“Morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice”

Psalm 5:3

Pressing on Toward the Goal

(Please read Philippians 3:10-14)

February 7

Human beings are all subject to mistakes and occasional stumbling in our Christian walk. Paul knew this and knew he would have to continue his efforts if he wished to win the prize of everlasting life. But he expected to get better as time went by, just as the Lord expects us to make spiritual progress.

Progress in anything requires a definite goal or purpose. Paul’s goal is simply expressed this way: “So we make it our goal to please him. . .” (2 Corinthians 5:9). With that ultimate goal, we can continually set goals for ourselves as Christians, such as to read through the Bible in a set time, to pray daily, to visit the needy regularly — and you can think of many more. Such goals should keep us closer to the reality of what we need to do.

In beginning a new plan it is good to shake off things that have deterred us in the past, as Paul did in “forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead.” Paul had much to forget, for he had been an active enemy of Christ. We too must forget past failures and things that might induce nostalgia for sinful activities. Without such baggage we can move ahead easier in living for Jesus.

To “press” toward something carries the idea of strain and effort; and so it must be with our Christian walk. Like physical growth, spiritual growth requires proper diet and exercise. If we feed on the word and exercise ourselves in doing good deeds, we, like Paul, are on track “heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

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