Good Reason to Press On

Philippians 3:12-16 was the Scripture reading this past Sunday.
Take a moment to read it now. If you find yourself without a Bible, click the reference above to read on BibleGateway.com.

Pastor Bonnie began by sharing the story of Wrong Way Silva. In the lead of the New York Marathon, he took a wrong turn. When he realized what he’d done, he turned around, but found himself behind those who were previously trailing him. His detour delayed him, yet he somehow found it in himself to press on and win by the closest margin in the history of the race.

This turning around, when we find ourselves going the wrong direction, is an important part of our spiritual journey.

When we make a wrong turn, 
we have to turn around to get back on track.
There are many temptations that try to keep us going in the wrong direction. Pride: I can surely figure a way to make this right. Despair: There’s no use… I’ve ruined everything. Fear: I can’t turn back, what will other people think? Complacency: Oh… nobody’s perfect!

But to not turn around, when we’ve turned wrong, always leads to a dead end! Maybe not literal death, but death of relationships, death of dreams, the end of our spiritual growth.
In Christ, we always have room to grow, press forward for more, no matter how old we are or what we have attained. And there’s always potential for making wrong turns, but He always provides the grace to turnaround — repent.
…I press on to make [perfection] my own, 
because Christ Jesus has made me his own.
Philippians 3:12 ESV
To walk with Christ is to pursue Perfection. And the best reason to pursue Him: He has made you His own.

A Scripture came to mind, during worship…
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
Philippians 1:21 ESV
To live is Christ paints the picture of taking up your cross and carrying it daily. Living each day like Him, pressing on, dying to self’s desires, and obeying the Father’s voice. Every moment of every day.
To die is gain tells us leaving this natural realm puts us wholly in His presence, where our current focus is to be. This is why we press on.
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
Colossians 3:1-3 NIV84
Yes, we have good reason to press on. A gracious God who died for us, who has made us His own.
When you discover you’ve made a wrong turn in your life, turn around, quickly and with a firm commitment to reach the goal — Christ Jesus.
I press on toward the goal for the prize 
of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:14 ESV
Carol Weaver
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