Thursday, February 21, 2013


Lent day 9
Php 3:12-21  Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us then who are mature be of the same mind; and if you think differently about anything, this too God will reveal to you.  Only let us hold fast to what we have attained.   Brothers and sisters, join in imitating me, and observe those who live according to the example you have in us.   For many live as enemies of the cross of Christ; I have often told you of them, and now I tell you even with tears.  Their end is destruction; their god is the belly; and their glory is in their shame; their minds are set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will transform the body of our humiliation that it may be conformed to the body of his glory, by the power that also enables him to make all things subject to himself.

The Philippians had sent Epaphroditus with a financial gift for Paul as an expression of their "partnership" and "concern". Paul writes to thank them, and drawing on a running metaphor, he encourages them to keep going. He refers to a runner in a race who shows signs of flagging, and in the process of looking over a shoulder will often be passed by the others. Instead, says Paul, do not look back, but look forward, straining to reach the goal.
I wonder how often we glance fearfully over our shoulders. We see the difficult road we have travelled; we see the sacrifices we have made; we see the problems of life overtaking us; and in the process we lose sight of the Saviour who waits at the finishing line to welcome us. Allow your daily devotions, your corporate worship, and the accountability of friends to keep you focussed on the One who calls us into each day.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

Helen H. Lemmel, 1922

The Seventh Sunday after Epiphany
Unchanging Truths
Scripture reading taken from A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and Other Servants p.90


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