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September 19, 2013, 6:04 PM

Forgetting, Reaching, Pressing...


Philippians 3:13-14

Brethen, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind , and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

 

Forgetting:  1) Unable to recall.  2) To banish from ones thoughts.  3) To cease remembering.

What must we forget?  First we must learn to forget our own wrongs.  When we have repented of our sins, they are covered by the blood of Jesus Christ, never to be brought up again.  But often, we have difficulties forgiving ourselves, and if we can't forgive ourselves, then we certainly can't forget.  Paul was responsible for the persecution of Christians, he even held the coats of men while they stoned Stephen to death.  God forgave him and blessed his ministry, but was this memory the thorn Paul spoke of?.  Maybe, maybe not, either way, he must have had many battles with the devil over guilt that no doubt haunted him.  Paul had to forget those things that were behind him, he had to forgive himself so that he could move forward in God, and we must do the same!!  If God can forgive us, and is willing to forget our sins, why can't we?

 

Reaching:  1) To stretch out.  2) Put forth or extend a hand toward something.  3) To try to grasp or attain.

By forgetting his past sins, forgetting those that had wronged him, forgetting about trying to obtain righteousness by the law, and reaching toward the law-giver, Paul had been blessed to receive the Holy Ghost and one of the most amazing ministries recorded in Biblical history.

Reaching requires effort.  The bowl at the top of the shelf.  The little car under the low sofa.  The softener sheets behind the dryer.  It's not easy, sometimes we can work and work and finally grasp that we are seeking for.  Sometimes we need help, sometimes despite all we can do, it is not enough and we must reach out for assistance.  Living a victorious life is not always easy.  Sometimes we have to reach beyond our capabilities and seek help.  That's okay!!  Just keep reaching!!!  Put forth the extra effort, go to church when you don't want to.  Read the Word when you don't want to, pray when it's not convenient...REACH!!!!

 

Pressing:  1) To exert steady weight or force.  2)  To urge, to force to action.  3) To advance eagerly.

In the first definition, I want to point out one word..."steady".  One of the most important lessons we can learn about serving God is the importance of just being steady.  I've seen so many people that are on fire for God Sunday morning, but by Monday afternoon they are in the depths of woe.  Their entire "experience" of being a Christian resembles a roller coaster.  That is not a life of victory!!  A real experience with God brings peace and steadiness in spirit and soul.  That experience is found when we keep our walk with God a daily affair.  He's the same God on Monday that He was on Sunday.  Each day holds the same Grace, the same Love, the same Hope, the same Victory, and it's ours if we just press our way into His presence.  It's not always easy!  Things come up, and the devil loves to distract us, but we must continue to exert that steady pressure.  A runner likes to start off quickly, then he develops a steady pace.  When he is nearing the finish line, he picks up the pace.  He begins to feel a sense of urgency and puts everything he has into the effort of attaining his goal.  He has only one thing on his mind...the finish line!

We are in a race, so to speak.  The prize, the finish line, is before us.  When the "start" is sounded, when we first come to God and rejoice in the freshness of God's Spirit as He replaces sin with joy, we happily sprint ahead.  But then we must develop that steady pace that will carry us on without wearing us out.  There is a finish line in our future.  It comes to each and everyone of us, and it comes at different stages of life.  We must keep our eyes on the finish line, It's time to press, time to really put forth an effort; there is a prize to attain.........  it's called Heaven!!

 

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