The New Year is a good time to renew our efforts to pursue what matters most. The apostle Paul helps us:
1. Don’t let the past hinder your pursuit of a Christ-exalting life.
One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind… (Philippians 3:13).
God can use the most painful things in your life to open up doors of ministry. Instead of saying, “Look what a miserable failure I’ve been,” say, “Look what Christ redeemed me from!” Instead of saying, “Look what I had to suffer,” say, “Look what Christ can bring from my suffering.” How could a redeemed person with a past like yours be useful?
[tweet_box design=”default”]If you live for Christ, dying is gain because you get more of him.[/tweet_box]
2. Extend the maximum effort in the light of the ultimate prize.
Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on… (Philippians 3:13).
Picture a sprinter reaching for the finish line. Paul says, “I am in a race, and it’s a short one.” If you’re running a race like the 100 meters you cannot afford to coast. You need a great start, a strong middle, and an all-out finish. Paul says, “Every year the finish line gets closer, and as it does, I press harder. I’m going all-out in serving Christ.”
3. Anticipate the future with hope and joy.
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:14).
If your consuming passion is golf, or reading, or travel, or food, or music, or films, or family, then dying is loss, because what you lived for is beyond you. But if you live for Christ, dying is gain because you get more of him. As the years wind down, you get closer to the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus!
Where do you need to renew your efforts?