…”

Goals keep us focused. They determine how we live our lives. They can keep us moving in the right direction and enable us to accomplish God’s purpose for our lives. But when we take our eyes off of Jesus, we lose sight of the important things in life. When God’s goals for His world set the agenda for lives, we can do anything through Him Who loved us and gave Himself for us.

Prayer: Help me, Lord, to keep my eyes upon You at all times. There are so many things going on around me that I become distracted from what is best for me. Keep me in the center of Your will. In Your Name. Amen.

Scripture for Today: Philippians 3:13-14