Saturday, September 15, 2012

Press On...

I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
 Philippians 3:14

I have been reflecting on this verse for quite some time lately, it’s one of my favorites.  This needs to be the desire of every believer.  This was not just the goal for the life of Paul, but this is the inspired Word of God.  It’s true that Paul penned these words in 1st century, however God’s Word will last an eternity.  There are often times when it’s easy to become complacent in our lives and daily routines.  Being complacent is one way that the devil gains a foothold in neglecting this very goal.  1 Peter 5:8 states that the devil is as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour and so it is a dangerous thing for the believer to become complacent in his/her walk with the Lord.  It is even more tempting to become complacent in today’s society because of all the “stuff” that is available to us.  Fast growing technology steals more and more of the precious time we have to yield to the Lord.  This goal is not possible because we are only human and DO still have a sin nature and WILL become complacent, if left up to us.  Earlier on in Philippians, Paul encourages his readers to be confident in the Lord, that he will continue the work begun on the day of salvation, until the day of Christ.  Now, it is possible, through Christ, who is the one that will work in our hearts and transform us by the renewing of our minds.  (Romans 12:2) 
Jonah became complacent in his life.  The Lord commanded him to go to Nineveh, but Jonah had other plans.  After he made that decision to sin and disobey God’s command, he became complacent.  Chapter 1 in verse 5 tells us that Jonah became SO complacent that he “…was fast asleep.  God might let us become complacent for a little while, but be assured that he will the work he began and sometimes that will mean being tossed off the ship. 
There is another encouragement towards believers found in the New Testament. 
Hebrews 5:13-14 encourages the believer to press on to “strong meat”.

“For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”

The writer of Hebrews is using these terms “milk” and “strong meat” as substitute words.  In one sense, all of the doctrines in the Bible are strong meat.  An example of a “milk” truth would be Salvation.  It is critical for one to believe that Christ died for our sins, was raised, buried, and rose again on the 3rd day in order to be saved.  The more a believer grows in their relationship with Christ and in their knowledge of the Bible, they will learn more and more about salvation, about all that happened on the cross, that there are different ways salvation is used in the Bible.  Salvation refers to Christ’s eternal provision for all who believe, but in the Old Testament, salvation could simply be used as deliverance from a trial, as was the case when Joshua and his army destroyed Jericho, but saved Rahab. 
There is an everlasting depth to the Bible and God wants his children to keep learning by studying his word as he has commanded in  2 Timothy 2:15

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

There is a great, old hymn that written by Fanny Crosby that speaks of the depths and richness of God’s truth.
Oh, the unsearchable riches of Christ,
Wealth that can never be told!
Riches exhaustless of mercy and grace,
Precious, more precious than gold!

Oh, the unsearchable riches of Christ!
Who shall their greatness declare?
Jewels whose luster our lives may adorn,
Pearls that the poorest may wear!

Oh, the unsearchable riches of Christ!
Freely, how freely they flow,
Making the souls of the faithful and true
Happy wherever they go!

Oh, the unsearchable riches of Christ!
Who would not gladly endure
Trials, afflictions, and crosses on earth,
Riches like these to secure!

Precious, more precious,
           Wealth that can never be told!
             Oh, the unsearchable riches of Christ!
              Precious, more precious than gold.

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