Our scripture this morning is Philippians 3:12-16.
“I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Let all who are spiritually mature agree on these things. If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you. But we must hold on to the progress we have already made.”
Paul reminds us that we can trust in God’s love and mercy, knowing that there is forgiveness when we truly repent. When we are connected to Him, we must focus on moving forward in faith, rather than recalling or returning to sinful behavior. Someone once said that backsliding into sin is like rooting through the garbage you have already thrown away!
Paul likens it to a race with a focus on the finish line. Runners don’t move back toward the starting line if they want to win. We are called to be better and do better now that we know Christ’s love, growing in faith and not returning to our old ways of living.
While each of us must run the race ourselves, we are blessed to have the support and encouragement of our brothers and sisters in Christ, and to share our faith with others. When we help others learn about our Lord, we all move forward. God reaches out to His children regardless of their past, and has charged us with sharing the Good News that all may be saved through Christ’s sacrifice for us.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of Jesus Christ who came to set us free. May we continue the work He began to bring all people to You. Amen.