This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13, 14.
Paul did many things. He was a wise teacher. His many letters are full of instructive lessons setting forth correct principles. He worked with his hands, for he was a tent-maker, and in this way earned his daily bread…. He carried a heavy burden for the churches. He strove most earnestly to present their errors before them, that they might correct them, and not be deceived and led away from God. He was always seeking to help them in their difficulties; and yet he declares, “One thing I do.” … The responsibilities of his life were many, yet he kept always before him this “one thing.” The constant sense of the presence of God constrained him to keep his eye ever looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of his faith.
The great purpose that constrained Paul to press forward in the face of hardship and difficulty should lead every Christian worker to consecrate himself wholly to God’s service. Worldly attractions will be presented to draw his attention from the Saviour, but he is to press on toward the goal, showing to the world, to angels, and to men that the hope of seeing the face of God is worth all the effort and sacrifice that the attainment of this hope demands.
The lowliest disciple of Christ may become an inhabitant of heaven, an heir of God to an inheritance incorruptible, and that fadeth not away. O that every one might make choice of the heavenly gift, become an heir of God to that inheritance whose title is secure from any destroyer, world without end! O, choose not the world, but choose the better inheritance! Press, urge your way toward the mark for the prize of your high calling in Christ Jesus.
Soon we shall witness the coronation of our King. Those whose lives have been hidden with Christ, those who on this earth have fought the good fight of faith, will shine forth with the Redeemer’s glory in the kingdom of God.
Conflict and Courage p. 353
—– I was recently diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis- basically Rheumatoid Arthritis in my spine- and it affects other parts as well. I am trying to travel with God on this one- but i am just so angry that i have suffered unecessarily. So I ask for your prayers, that doctors and pain clinics and my upcoming new specialist will understand what i am going through- and that my family will be more patient and more understanding. Lyn
—–Prayers needed for our pastor who is preparing for the upcoming meetings and for Brian as he preaches this Sabbath. Rose
—–pray for each and everyone of the hurricane persons who have lost their friends, a family, pets, belongings or anything that mean much to them, and that God is a restorer of all. Pauline
—–Please keep my husband Stephen in your prayers. He has is having some issues with his finger. Valerie
When I was in my late teens, my mother and I took the train to Gatlinburg, Tennessee for our vacation. It was a tourist town even then, but not as large or as commercialized as it is today. Nestled within the Smokey Mountains, the scenery was breathtaking to someone from the lowlands of Michigan. We spent many happy hours visiting every gift shop and craft shop in that tiny town.
One day, we took a taxi a little way out of town to Christus Gardens, a wax museum on the life of Christ. As we entered the place, we felt like we were actually going back to the time when our Dear Saviour lived upon this sinful, old planet. The wax figures were so life-like that it was hard to believe they were not alive. Our hearts were stirred within us as we viewed each scene of His life of toil and sacrifice. Especially moving was the scene of His crucifixion. It was an experience that I will never forget.
One day, Jesus gave Peter, James, and John an experience that they never forgot. “Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.” Matt 17:1-6 What a privilege that was! To see Jesus glorified, to hear the voice of the Great Creator of the Universe Himself, to listen as Moses and Elijah spoke encouraging words to our Dear Saviour must have thrilled their very being.
Years later, Peter speaks of this exciting experience: “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” 2 Peter 1:16-21 Think of it! As he remembered what he had experienced upon the Mount of Transfiguration, Peter pointed us to a more lasting and life-changing experience that can be ours . God’s Word far surpasses what the eye can see or what the ear can hear. It has power to mold us into the image of our Loving Redeemer. Paul tells us, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Cor 3:18 The more we read its words, the closer we get to its Author. “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Ps 119:9-11
“Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” Isa 55:6-11
Praise the Lord for His Holy Word! May we daily “study to show [ourselves] approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Tim 2:15 May we ever count it a joy to meditate upon its precepts. May we lay aside all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save our souls and be doers of the word, and not hearers only is my prayer. ( James 1:21,22)