Tuesday’s Torch 584
April 21, 2020
For Today’s message, I opened the scriptures to Philippians 3. To be quite honest, I opened my scriptures app, went to the New Testament, scrolled down and clicked Philippians and at random (to me) clicked on chapter 3 and scrolled down a bit and stopped. It was my hope that I would be led to a verse to speak on, and I found one.
This past week I have been trying to focus on looking forward instead of backwards. It can be far too easy to look back on mistakes of the past and beat ourselves up, or to look back on blessings of the past that we no longer have and live in regrets or longing for days gone by. I’ve even been listening to a song called “Ain’t Looking back,” so imagine my surprise to read the following on my randomly selected verse. Philippians 3:13-14
“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.”
In this chapter, Paul has been speaking of his sacrifices for the Lord and this is clear direction that we are to set our sights forward and not backwards to receive our reward in serving God.
To all who read or hear the words of this Torch, May we all press toward the mark. Or in other words may we all seek righteousness and seek God moving forwards! No matter what happened in the past, positive or negative, we can decide now this very day to focus more intently on serving God and looking to the future.
As we do this? What is promised to us? Let’s read the last two verses of that chapter and Paul will answer for us: Verses 20 and 21 state:
“For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.”
What a glorious promise! And yet another marvelous expression that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ makes all things possible! For some obvious reasons and others known only to few, I love the promise of physical blessings after the challenges faced in this life. Don’t get me wrong, we aren’t to simply do the right things in order to receive blessings, we do that out of love for our Father in Heaven and His son Jesus Christ. But how wonderful and loving it is that they have provided a way for us to receive those blessings! A gift that we on our own would never qualify for. Yet given to us as we do all that we can do, and the Savior has stepped in to make up the difference.
So I take this opportunity to increase my efforts to focus on doing the right things now and into the future. To stop looking backwards in order to look forward to all that God still has in store for me. To look at what He still has ahead for my family. And I invite each of you to join me in this new or increased determination and focus. Let us seek to do right and let us seek the Lord. We will be blessed for our efforts by a God who makes all things possible. And I share this message in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
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No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. Luke 8:16