Food for Friday

I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14

Some people around us put a lot of effort into those things that they wish to promote. for example, some well-known and outspoken atheists have embarked on massive advertising campaigns and speaking tours to spread their message of hopelessness. Advocates of same-sex marriage and unlimited abortions are also not lazy about pushing their agendas of abomination and slaughter. When we see those who have nothing but destruction and degradation to offer exerting such energies, it makes us wonder why Christians, who have a message of hope, comfort, and eternal blessing, are so slow and reluctant to pass it on. We should be like the apostle Paul, who was willing to press toward the mark with every ability and amount of energy he had.

The word ‘press’ in our text refers to vigorous, persistent, and passionate effort. There was a mark that Paul sought: the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. He longed for the commendation that would result from a life lived for his Saviour. We know of Paul’s beatings and stonings, of his hazardous journeys, of his imprisonments, and other sufferings. He regretted none of these because there was a worthwhile prize for his efforts. There is a worthwhile prize for us too, and we need to keep it in mind daily. Remembering the mark will help us to remember our responsibility.

What do we know of that mark? Paul speaks of it as the high calling, or upward calling of God. The world has a calling for all of us. Some are called to be skilful labourers or masterful craftsmen, others are called to be convincing salespeople and successful merchants, and yet others are called to function skillfully in health professions, public service, and in many other fields. We need to earn a living and we need to fulfill our fiscal responsibilities. But God has a higher calling that takes us into spiritual realms and into service for Him, for His people, and for the needs of the lost. Paul sought diligently every day to find this calling. So should we.

Many of the things we do in this life provide fulfillment and are considered worthwhile. None of these things are as fulfilling or as worthwhile as our devotion and service for our Lord. -Jim MacIntosh

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