A Word from Pastor Stephen – May 12, 2020
“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12-14 ESV)
The Christian faith can be hard for some people to accept. It is filled with paradoxes. The first will be last and the last will be first. To save your life you have to lose it. You are asked to love your enemies and pray for those who do you wrong. To lead you must bend down and wash the feet of others.
How could God give up his one and only Son for me and for you? Am I that precious to God? Too often we tend to think we are not worthy, or that God could not possibly love me if He only knew my heart. Therefore, we think we have to earn God’s favor and jump through hoops and crawl and beg to be loved.
The good news is that God loved us first. We don’t have to be perfect. I love how Paul phrases it “because Christ Jesus has made me his own.” It is the saving work of the cross and not anything I do to deserve it. Never forget Paul’s soaring words in Ephesians, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.” (Eph 2:8)
If we belong to Jesus and let His grace wash over us we can forget what lies behind and let it go. We can strain forward to what lies ahead. Our future is secure. Our goal should be “the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” May the calling of God in your life be loud and clear. Amen.