‘Well, press on’ we say. ‘Onward and upward!’. Many of our little sayings have biblical origins. In Philippians 3 Paul gives many reasons why we should: ‘rejoice in the Lord’. They relate to the fruit of Jesus’ ministry, for our: 1. Bodies, 2. Pedigrees, and 3. Righteousness. Let them speak to you, in your own situation. May you and I ‘press on’ with our upward calling
- Bodies: Our eternal hope is not merely a ‘spirit’ existence. It is also a very physical one. Our lowly body will be transformed to be like that of Jesus glorious body.
‘…our Saviour, the Lord Jesus, will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself’. (Phil. 3:21).
- Pedigrees: The people you know, your connections, family, ‘tribe’, culture and local identity do matter. But probably they matter less than you think. Paul suffered a lot of rejection, and personal loss for his ministry.
‘Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake, I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish…’ (Phil. 3:8).
- Righteousness: Those in Philippi who hoped to attain ‘righteousness’ by the law-way they lived, but NOT ‘through faith in Christ’ alone, were enemies of the cross. There are enemies of the cross today. Jesus death was necessary to deal with our sin. His death was necessary to reconcile us to God. It was necessary to impart to us a righteousness that does not come from the law. Sadly, we can substitute our deeds, even our ‘church-going’, our championing of fairness, our helping the poor, and so on, for the faith-gift of righteousness. Do we truly trust in Christ and his cross?
‘For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things’ (Phil. 3:18-19).
Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for the Apostle Paul’s ministry. In your grace, may you stir and renew our resolve also, to “press on” in life, with the ministries that you call us to exercise.
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