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 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.2 Timothy 4:7-8 NIV
Paul referenced eternity a good bit throughout his writings. As evidenced by his purpose, priorities, and pursuit, He lived with the end in mind! The past two days we’ve read 1 Timothy 4:8 where he says he knows that his efforts hold promise for the life to come, and 1 Corinthians 9:25 where he says he knows he is going to receive a crown that lasts forever. These are just a couple of examples.
In the verses above, Paul is reflecting over his 30 years of serving the Lord. Maybe he’s recalling all the ways he “trained” and “fought” to honor God, or maybe he’s reminiscing about the sacrifices he made and the persecution he endured. We don’t know exactly what memories are going through his mind, but we do know he knows his end is near.
Paul is about to meet the One for whom he has given his all. He is about to receive the prize (1 Cor. 9:27, Phil. 3:14) he has lived for all these years. If you were in his situation, how would you feel? Would you be able to say that you fought the good fight and that you have kept the faith? Would you meet Jesus knowing that you lived your life on earth with the purpose of knowing Him and making Him known?
There is a prize in store! One day we will be in the presence of the Lord.
Paul wasn’t perfect. No one is. But, with Jesus’ blood as his only plea, he knew what was waiting for him. The same thing is waiting for us. There is a prize in store! One day we will be in the presence of the Lord. He will reward us for all that we did for Him on this earth. We will be able to offer all of those rewards back to Him!
– Spend some time thanking God that through Jesus’ blood you are declared righteous. Thank Him that you will get to spend eternity in Heaven with Him one day. Pray that He would help you to live with the end in mind. May you remember that there is a great prize in store for those who honor Him while on this earth.
– Pray that we as a church would be ever mindful of the great prize that is waiting for us. Pray that prize would motivate everything we do. May we launch more campuses, start more Connect Groups, implement our new Ministry Platform, and enhance our online presence through Liberty Anywhere to the best of our ability. May we give everything we have for the cause of Christ!
– Ask that God would give you a burden for others who do not know all that Jesus’ sacrifice means. Pray that God would use you, and that He would use our church, to share with them the good news.