REACH FORWARD – 13 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… Philippians 3:13 NKJV
7 … train yourself to be godly. 8 For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 9 This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance.10 That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe. 1 Timothy 4:7-10 NIV
After Paul determined his purpose and set his priorities, he ran hard after them. He took seriously his pursuit of the things of God. In Philippians 3:13, “reaching forward” is also translated “straining forward.” Both terms indicate exerted effort. Following God and reaching forward for what pleases Him are not always easy.
Physical accomplishments will pass away, but godliness endures to eternity.
In today’s passage, Paul uses the analogy of athletic training. The very nature of such training requires discipline, hard work, and sacrifice. Think about a runner training for a race. A runner will eat healthy, wake up early, devote hours of time, and endure all kinds of weather conditions, all to meet a desired goal. Paul urges us to train, in a similar fashion, to be godly. Physical accomplishments will pass away, but godliness endures to eternity.
Do you want to give God the first hour of your day? It will require you to get up early. Do you want to give God the first day of your week? It will require you to say “no” to other things. Do you want to give God the first dime of your dollar? It will take sacrifice. Do you want to play a role in our church changing lives, communities, and the world for Jesus Christ? It will take commitment.
Verse 10 above says “we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God.” Training, discipline, and sacrifice for the things of God are worth it! Our God is alive! Our efforts will not die with us; they “[hold] promise for both the present life and the life to come.”
– Praise God for being alive and eternal! Ask Him to give you an increased desire for the things of Him. Ask Him to show you the areas in which you need more “training” and ask Him to give you the strength and discipline to follow through.
– Thank God that His work at Liberty far outlasts us. Thank Him for the opportunity to take part in His activity on this earth, that will last into eternity. Pray about specific time and financial commitments that you can make in order to be a part of His work here. Continue talking to your family and praying over the Forward commitment card.
– Pray that people will see that our God is alive! Pray that their eyes would be opened and they would see the difference in Christianity, compared to other world religions. Pray that they would come to know the One who can truly give them life, hope, and peace.