Friday, June 17, 2016

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Called to be Sen
Philippians 3:1-21
Tanya Alexander

Epiphany MTC, New York
14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.
“You have arrived at your destination.” I felt pure bliss as those sweet words echoed through my car speakers. Earlier that day, my seemingly twenty minute drive warped into 2-hour journey, when I missed the last exit before a bridge. I realized I was just blindly following GPS directions without fully understanding where I was going. I was so focused on reaching my destination that I forgot to pay attention to my journey.
 
In this passage, the apostle Paul writes about his own struggle with God’s purpose for his life.  Paul knew that God had deliberately taken hold of his life for a reason. Yet, like many of us believers, he did not know what role he had to play in God’s master plan.  Paul’s struggles can easily relate to our own struggles with faith. Paul was one of the most prominent leaders of  the Christian faith, and yet he did not feel as if he had arrived at his spiritual destination. He recognizes that his journey of faith has a long way to go, and the only path to his prize in heaven was through Christ. He decides to “press on” through this period of uncertainty by seeking to know Christ and the power of His resurrection. God’s ultimate goal is not to simply to get us to our final destination, but rather to transform us to be Christ like in our actions. It is then that our purpose in life will be revealed.
So how do we get on this path towards an intimate relationship with Christ? Paul lays out a two-part plan. First, we must “forget what is behind” us, and then we must “strain toward what is ahead.” Sometimes our lives are hindered by our past experiences, losses and failures. However, Paul urges us to move forward and seek Christ, because our past sins have been forgiven by His death and resurrection. Paul writes how this journey forward will bring us toward our final goal: a seat in heaven with Christ Jesus. It is in the journey to know Christ, and mature in faith that we will one day hear “you have arrived at your destination” at the gates of heaven.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, we seek to one day hear You say “Well done, good and faithful servant” at the gates of heaven.  Transform us, O Lord, so that we may be Christ like in our words and actions, and fulfill the plans You have for us on earth. Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
Our final destination is up in heaven with God, but our path to heaven is through Christ.