25th July 2020
'or have already become perfect'
12 I do not claim that I have already succeeded
or have already become perfect.
I keep striving to win the prize for which Christ Jesus
has already won me to himself.
13 Of course, my friends, I really do not think
that I have already won it;
the one thing I do, however,
is to forget what is behind me
and do my best to reach what is ahead.
The most common Christian cop-out is:
"Well, nobody's perfect, we've all fallen short of the glory of God."
Paul doesn't settle for such a flip answer
regarding a serious quest for Christ's richness.
In this scripture Paul gives us an important insight
into becoming complete or mature in faith.
As believers we need to realise that we have a way to go.
We have not arrived;
there are still things ahead; we must press on.
Growth will not happen if we are haphazard about our spiritual life.
To avoid this we need to:
¤ make time for God in our schedule
¤ find time to thoughtfully read the Bible
¤ plan for times of prayer
¤ make worship and service a priority in our calendars
¤ do a regular and honest spiritual evaluation of our lives
¤ turn away from some worldly pursuits
¤ push ourselves to study and read for growth
¤ and dare to reach beyond what is always comfortable and safe
But some people think they have arrived.
They don't need to grow anymore;
they don't need to study anymore;
they don't ineed to develop any more.
It's like the true story of a young neighbour
who was talking to Albert Einstein
at a dinner party.
'What exactly is it that you do as a profession?'
Einstein looked at her and said,
'I've devoted myself to the study of physics.'
In shock she replied,
'Studying physics at your age?
I finished my studies a year ago!'
Unfortunately, that is the attitude of many Christians today
have about their spiritual growth.
They think they have finished.
Instead our attitude should be like 95 year old Pablo Casals,
considered to be the greatest cellist the world has even known.
A young reporter asked him one day,
'You are 95 and the world considers you to be its greatest cellist;
you practice six hours a day - why?'
To which he responded,
'Because I think I'm making progress.'
We have not arrived -
that will only happen when we meet God face to face;
all we can do now is to set our goal to making progress day by day.