“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” — Philippians 3:14
Coaches and athletes look for lessons and motivation everywhere because it’s not easy to stay in prime condition and to always keep a positive attitude. Athletes know they need regular workouts and proper food on a daily basis, but the constant hard work and repetition can be draining. They need help in pressing on, like encouraging words and inspiration from a coach, and energy from a healthy meal. Coaches, trainers and even chefs help athletes get stronger and healthier.
All living things — plants, animals, humans — need nourishment and it’s the same for our souls. When we pray and read our Bibles, we bring spiritual sunshine and moisture into the garden of our hearts. We can choose to let our soul get dry and barren, but it’s much better when we let the sun perk us up daily. We also benefit from weekly times of worship and fellowship with other believers. Spiritual songs put a spring in our step and inspire us to keep on learning and improving.
When someone spends time regularly reading the Bible, learning more about God and putting into practice what he or she learns, then they get stronger and healthier spiritually, like a big, tall tree. “Blessed is the one … whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither — whatever they do prospers” (Psalm 1:1-3).
Even though Paul in the Bible was a mature Christian, he wanted to stay healthy and keep on making progress in being more like Christ until he went to Heaven. “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:12-14).
We too need to continue pressing on toward Christ.
— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania, Georgia
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