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About-Him.Com Devotional 09-13-2014
Pressing Towards the Mark!
I wrote this for New Years day of 2001. Given the increasing evil that surrounds us, the words are more applicable today then they were then. I can still say with the apostle Paul that I haven't reached the goal but that I'm still pressing for the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. I remember swimming across a lake, some years ago. I tired after I had passed the half way point. It was obvious that I had to press on for the other shore. So it is with our heavenly journey.
Philippians 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Another year has passed (2000) and we are another year closer to eternity. Most of us will take note of what we have accomplished and where we have failed. We will all be able to agree with the apostle Paul that we haven't totally arrived, but we are going to keep striving for our eternal reward. Paul said he was forgetting those things which were behind, I can think of several for starters :
Past sin and failure - We know that Satan is the accuser of the brethren. He is quick to remind us of our sin, but he will never tell you of God's forgiveness. God said he would put our sins into a sea of forgetfulness to be remembered no more. ( Heb.8:2, 10:27; Isa. 43;25, Micah 7:19) If God forgets, why don't we?
Past blessing and accomplishments - Some of us like to think of how it used to be and we tend to live in the past. We can't be of any use to God's program unless we are looking forward. Whatever accomplishments we have obtained will be rewarded at the throne (Mt. 25). If we place too much emphasis on past performance, we run the risk of being destroyed by pride (Pro. 16:18) , and that is exactly what your adversary wants.
Past disappointments - Some of us put too much emphasis on our disappointments and failures in relation to working for God's kingdom. We simply will not know the result of our labor, until we get to the other side. We can rest assured that even a cup of water given in the name of Jesus will be rewarded. We have sown the seed of the Word of God and he has said that it will not return to Him void. We look for instant results and forget that the seed of the Word must germinate and be watered before it can grow. It is God who gives the increase, not us! (Heb. 6:10: Luke 8:4-15; I Cor. 3:6-7).
There are several things to look forward to:
The return of the Lord Jesus - Jesus said that the world would be going about business as usual when He returned, unaware that anything had happened until after the fact. He used the days of Noah and Lot as an example in Luke 17. We don't hear much being said about His return, even from our present day Spirit filled churches and ministries, but that doesn't change the facts of God's word. His Word says that He will return when we don't expect Him. He will exercise judgement and vengeance at that time. I've been washed in His blood and filled with His Spirit and I'm looking forward to His return ( Mt. 24; II Thes. 1:6-10; Titus 2:13; Rev. 4:11, 5:9).
His Kingdom being established on earth - We know that Jesus will reign over all of the earth from the throne of David. Negotiations over the status of Jerusalem have just been broken off. Our U.S. president suggested the option of Israel giving up control of the temple mount. I don't know how or when it will come about but this I know. All nations will gather against Jerusalem. The Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven to fight against those who would destroy her. Israel will accept Jesus and say, "This is our God, we have waited for Him." ( Isa. 43:25; Joel 3;2; Haggai 2:7; Zech. 14:2: Ps. 132:11).
Eternal life with Jesus our Savior - John said it doesn't yet appear what we shall be, but that we shall be like Him for we shall see him as he is. I look forward to being one of the innumerable number at the throne of God giving glory and honor to Jesus my Savior (Jn. 11:26; I Cor. 15:51-58; I Jn. 3:2).
Pressing towards the mark denotes struggle, such as:
Resisting evil in all forms - We are fighting a spiritual battle against hell. We have the ability to spot that which is contrary to God's principals. Whether it be a godless media or self serving politicians who have sold their soul to the devil, we know evil when we see it, and we should do our best to oppose it (Eph. 6:12).
Keeping myself unspotted from the world - Quite simply, there are things I won't watch or read and places I won't go. Evil is a sly cancer that seeks to destroy me. I am not ignorant of Satan's devices ( II Cor. 6:17; James 1:27).
Keeping myself a fit vessel for the Master's use - There are billions of souls who have never heard the gospel even once. Somebody must tell them. Jesus said the harvest was plentiful, but the laborers were few. I desire to be one of the few (Mt. 9:37-38; Jn. 4:35; II Tim. 2:20).
Prayer and Intercession - The key to it all. - We are told to pray for laborers to be sent to the harvest. We are told to pray for our leaders. We are told to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. We are told to make intercession for all saints, and the list goes on. I must also pray for myself, that I will surrender my will to His will. If I find myself unwilling, my prayer is "Lord make me willing" (Ps. 122;6; Eph. 6:18; I Tim. 2:1-4).
I look forward to an exciting 2001/2014 in Christ Jesus and I'm sure you do too.
Hebrews 12:1 ¶ Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
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Don and Marie Spooner
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