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Philippians 3:12-16

Philippians 3:12-16

New King James Version (NKJV)

Pressing Toward the Goal

12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

15 Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. 16 Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.

My Thoughts:

  1. Let’s start with (v. 12) we read “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.
    1. “Not that I have already attained” Paul is addressing his Christian experience up to this point, and he is saying that he has not reached the level of fulfillment he spoke of in (Phil. 3:9, 10).
  2. In (v. 14) we read “I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
    1. Paul is keeping his eyes on the goal he sees little else but his objective.
    2. This prize is a reward to the victor in the games, in the earthly games I will take a phrase from the movie “Highlander” there can be only one. (1 Cor. 9:24) but in the Heavenly ream there all can achieve the goal and the prize.
    3. And the “upward calling” is not just a one-time thing Paul hears this calling in his ears daily reminding him of what must be done.
  3. Let’s finish with (v. 15) “Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you”
    1. So now Paul turns to apply the lesson to the Philippian friends.
    2. The word “perfect” implies maturity or full growth (Matt. 5:48) in contrast to children (1 Cor. 13:11) referring to the maturity in Christian thinking.
    3. He is calling on all to be liked minded, but if there are some who are not liked minded he is not demanding it is ok to be different minded but the Lord will instruct sincere believers.

Thought of the Day

“If you think you’ve arrived, think again.”

Many years ago, a promising Greek artist named Timanthes was under the instruction of a well-known tutor. After several years, the young painter created an exquisite portrait. He was so thrilled with what he had painted that he sat day after day gazing at his work.

One morning, however, he was horrified to discover that his teacher had deliberately ruined his painting.

Angry and in tears, Timanthes ran to him and asked why he had destroyed his cherished possession. The wise man replied, “I did it for your own good. That painting was retarding your progress. It was an excellent piece of art, but it was not perfect. Start again and see if you can do even better.” The student took his advice and produced a masterpiece called “Sacrifice of Iphigenia,” regarded by some as one of the finest paintings of antiquity.

God never wants us to be content with our accomplishments. He wants us to reach even higher plateaus of service and Christlikeness. Paul recognized this, for even though he was a godly man and accomplished much, he admitted that he still needed to advance in holiness (Phil. 3:12-14).

Child of God, don’t be satisfied with your spiritual attainments. With His help, keep pressing on! — Henry G. Bosch

When you’ve reached a plateau,

And your strength’s almost gone,

But the Lord still says, “Go,”

That’s the time to press on.

Personal Reflection and Discussion

  1. What do think Paul meant in (v. 16)?
  2. Do you keep pressing on or do you sit and look and what you have accomplished?
  3. What other things do you see in the text?

Prayer Activities

  1. Call your Partner and discuss this devotional.
  2. Continue to have a prayer list and continue to praying for them.
  3. Pray with them and ask for the following;
    1. For God to help keep pressing on.
    2. For God to strengthen us through Christ.
    3. For the individuals on your pray list.
  4. Let’s use (Psalms 4:1) for today’s prayer verse.

About bobh6

I am Seventh-day Adventist pastor in the Texas Panhandle

5 comments on “Philippians 3:12-16

  1. Amalia Mullen
    September 2, 2011

    Forgetting those things that are behind and pressing forward. Not focusing on my failures or successes, but rather focused on pressing forward for the upward calling and the prize in it itself…God in Christ and Christ in me. It’s a process…. with the prize being a daily relationship of walk and motion with our God and lover of our soul. We could never say we’re there to then stop, we continue walking with God without getting weary or fainting…you know I like that promise. 😀

    • bobh6
      September 2, 2011

      Me too, I could not imagine a day with our Christ in my life.

  2. Rosi
    September 2, 2011

    We think “I would never sit on my laurels and think of what I have accomplished for God. I would never pray out loud on the corner, Oh God thank you for making me wonderful and perfect. And yet so many do. Not like I just described of course but how do we see someone look down their nose and sniff in disgust at a new christian. How often do we try to make someone just like us because we know so much more. God forgive me when I slip and feel like I am something else. The only thing I am is a sinner covered by Jesus’ blood. Thank you Jesus, and please continue to help me have a like mind with you. Amen.

    • Amalia Mullen
      September 4, 2011

      Thank God, Jesus doesn’t do that to us. We never measure up and yet he tenderly loves us. Pride soo easily runs in our blood, but we have to be daily transformed into the likeness of God and resist the tempation to judge.

    • bobh6
      September 6, 2011

      Just like Amalia, I agree Rose (this her real name) but we see this people doing this, they expect people to be perfect and I see Paul telling us in (4:10-20) that even he has room for growth.

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This entry was posted on September 2, 2011 by in Paul's letters, Philippians and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

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September 2011
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