Athletic Training

OPENING PRAYER

God, envision us for all that lies ahead and the exceedingly great worth of the prize for which You have called us in Christ.

 

Read: PHILIPPIANS 3:12-21

[12] Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. [13] Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, [14] I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. [15]All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. [16] Only let us live up to what we have already attained. [17] Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. [18] For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. [19] Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. [20]But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, [21] who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. 

 

Reflect:DO YOU LIVE WITH AN ETERNAL PRIZE AS YOUR GOAL?

Think about the athletes you admire. What level of training do they put in to being the best they can be? Paul uses an athletic theme to describe his dedication to all that God, in Christ, has prepared for our future.The effort that Paul talks about here is not to secure our salvation. It is more about how much passion we will put into knowing God better. The relationship God has called us into is a dynamic one–we change as we know God better. Paul has a healthy self-assessment (12) and is honest and real about his past. Read verses 5-6 again to remember why it was important that Paul was able to leave his past behind him. What are the things in your past that you need to leave behind, trusting that Christ has forgiven you? Are you able to focus on what is ahead and walk in step with the Spirit as he prepares us for heaven and for the prize to those who are faithful? Paul is secure enough in his relationship with God to urge people to model their lives on his (17). Would you have confidence to say that to anyone?

 

APPLY

Praise God for his commitment to you and ask him to help you grow in your commitment to him.

 

CLOSING PRAYER

God, help me live in such a way that I will stand before the judgment seat of Christ without regret and worthy of reward.

 

Syndicated via Scripture Union
www.scriptureunion.org