Read Philippians 3:12
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.
What is the goal that Christians are striving for? Why must we continue to press on?
I don’t know about you, but whenever I hit the gym, I am reminded that I have not obtained my goals yet. I have made a lot of progress from where I started, but I am not perfect. In fact, I know that I won’t ever reach perfection in my fitness life because no matter how much I improve, I can always get better.
This is what Paul is saying in today’s verse. In the preceding verses, Paul had been talking about how knowing Christ and becoming more like Him is THE goal. In fact, he says in Philippians 3:8 that he counts everything else as loss compared to knowing Christ. Becoming more and more like Jesus is the ultimate goal for every Christian.
But just as soon as I feel like I have made progress in my Christian pursuits, I realize how far I have to go! If Jesus is the mark of perfection, I fall woefully short, no matter how much I improve.
And yet, Paul said that he pressed on. He wasn’t proud and complacent, thinking that he’d already made it. But he didn’t get discouraged and quit, either. He had a right view of himself in light of Christ. He knew that He was gifted salvation. He was a child of God and a citizen of His kingdom, and this was not due to his works. He got to spend the rest of his days getting to know Jesus more and more. He had not reached perfection. He had not yet obtained the goal of Christlikeness. But he knew that the goal was worth the effort. Everything else is rubbish.
Friends, Christianity isn’t just about accepting Jesus and obtaining salvation. It’s about knowing Jesus and growing in Him. So press on. It is a lifelong pursuit, but nothing else is more valuable or more worthwhile.
Jesus, You are the goal and You are the reward. You are what I am striving for. I want to know You more. Please make me more like You. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
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